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Networking The Internet Technology

Seattle To Get Gigabit Fiber To the Home and Business 108

Posted by samzenpus
from the greased-lightning dept.
symbolset writes "Enthusiasm about Google's Kansas City fiber project is overwhelming. But in the Emerald City, the government doesn't want to wait. They have been stringing fiber throughout the city for years, and today announced a deal with company Gigabit Squared and the University of Washington to serve fiber to 55,000 Seattle homes and businesses with speeds up to a gigabit. The city will lease out the unused fiber, but will not have ownership in the provider nor a relationship with the end customers. The service rollout is planned to complete in 2014. It is the first of 6 planned university area network projects currently planned by Gigabit Squared."
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Seattle To Get Gigabit Fiber To the Home and Business

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  • I for one believe in internet. The internet makes people stupid and shortsighted, which is why I never use it. My secretary and wife Laura handles all my internet usage for me. As internet usage increases, so will moronosity, advancing the day when I shall rule the world! Ha ha ah ha ha ha ahhhhahahaha!!!!

    • by Skapare (16644)

      What the internet is doing is showing people for who and what they really are.

  • Color me unimpressed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:19PM (#42283755)
    I think it is awesome that they are trying to get fiber through out the city but 55,000 is a really really small number. From the math in the article it is going to cost them $3636.37 per residence/business they connect to the network. Any idea how that compares to google's plans in Kansas city cost wise?
    • by Nyder (754090) on Friday December 14, 2012 @12:00AM (#42283993) Journal

      I think it is awesome that they are trying to get fiber through out the city but 55,000 is a really really small number. From the math in the article it is going to cost them $3636.37 per residence/business they connect to the network. Any idea how that compares to google's plans in Kansas city cost wise?

      Seeing as I live in one of those areas, and all i can get it either crappy DSL, evil Comcast Cable, or stupid wifi thingy, I'm pretty cool with this. At least till i see what it's going to cost me monthly. I'm signed up and debating on if i should get involved to get the word out to my neighborhood to sign up to show interest.

      While this may not be enough for you, it's a start.

      • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Friday December 14, 2012 @12:04AM (#42284009)
        Ya it is a start but I'm a bit dubious about the cost and such. Telecom companies are kinda notorious for taking funds that are supposed to be used to improve their networks and connect more customers and pretty much doing very little with it and giving the rest away as bonuses etc.
      • I would be nice to leave comcrud but it looks like I am just shy of the coverage. I think this is awesome though. Even if I end up moving out of the area by the time it gets more coverage this really should be public utility.

      • by cthulhu11 (842924)
        My area isn't included and I don't have LOS to anywhere without a mast on the roof. Not that I expect this to ever be completed and working. Comcast residential has hosed me elsewhere in the past but the *business class* service has worked well for 4.5 years.
    • by Bengie (1121981) on Friday December 14, 2012 @12:28AM (#42284119)
      Google is claiming about $1500/house, which lines up with estimated costs from many other fiber companies.
      • by timeOday (582209) on Friday December 14, 2012 @02:36AM (#42284593)
        I've had Comcast (previously, @home) broadband at my current address for a little over 10 years. Figure $60/mo, that's $7,200. Obviously there will be maintainence and upstream bandwidth costs, but the numbers don't seem so out of line to me, especially with borrowing money being so cheap right now.
      • How about or putting the civilian youth corps to help deploy fiber. We could train them and they can learn a skill.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        I wonder how long they expect that fibre to last? Given a useful lifespan of 50 years that would be $30/year.

      • by mcrbids (148650)

        Wow. $1,500 per house sounds expensive at first, until you compare average cost/benefits analysis. Spread out over 3 years gives you a ROI price of $41.66 per month. (If you charged $41.66 for 3 years, you'd get your money back)

        Spread over 10 years is $12.50/month. Suddenly that's not so expensive, and interest rates are at all time lows. A company with AA+A+A+++ credit should be able to easily support this kind of expense with a 10 year term at 8% or less.

        Investors are SCREAMING for anything "sure" more th

    • There will always be an initial cost, but this is usually paid back in a specied timeframe. My general expectation is that you don't break-even for two years. I also believe that captilism sometimes benefits from a government investment at the right level. In this case the government pays for the general infrastructure, but in doing so allows for competition at the ISP level. Competition prospers, users get choice, business gets to concentrate on service and in general everyone wins.

      I believe in general gov

      • by godefroi (52421)

        Or, you never break even, go bankrupt, and start taking cities out as you collapse:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_Telecommunication_Open_Infrastructure_Agency [wikipedia.org]

        That's how we did it here in Utah. Your mileage may vary.

        • by s73v3r (963317)

          From what it looks like, that project started out great, but then was infected with a bunch of anti-government types who insist on the private sector at all costs, even when it's clear to everyone that the private sector has no interest in doing what needs to be done and is just going to take money to sit on their asses.

        • That might be true here, but choices aren't limited to governments. Bad investors, bad management and bad choices in general can burn any project be it government or private.

    • You think since Microsoft is based out of Washington they would want put there stamp on it and call it Microsoft Fiber just to rain on Google's recent fiber success. See these are the NEWS generating things Microsoft needs to do get themselves into the spot light not that I am a Microsoft fan but you would think someone at Microsoft could think these things.
    • I don't know about KC, but in Boulder, CO the power utility Xcel in 2008 delivered fiber to the curb for every home and business in the city of 100,000 (it was planning to run its smart grid demo over it). But the cost ballooned from $15 million to $45 million just to install the fiber and Xcel abandoned the project not long after the fiber was installed. Now the fiber network is only used to periodically poll meters every few minutes and may go dark entirely if Boulder decides to break away from Xcel (they
  • by soundguy (415780) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:20PM (#42283761) Homepage
    This is perfect. All FTTH/FTTB should be tax supported "infrastructure" instead of run by thieving corporate scumbags. All fibers should terminate in a neighborhood or regional carrier-neutral "meet me" room where anyone with backbone (pun intended) could offer connectivity to any customer just by running a jumper or configuring a switch remotely. Then the customer is free to choose the flavor of thieving corporate scumbag he wants to deal with. Sign me up for a mix of Level 3 and Cogent please!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      What you would find is that the scumbags are being contracted to build/maintain such a network anyways.

      • by organgtool (966989) on Friday December 14, 2012 @10:37AM (#42286513)
        I am fine with the scumbags building and maintaining the network. The problem I have is that our government pays money to the scumbags to build and maintain the network and then allows the scumbags to hold OWNERSHIP of the network. The creation of the network should be a work-for-hire job in which the government pays a company for the materials and the process of assembling those materials into a working network. At all times, those materials and the finished network should remain property of the people just like how we own all of the other parts of our infrastructure. Then our local governments can contract out the maintenance of the network equipment to the company that built the network or other competent companies. If the performance of the company serving the maintenance contract is not up to the satisfaction of the people they serve, then their local government can choose another company after the current contract expires. This system would save us from the current system of regulated monopolies that everyone rightfully hates.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Before you jump for joy for tax financed fiber you should look at how good UTOPIA fiber is doing in Utah. It's a complete disaster mainly because of the garbage pricing plan.

      From TFA: "HOW MUCH WILL GIGABIT SEATTLE COST? Our rates are yet to be finalized..."

      If their pricing plans work out like UTOPIA ($3,000 to install plus $70 a month) I suspect this will have a similar fate. Not everyone can afford that much initial cost and lots of tax dollars will be required to keep it afloat.

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        To counter you, I would look at Chattanooga, TN.

        Just because your project was infected with anti-government types wanting to sabotage it doesn't mean all of them will be.

    • by godefroi (52421)

      Yes, we'll have it be OWNED by thieving government scumbags, and merely OPERATED by thieving corporate scumbags. Sounds like a brilliant plan!

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by epp_b (944299) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:23PM (#42283787)
    I hope this trend spreads so that the incumbent telcos are left only with the choice to either make good on their 200 billion dollar "promise" or go screw themselves.
  • As a former Seattlite, I applaud the city's efforts, and I wonder what this will mean with respect to cost for the end user and competition in the market:
    " The city will lease out the unused fiber, but will not have ownership in the provider nor a relationship with the end customers"

    Can there be multiple lessees along particular routes, or is the whole thing likely to be gobbled up by Comcast or FIOS?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This really should have happened years ago. Centurylink is already upgrading their bandwidth speed in the area. Sure, I'm not going to complain about them going above and pressuring for fiber, but this would have made a much bigger impact several years ago.

  • Communism? (Score:3, Funny)

    by manu0601 (2221348) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:29PM (#42283827)

    Enthusiasm? But isn't that kind of public intervention an horrible communist-like threat to free market?

    Oh, wait, ISP have not yet started their media campaign against the project

    • by fsterman (519061)

      I'm ready for them!

    • by manu0601 (2221348)

      When I posted the above comment, this story had no comment and I was in hope for a first post. Oddly, my comment disapeared after I posted it, and the story remained with no comment. Then it came back after other posted.

      Is there a set of keywords that cause a comment to be spared for review before getting displayed?

  • First they get legalized weed, now this? I really gotta move.
    • by TheLink (130905)
      Maybe the fibre will be paid for by legalized and taxed weed.
  • Not Comcastic! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fsterman (519061) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:40PM (#42283897) Homepage

    YES!!! I have been suffering under the Comcast/Century Link (aka Qwest) for 7 years. Minimal competition means that they only have to maximize profits.

    I love this city: our utilities are clean and environmentally friendly because of a great administration. Although the public transit system isn't as nice as NYC, we are fixing that too.

  • Organize your neighborhood then city and pass a bond you can then defer the cost of capital investment over 30 years. Amazing communism plus capitalism defeating unregulated oligarchies in the free market.

  • by smoothnorman (1670542) on Friday December 14, 2012 @01:21AM (#42284325)
    i've been sitting in seattle, well, since forever... and this is at least the third try at this. comcast the evil monopoly that holds seattle in its death-grip will try everything that was successful at shutting this down and then-some before letting this through. they will start with "incentives" (building computer labs in the schools for example), then move to bribes (there's a hot mayor race coming up. watch if one candidate suddenly gets a zillion in outside funding. "but that's illegal!!" yeah... right), then legal threats like suing for restraint of trade (which have turned the trick before). they may also get federal, using a bribed federal regulatory agency to shut down the endeavor. so as much as i'd love to see this, and might even directly benefit, this ain't going to go down smoothly. this is a fairly fidgety "David" against an massively monetized Goliath.
    • by Nyder (754090)

      i've been sitting in seattle, well, since forever... and this is at least the third try at this. comcast the evil monopoly that holds seattle in its death-grip will try everything that was successful at shutting this down and then-some before letting this through. they will start with "incentives" (building computer labs in the schools for example), then move to bribes (there's a hot mayor race coming up. watch if one candidate suddenly gets a zillion in outside funding. "but that's illegal!!" yeah... right), then legal threats like suing for restraint of trade (which have turned the trick before). they may also get federal, using a bribed federal regulatory agency to shut down the endeavor. so as much as i'd love to see this, and might even directly benefit, this ain't going to go down smoothly. this is a fairly fidgety "David" against an massively monetized Goliath.

      You do know that comcast only covers parts of Seattle, right? I part of where i live, Capital Hill and Beacon Hill don't have Comcast, they have a different cable provider. I tried to find a map of what Comcast covers, but that seems impossible. I did find a map of Fiber Optics in Washtington, from last year and you can see a big void in Seattle:
      http://www.uptun.org/2011/08/29/fiber-optic-coverage-in-seattle/ [uptun.org]

      Seems to me that Comcast should have no say. They had their chance and they didn't do anything

      • Not saying its right, but Comcast, the other Cable Providers, AT&T, Verizon, etc. will probably all join together in suit to shut it down. They've done it before to other municipalities, even where residents paid to have the fibre optic line installed and split between their homes the telecoms industry has suited and gotten judges to shut it down. Its sad, but true.
      • The map you're looking for is here [seattle.gov]. If I remember correctly, yellow is Millenium/Broadstripe/Wave, everything else is Comcast. In shaded areas of the Comcast section, Millenium can wire individual apartment or condo buildings. For example, I live in a Comcast area of Capitol Hill but we only have Millenium in my building, most likely because they offered either the building management or the builder an incentive (e.g., wired the building for cable for free in exchange for a multiyear contract).

        Every time so

  • by Dutchmaan (442553) on Friday December 14, 2012 @01:52AM (#42284449) Homepage
    First legal weed and now this!!! Damn Seattle is becoming a greater place to live!
  • I was offered that several months ago. But the downside is the monthly cost.

  • you paid for the city government to lay dark fiber for years, then they are handing it off to a private company who will gouge you to flicker lights at the ends of it?

    yes I know there is more to it than flickering lights, but I also know the ISP is not going to provide this service for operating cost + small percentage, they will run with it, charge as much as every other fiber service and you footed the bill for their infrastructure, that is "on lease" at a deep discount for might as well be life.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      you paid for the city government to lay dark fiber for years, then they are handing it off to a private company who will gouge you to flicker lights at the ends of it?

      yes I know there is more to it than flickering lights, but I also know the ISP is not going to provide this service for operating cost + small percentage, they will run with it, charge as much as every other fiber service and you footed the bill for their infrastructure, that is "on lease" at a deep discount for might as well be life.

      So what is your solution? We use dial up modems?

      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        quit having government meddle with private network projects? or have them start an ISP for the taxpayers that funded the monorail to nowhere project?

  • I would also like to know how this compares with the deployment costs and deployment methods used by EPB in Chattanooga, TN for their Gigabit network. http://chattanoogagig.com/ [chattanoogagig.com]. I had a 100MB synchronous connection in TN for the same price I pay Comcast for a 20Mb down/ 364kb up link in Seattle area.
  • I wonder who of normal users needs gigabit speeds?

    Are there any usage caps in this cyberhighway paradise?

    • by suutar (1860506)
      depends. Define 'normal'. Remember home businesses, telecommuters, folks who watch a lot of netflix streaming, folks who use dropbox et al for offsite backup of substantial amounts of data, and business ideas that are infeasible right now but could be possible given widespread high bandwidth (3-d hi-def video phone!)
      • by mapkinase (958129)

        >folks who watch a lot of netflix streaming

        You do not need gigabit speed for that. For downloading - that's another story.

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