[nycbug-talk] The Fiber-to-Home Ghost

Charles Sprickman spork at bway.net
Sat Jul 26 00:58:01 EDT 2008

On Fri, 25 Jul 2008, Isaac Levy wrote:

> - 1983, Verizon founded under the name 'Bell Atlantic Corporation',
> spawn of AT&T Corporation as one of seven Baby Bells that were formed
> due to the anti-trust judgement against them.  (I guess they got the
> fiber plans).

Which later gobbled up that NYC monster NYNEX...  You can't leave that gem 
out of the equation.  If you think VZ is bad, when they merged, Bell 
Atlantic was the GOOD guy (in relative terms) as far as technical 
competence and service quality.  There are still some from the early ISP 
days that can go into shock if you mention "NYNEX" and "ISDN" in the same 


> So, the saga, (but not perhaps this email), will be continued...  (and
> even as it does, we still may never seem to see the fiber).

I think you'll see it.  Over a year ago I saw some of the shittiest parts 
of Newark, NJ being wired up.  When I lived in Montclair, I saw their cute 
little ghetto where quasi gang-bangers bump elbows with the limousine 
liberals get wired up first.  And like in Newark, the take rate is obvious 
from looking at the poles.

My brief thoughts on this are this:

-Other than the backup power situation, the whole thing is genius and 
someone at VZ with more of a data network background beat the bejeezus out 
of some cranky old bellhead who likely wanted to do some bizarre 
copper/fiber hybrid like T's clusterf*ck.  It is a really well-engineered 
system and is very forward thinking for an ILEC.

-I do believe they've seen the light (ha ha) and will eventually push this 
into every territory they've got that is moderately dense.  They will 
eventually get the MDU thing straight, and NYC will see many beta-quality 
rollouts until they figure out what works in older and large buildings.

-I think the dark side of all this is that after promising FTTH for so 
long (ask Pennsylvania how much they gave away in tax revenue years ago 
for 45Mb/s symmetric service to the home that never showed up) they have 
finally figured out that the tool to turn every state PUC into their own 
sniveling, beat-down bitch is to roll out FIOS.  It's their ticket to 
deregulation.  Note how fast most statewide CATV franchises were rolled 
out.  Note how the rate hikes where FIOS is available keep in wonderful 
duopoly lockstep with cable.  But the real prize, the cherry on top is 
that this is the ticket to just having two pipes to our homes - your cable 
company or VZ.  No unbundling of the last mile to CLECs is required, no 
wholesale access to the networks for ISPs wanting to provide whatever VZ 
won't be it IPv6 before VZ figures that out, access without port blocking, 
affordable "business" connections for the SOHO market, basically you'll 
get VZ or your cableco and you'll like it.  Say goodbye to your friendly 
local ISP offering DSL via CLECs or VZ, that train is pulling out of the 
station and some guy's leg is hanging out the door.

My bread and butter since '96 has been ISP work.  I have zero interest in 
doing the same thing at some mega-ISP, so that's my personal rant on all 
this.  I think that the state PUCs totally screwed up by not requiring 3rd 
party wholesale access to this stuff - even if only the internet portion. 
Those dreams of picking your own provider, getting cool IPTV stuff and 
VOIP from that provider - *poof*.  This FTTH connection will not be a 
marketplace for content, it will eventually be a crappy, ad-supported 
walled garden.  And if you don't like it, you can get the same from your 
one other choice, your cable company.


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