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The Internet Communications Technology

A New Neutral, Long-Haul Fiber Network 129

Posted by kdawson
from the shaking-up-the-neighborhood dept.
techclicker sends word on the ambitious plans of Allied Fiber to disrupt the long-haul business in the US. The company is embarking on the first phase of a planned six-phase build-out of dark fiber, towers, and co-lo facilities ringing the US. The first three phases are budgeted at $670M; the last three are not yet laid out in detail (announcement, PDF). Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in 2010. Allied's business model of selling wholesale bandwidth to all comers is in sharp contrast to that of incumbents such as AT&T, who won't sell backhaul to potential competitors. "Allied is deploying a 432-count, long-haul cable coupled with the 216-count, short-haul cable that will be a composite of Single-Mode and Non-Zero Dispersion Shifted fibers. Allied Fiber has implemented a new, multi-duct design for intermediate access to the long-haul fiber duct through a parallel short-haul fiber duct all along the route. This enables all points between the major cities, including wireless towers and rural networks, to gain access to the dark fiber. In addition, the Allied Fiber neutral colocation facilities, located approximately every 60 miles along the route, accommodate and encourage a multi-tenant interconnection environment integrated with fiber that does not yet exist in the United States on this scale."
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A New Neutral, Long-Haul Fiber Network

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  • Watching the network administrator dealing with our peers is very aggravating. I hope this works out, from what is given it might solve a lot of these headaches.

  • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:10PM (#32391838) Journal

    I fully expect the cartels to lodge complain of some kind (no matter how absurd) any day now...

    • by UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:22PM (#32391950)

      Why would do that when they can just buy up all the access to the new bandwidth?

      • by maxume (22995)

        I think you might be underestimating Allied Fiber's intent by more than a small amount.

        • I doubt Allied cares who leases the bandwidth. And I would be surprised if they managed to build more than the combined purchasing power of the incumbents can afford to lease.

          • by grcumb (781340) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @08:05PM (#32393224) Homepage Journal

            I doubt Allied cares who leases the bandwidth. And I would be surprised if they managed to build more than the combined purchasing power of the incumbents can afford to lease.

            All true, of course, but here's the cool part:

            If the incumbents were to buy out Allied's entire capacity, they'd effectively be funding it to build more.

            Given that capitalisation is the hardest part of the roll-out process, having your competitors effectively subsidising the growth of your network as part of a plan to make you fail... surely, that would provide at least a few moments of delightful schadenfreude.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by symbolset (646467)
        Because then Allied would have a bunch of profit over and above what it cost them to build it out. Having won good profits that way, don't you think they'd do it again?
        • Which is fine. The cable and telcos will still only be paying the cost after the fact - and in installments Eventually, the carriers will need even more bandwidth, so why not let Allied take the risk of building it.. Though I suspect another poster is correct in predicting someone will buy Allied, so will gain control over the new fiber.

      • by forkazoo (138186)

        Why would do that when they can just buy up all the access to the new bandwidth?

        If the bandwidth is cheaper than a Senator, they'll do exactly that.

    • by Opyros (1153335)
      Finally! A case where "queue" really is more apropriate than "cue"!
  • by Immostlyharmless (1311531) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:12PM (#32391862)
    What this might mean to me as a cable user? Anything at all? Will I be able to buy access to this? or?
    • by UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:21PM (#32391934)

      At the least, more backhaul bandwidth. Ideally, it would allow new ISPs to enter the market and compete with the current conglomerates. However, I suspect the incumbents to buy up all the access to the new bandwidth.

      • by phantomcircuit (938963) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:49PM (#32392148) Homepage

        The incumbents are almost universally public utilities. They are granted a local monopoly as having more than one company digging up the streets to lay cable/phone/fiber would be insanity.

        This will have absolutely no effect at all on the consumers situation.

        • except that the interconnect between the municipalities will be faster. And the consumers have jobs at companies that get high-speed network between offices, and they send their kids to schools that get high-speed interconnect between campuses. And then there's just the raising the bar part.

          But other than those things yeah, I suspect no one would notice at all.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          In my area, the cable and telephone cables are strung on the electric utility's poles. Several years ago, within a month of the one cable operator's exclusive franchise expiring, the 2nd cable operator extended its cables into my neighborhood. As for getting another ISP, the county, in its most recent news letter, claims it is still soliciting bids, but there have been no submissions.

          (Not that having 2 (3 including the phone company) ISPs has actually provided competition. The internet (and TV) service rate

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by haruchai (17472)

            We recently found out that our provider, a cable company, has been doing the same when they issued us a report on a recent outage that blamed damage on - i swear this is the truth - "SQUIRREL CHEW".

            Perhaps they should not use the peanut-flavored cladding next time.
             

            • It happens. I've seen it. I recently rescued 15m of usable RG-6 coax from a dumpster after a cable company tech had to replace it because it had been chewed by squirrels. Was more than enough to replace the cheap RG-59 coax the was previously installed in my house.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Kirijini (214824)

          The incumbents are almost universally public utilities. They are granted a local monopoly as having more than one company digging up the streets to lay cable/phone/fiber would be insanity.

          Incumbents are not granted monopolies. They may have a de facto monopoly, but it is not the result of ongoing government restriction of competition.

          See:
          47 U.S.C. 253(a) (dealing with telephone operators): "No State or local statute or regulation, or other State or local legal requirement, may prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to provide any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service."

          47 U.S.C. 541(a)(1) (dealing with cable operators): "A franchising authority may

          • by Daengbo (523424)

            My cable company (Grande) is the only wired ISP allowed in my area of Austin. It's regulated that way, and it's a de jure monopoly. Clear operates, but I think that's only because the way the monopoly is granted.

            • by jon3k (691256)
              What about all the DSL providers?
              • by Daengbo (523424)

                I called all of them. They told me they aren't allowed to provide service here. The landlord told me the same thing when I moved in.

                • by jon3k (691256)
                  Well I can assure you a quick google search provides quite a few options for DSL service in Austin. I don't know if you live in an apartment or what other factors might preclude you from being eligible for DSL service, but it's most definitely available around your area. I even checked the AT&T site for residential DSL using Austin NPA-NXX. It's definitely out there.
            • The original cable company in my area had an exclusive contract under some law allowed a locally owned business to be granted exclusivity. However, they were later bought by a conglomerate, so lost the exclusivity clause of the franchise.

            • by tyrione (134248)

              My cable company (Grande) is the only wired ISP allowed in my area of Austin. It's regulated that way, and it's a de jure monopoly. Clear operates, but I think that's only because the way the monopoly is granted.

              Then file a lawsuit.

            • Same here in San Antonio but we use Time Warner. Grande is supposed to be the better choice in San Antonio (at least that is what the Time Warner sales rep told us) due to having new lines and more current technology.

              Version FIOS won't build anywhere in San Antonio.

          • a franchising authority may not grant an exclusive [cable TV] franchise and may not unreasonably refuse to award an additional competitive franchise.

            Things like "unreasonably" tend to be decided in favor of who has the more expensive lawyers.

          • Maybe you should have another look at 47 U.S.C. 253(c). Local utility districts hardly ever allow multiple utilities to do the same job.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jon3k (691256)
          That's a little shortsighted, don't you think? It will not have any DIRECT effect (as in consumers won't access these fibers directly) but it will most definitely have an indirect effect. More fiber in the ground means more competition and more available bandwidth which means cheaper and more plentiful transport for ISPs which could increase last mile speeds, reduce prices or both.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Belial6 (794905)
          No, what is insanity is allowing businesses to dig up the streets at all to run data cables. A sane municipality would dig up their streets once to lay pipe in the same manner as their sewer system, and then their residents could have 40 different data lines running into their house and every time a new one showed up, the only disruption to the streets would be pulling up a manhole cover and putting it back down after the cables were run.

          I currently have 3 separate conduits run into my house, and one mo
      • by nurb432 (527695)

        It means they will just oversell what they have, and limit you when you try to use it.

        Not much will change for most of us since we are trapped by virtual monopolies..

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by walt-sjc (145127)

        Ideally, it would allow new ISPs to enter the market and compete with the current conglomerates.

        The problem isn't long-haul bandwidth. Reasonably priced OC48+ is already common pretty much everywhere in the US. Reselling it isn't the issue. The "Last Mile" is the issue and has ALWAYS been the issue. The ONLY "resellable" last mile option is telco copper, and the problem with it (in all too many cases) is loop length, and quality of the loop. In my area, the wires are long and old, meaning that 1.5M/384K is

    • by Cyberax (705495)

      Directly - nothing. You won't be able to buy the sort of equipment needed to interface with the carrier-grade networks.

      However, it might make the business of small ISPs in your town profitable.

      • by phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:54PM (#32392178) Homepage
        Why the hell not? you can buy a SA for as little as 10Mbps, and if you're willing to handle the subscription deals with end users, you can put up a small WISP on a 100Mb for under 500K: equipment, small central office (likely home based) and all legal fees in.

        in canada, (where the extremely moderate costs for peering are reasonable) we've got hundreds of small WISP's popping up all the time. they provide 756Kb/256Kb wireless connections to most of rural Canada.

        most ISP's here won't run a line until there are 1K+ customers willing to sign one year SA's, so the WISP's provide for thousands of people, by peering from canada's (I know. our backbones are still SMALL) backbones.

        Hurricane Electric for example, has and maintains hundreds of peer points. it's nothing these days to get a hold of a pair of 3845's for under $15K each, and take a peer point with failover. (it's hard to get a lawyer to ok your contract guaranteeing five nines though, with only one peer :P)

        now if you mean the cost associated with installing and maintaining the peer point in the first place, I completely agree. even a CRS1 is WAY out of my price range, and that would only cover a fraction of these fibers bandwidth requirements.
        • by Miseph (979059)

          I believe that GP was saying it would be out of most people's price range to purchase that equipment for their own personal use. They also stated that it would likely make small, local ISPs economically viable... which is pretty much you said somebody could do. Unless you happen to think $500k is a reasonable amount of money to spend on home networking gear, in which case I'd like to give you my card the next time your home internet connection gets a bit laggy...

          • I'm surprised every time I get a call from a friend asking "why doesn't my d-link [model] or linksys [model] or [insert a brand here] router keeps dropping, or the wireless is sketchy: they they will put up with equipment of that grade.

            Personally, if I buy a car, I expect that it'll get me from A to B 99.999% of the time. I don't need frills. if it only worked 90% of the time, I'd have called that a bad investment.

            I install carrier grade equipment. when small WISP's or private business want to upgrade
            • I just run a Cat5e shielded cable through my raised ceiling and I get a completely reliable connection out of my $10 Belkin router, which can keep with 800 open connections and has no problem maxing out my cheap 10 Mbps connection; local transfers run about 11.5 Megabytes/s (92 Megabits/second).

              But then I don't have $9000 to spend on home networking equipment.

              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                to what, ONE computer? that's not a network. that's barely even "networking". that an extension cable. :P

                I was stupidly going to mention that it's silly that people still run 100MbE in homes.. but if you've only got an extension going to a 10Mb internet connection: why bother, right?

                every customer of mine get's an ESXi server with some horsepower, a FXS/FXO, a 15/2Mb shaw pipe, a pair of GbE lines run to each room of the house, a used cisco 3725, a Linksys SRW-2024 (unless they have more than 11 rooms
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Penguinshit (591885)
              Do you routinely kill flies with a shotgun? Mid-priced consumer grade equipment is _more_ than adequate given the network is properly wired/configured.
              • Considering the price difference here, it's more like killing a fly with something between a cruise missile and the Tsar bomb.

            • by adolf (21054)

              Five nines? From a car?

              What sort of alternate reality do you live in? I mean, seriously: I want to sign up.

            • Talk about overkill, $9k on networking equipment for a house!? Ho...Lee...Shit.

              Just get a good home router with DD-WRT, it'll never give trouble. Ever. Problem solved.

          • by tyrione (134248)

            I believe that GP was saying it would be out of most people's price range to purchase that equipment for their own personal use. They also stated that it would likely make small, local ISPs economically viable... which is pretty much you said somebody could do. Unless you happen to think $500k is a reasonable amount of money to spend on home networking gear, in which case I'd like to give you my card the next time your home internet connection gets a bit laggy...

            Most start ups can absorb the $500k if they want to be an ISP.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by muridae (966931)
      As a cable user, no. Someone will have to provide you the 'last mile' and since you get that through cable you will not be able to use this as is. If they offer last mile service, either as fiber or anything else, then you can use that. You might even find that a local phone company will be able to use their service, and offer DSL or some other connection.

      Or it could be that their phase 4 is last mile service. That leaves phase 5 unknown, while phase 6 is obviously PROFIT!
      • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:32PM (#32392024) Journal

        As a cable user, no. Someone will have to provide you the 'last mile' and since you get that through cable you will not be able to use this as is. If they offer last mile service, either as fiber or anything else, then you can use that. You might even find that a local phone company will be able to use their service, and offer DSL or some other connection.

        As a cable user, yes. Someone will have to provide the 'backhaul' and since it's traditionally very expensive to [lease|build|maintain] long distance links, it's likely that cable ISPs will jump all over this. Since Allied doesn't offer last mile service, either as fiber or anything else, then the cable company won't be helping their competitors. You might even find that a regional or national phone company will be able to use their service, and offer reduced rates or more bandwidth with DSL or some other connection.

        • by symbolset (646467)
          Or you can find out where they're going to put the drops, and build your house next to one of them. Then the "Last Mile" turns into the "Last forty feet".
          • by adolf (21054)

            That's a good idea.

            And then, you can lease out your basement as co-lo space, and keep your house warm with the waste heat.

        • by muridae (966931)
          It will help the cable company reduce cost. That may, or may not, go along to the customer.

          Local prejudice, I guess. The phone service here tends to have local co-ops, while the cable company is a national brand.
          • by cynyr (703126)

            It will help the cable company reduce cost. That will not, go along to the customer. Local prejudice, I guess. The phone service here tends to have local co-ops, while the cable company is a national brand.

            /fixed

            • by adolf (21054)

              Feh.

              It may also spur new competition, or a new battle between pre-existing competitors.

              Slice it any way you want, but generally speaking: More competition, at any level, is good for the end consumer.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:53PM (#32392176) Homepage Journal

      Will I be able to buy access to this?

      Absolutely not.

      or?

      What it means is that there will be a new powerful player in a game that has seemed to be heading for a huge win for the big telecoms and cable companies and a huge loss for consumers. The consumers will still almost certainly be the big losers, but there will be a more interesting contest for first place.

      The shame of it is that "The first three phases are budgeted at $670M; the last three are not yet laid out in detail" which means that for less than a billion dollars the government could have laid the groundwork for insuring a level of true net "neutrality" for decades to come that would have given the broader US economy and probably the entire world economy an excellent shot in the arm while forcing AT&T and company to start working for their customers again instead of the other way around.

      By building the internet, and then giving it away, the US government created the widest and deepest increase in worldwide wealth (WWW) that we've seen since WWII. Instead of renewing this legacy with a relatively modest investment, they've allowed to a cartel to seize one of the most important inventions of the 21st century and turn it into another tool with which to funnel wealth from the lower 95% of the population to the top 5%.

      • by hedwards (940851) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @05:58PM (#32392210)
        That's the way it works. We could've had proper single payer universal healthcare coverage, but we're paying for two pointless wars instead. We could have proper banking reform, but probably won't since ZOMG teh Soshulists. And we can't have this because a large part of American stubbornly refuses that corporatists don't care about their interests. Even though the ones that are hurt the worse by this are the same rural voters that refuse to recognize what their politicians are doing to the country.
        • More accurately: A large part of America stubbornly refuses to trust government solutions.

          I don't think an innate trust of corporations is what you see nearly as much as an innate distrust of government not to screw stuff up.

          Not advocating for that position or against it; just sayin' that's how it looks out here in the heartland.

      • by maxume (22995)

        It's just a little glassy-eyed to imply that the government built the internet. They absolutely created and developed the technology, but they aren't the ones who bought all those routers from Cisco or pulled all the fiber.

        • Up to a point, the US government did - through grants to universities and such - pay for all the routers and cable. For a long time, connecting to the internet was a privilege reserved for schools and key government contractors. Eventually, others were allowed to connect, opening the way for small, local ISPs. Then, eventually, these local ISPs were bought up by companies that ultimately became today's incumbent carriers.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday May 29, 2010 @07:16PM (#32392884) Homepage Journal

          It's just a little glassy-eyed to imply that the government built the internet.

          Do you think, for one second, that the "free market" would have created anything like the free and exuberant place we call the internet?

          If it hadn't been for the basic R&D by the DoD and then passing it off to mainly publicly funded universities, there would never, ever have been anything like the openness, the opportunities, the sheer explosion of ideas and energy that became the internet. No "world wide web" for sure. You forget that there were attempts by "private industry" to create something like the internet, and it turned out to be AOL. And if there was anything at all good about AOL, it was because they were trying their best to live up to expectations that the Internet created. Without government, the Internet would be cable television. Do you remember how "interactive" cable television was going to become in the 1980s and 90s?

          There's been a lot of noise from know-nothing politicians about how "big government" kills the private sector and takes all the innovation out of it. It's the kind of conventional "wisdom" you read a lot here, and certain segments of the political spectrum have come to take it as gospel. But the Internet is just one example where every single one of us reading Slashdot today can experience the opposite, the fact that government can be the private sector's best friend and not by "getting out of the way" either.

          • by jon3k (691256)
            You're arguing the same thing. He admitted the government created and developed the technology but the Internet as it exists to do is largely run by corporations.
    • by mederbil (1756400)

      Similar sort of thing here in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. I sit on the board that run the Smart Communities Society which administers a fiber network called NTNet. We're going to be increasing our fibre network as soon as a bridge is built across a river to connect fiber from the south.

      It is really only effective for businesses who resell our network. Cable users gain infrastructure, I guess because our internet service provider makes money off what they (over)charge for bandwidth.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Say your city, town, hamlet, village, shire, township ect is having a cartel like broadband issue.
      One approved roll out in the distant past just reached near the area and your all stuck on modems, wireless ect.
      With any new entry into the optical network a small community might just have the option to gather funds and connect to some real backhaul.
      Sure its expensive but finally a few communities might join the optical age.
  • I really hope this works out.
  • My first thought was 'Hellz YEAH!' I mean, sod the telcos and cable companies. I was lucky enough to find an independent ISP. I can see them hooking up with this quickly. Last mile questions aside, anything that routes around qw*st, c*mc*st, and v*r*zn is a good thing.

  • about a project of this scale was Iridium: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridium_satellite_constellation [wikipedia.org].

  • 100Mb/s for pennies (Score:4, Interesting)

    by viking80 (697716) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @06:17PM (#32392360) Journal

    The single mode, Non-Zero Dispersion Shifted fibers is of course optimized for DWDM. That means that a buyer can put at least 128 colors in the fiber, each with 10Gb/s. With 423 fibers in the bundle, that adds up to 0.5Pb/s.

    With 10x oversubscription, this will supply 541 million homes with 100Mb/s broadband each.

    That should cover all of the americas with 100 million is USA, 46 million in Brazil, and 12 million in Canada.

    The cost for each household should be pennies.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mysidia (191772)

      Except you still need a cable to bring each consumer to the aggregation points where the fiber is, and those are expensive....

      Also, what happens when a big carrier like AT&T just buys out all the dark fiber between two places to hold onto it, and doesn't use WDM?

      • by thue (121682)

        But note that what costs money is digging the local link itself. The cost differential between a 1Mbit/128Kbit line and a 1000Mbit/1000Mbit line in bandwidth costs is small once the cable has been laid down.

        Which is why all the slow connections they are selling us is bullshit. The same with any usage limits under 1TB/month. Wired bandwidth is dirt cheap, and any limits are just the ISPs are just trying to squeeze the last pennies.

        (I currently have a 1000Mbit/1000Mbit line at home from my apartment block. My

    • Interesting analysis. Don't forget that fiber still has to be laid to the home, unless going with technologies like ADSL2.

      I suspect the current large ISPs will find a way to use this to their advantage - without giving their customers all the speed they can.

    • by jon3k (691256)
      +5 Interesting? How in the world do you people modding this believe that this price includes the cost to deliver last mile to 541 million homes? This is for huge aggregate bundles of fiber laid from point to point. It would cost many orders of magnitude more to deliver it to that many locations. It's not even remotely comparable.
      • by viking80 (697716)

        It is remotely comparable. So maybe it will be 100x the cost for the last mile. That makes 100Mb for a few dollars.

        The point is that bandwidth is not a limited resource like electricity and water with a natural based scarcity, and an economical model based on that.

        The scarcity of bandwidth in the USA is mostly a marketing gimmick to be able to differentiate cost between customers to maximize profit to the detriment of the overall speed of access.

        20Mb/s-50Mb/s is common for basic internet in much of the worl

        • There is an actual limit on available bandwidth: The capacity of the equipment and wiring carrying the data. To increase that capacity requires upgrades. Upgrades cost money. Even when the ISPs are willing to spend the money, the upgrades are done in small increments so as to minimize the "right now" costs. Of course, what Allied is doing only directly reduces the cost of backhaul bandwidth. It is possible some new ISPs could be enabled by this, which would be good. Otherwise its likely just more profit mar

          • by adolf (21054)

            That's not an "actual limit," per se, but just a stepping stone.

            "Actual limits" are things like the speed of light, not the capabilities of some random gear that happens to be installed at an ISP.

        • by jon3k (691256)
          Where did 100x come from? These are just numbers drawn from thin air. Let's use some real numbers at least. For example verizon spent $23 billion [cnet.com] and was offering it to 11 million premises in June 2009 [wikipedia.org] by delivering it to very densely populated metro areas. Now to deliver it to 50x more locations you have to scale that up by a massive amount per-home-passed because as you get to rural areas obviously that number declines rapidly. How fast would be tough to estimate. But even if you scale it linearly y
          • A fiber through a neighborhood drops one 10Gb color per highrise. An edgerouter in the basement connects each of the 36 floors with Gb ethernet. Each floor has GigE routers to 30 apartments.

            Actual cost of installation in a dense urban deployment:
            1km of fiber between each highrise: $60k (This was a shared cost ditch)
            10Gb uplink edgerouter $30k
            1k ports Gig switches: $8k
            In building infrastructure(wiring, power etc: $56k

            total cost for last mile for dense urban deployment per 100Mb customer: $142

            Montly depreciat

          • You have no friggin' idea what you're talking about. 12.7 million *homes* have FIOS. How many households exist in the the US?

            And rural fiber is similar in cost to urban and suburban fiber. http://www.dslprime.com/fiber-news/175-d/1755-cost-of-rural-fibe-tv-1500-dropping [dslprime.com]

            In fact the cheapest place to deploy fiber is in suburban areas, since urban areas are often so densely packed that running fiber into a building becomes a complex task of navigating narrow spaces in existing structures.

  • Heard it all before (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mschuyler (197441) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @06:35PM (#32392480) Homepage Journal

    Remember Level 3? There's a whole lot of dark fiber already in the ground that is obsolete and will never be lit up. Level 3 has conduit and fiber in place all over the globe. Before "The Fall" it was trading near $100 per share. Now it's $1.25. So no, I wouldn't buy stock in this venture.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @06:49PM (#32392626)

      Actually Level 3 is doing OK now (despite the low stock price) but it sure seems like Level3 is already doing what these guys plan to, and in fact I'd be really surprised if new conduits are being laid or if it's just running fiber through Level3 conduits... Level3 even has I think the access points along the cable routes they were describing, since they have to repeat the signal every so often anyway.

      Also 675 million sounds REALLY low to put in a nationwide fiber network, I think Level3 spent more like ten billion...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by chill (34294)

      Well, the first phase of this project is supposed to connect New York to Chicago and Ashburn, VA. Level 3's headquarters in in Ashburn, VA. So, you might be on to something.

      • by Skal Tura (595728) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @08:30PM (#32393400) Homepage

        They still do have to peer with someone for rest of the internet access. Fiber in itself has absolutely no use and value, unless you connect it to hundreds of millions to other devices.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Tim the Gecko (745081)

        Well, the first phase of this project is supposed to connect New York to Chicago and Ashburn, VA. Level 3's headquarters in in Ashburn, VA. So, you might be on to something.

        Level 3 is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado. The locations (NYC, Chicago, and the Dulles Technology Corridor) are three out of the eight or nine metros where North American internet giants interconnect with each other. Others include Atlanta, Dallas, LA and the Bay Area.

      • by timeOday (582209)
        Maybe it's like Motorola's Irridium data satellite network, which was incredibly cool, and expensive, and went out of business promptly upon being launched. End the end some other company bought the assets for a few pennies on the dollar and is able to operate at a profit (last I heard), since they got the network almost for free, courtesy of motorola .com investors.
      • by MiniMike (234881)

        Level 3's headquarters in in Ashburn, VA. So,

        So is MAE East [wikipedia.org], a large Internet Exchange Point.

    • by NuttyBee (90438)

      You are correct!

      Level 3, Qwest, and others have lots of unused fiber (much which may never be used) in conduits that they can light up if they see fit. Right now they may have 160 wavelengths on a pair of fibers, maybe 320 lambdas on the next gen of Infineras. Today the lambdas are OC-192s, tomorrow they will be OC-768s, and then 100G Ethernet. All on the same 2 fibers already in the ground.. And they have lots more than 2 fibers available to expand on.

      Who in their right mind would try to compete with t

      • The incumbents don't want to spend the money to light those fibers. And they don't want to lease access to them to competitors. Allied is willing to take the risk that it can lease access its fibers. The incumbents might be willing to spend the money to lease from Allied if for no other reason than to deny others access to all that bandwidth. Any that the incumbents don't lease is very likely to be leased by others. I think Allied has made a good bet.

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

              Providers are already very happy to lease fiber from each other. It happens all the time. You have to get talking to the right people, but the business dealings with these companies are very incestuous.

    • How does fiber become 'obsolete'? If we're not talking decay due to physical rot or some other abuse, I'm not seeing it.

      A semiconductor fab built 20 or 30 years ago sees obsolescence due to clean-room air-quality standards increasing, but the old fab is still far cleaner than hospital standards -- medical products suppliers are buying/leasing old fabs to convert to their own manufacturing needs. But for fiber to be *obsolete*, there needs to be some technical qualification they no longer meet. What chang

  • Here is the logic. If they are able to roll out as they plan then there will be allot of companies buying back haul from them rather than one of the incumbents. If the CoLo prices are reasonable then even more so. On the other side you would have companies like AT&T looking at them as a target for acquisition since they would be cutting into their high profit customer base and potential future revenue streams as well. They would almost have to or fall under their own weight. Either way the investor
  • Good for Allied! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @08:22PM (#32393340)
    This could go a long way toward reducing costs and improving performance. The FCC or Congress should long ago have required mandatory "open access" leasing of backhaul. In other countries, open access has been directly correlated with lower prices and better performance.
  • 1.- Propose ambitious project for ultra high speed for everybody!
    2.- Rise public funds over promises of open unregulated connection for the nation
    3.- ???
    4.- Profit!

    For 1000pts, guess what is step 3?

    • 3. Either the incumbent stalls the project in court while it sneaks in and builds its own network to preempt the publicly funded one, or the incumbent some how strong arms the government to give the operating contract to it.

  • Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hargrand (1301911)

    More competition is always good for the consumer.

  • Comcast will still own the last mile for 100 million Americans but now their costs will be lower so they can claim higher bandwidth and charge more and then throttle any non-premium customer who uses more than a GB per month!

    No, I am not being funny. Nor is Comcast.

  • Whoever engineered the smaller run alongside the larger one, then decided that anyone who wants access to the system taps into the smaller system, is definitely worth whatever that person makes every year. Keeping the end users off of the backbone itself limits the chance of a misconfiguration taking everything down.

The most delightful day after the one on which you buy a cottage in the country is the one on which you resell it. -- J. Brecheux

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