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The Internet Canada Communications Networking

Small Town Builds Its Own Gigabyte Network; Cost To Citizens $57/month 269

Posted by Soulskill
from the grassroots-gigabit dept.
An anonymous reader writes "On Thursday, the board of O-Net gave approval for residents to get access to [full gigabit bandwidth] for the same price that they currently pay for a guaranteed download speed of 100 megabits per second — $57 to $90 a month, depending on whether they have bundled their internet with TV and phone service. ... the town realized that it couldn't attract technology-based businesses and that bandwidth was a challenge even to ordinary businesses. It came up with a plan — it would install a fibre network throughout the town that would connect to the larger inter-community network being built by the government at that time — the Alberta Supernet."
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Small Town Builds Its Own Gigabyte Network; Cost To Citizens $57/month

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  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday July 19, 2013 @03:14PM (#44330985) Homepage

    Headline says gigabyte network, then the summary says gigabit. Finally, it turns out it's 100mbps.

    By the time you finish reading this comment it will be 56k.

    • by DarkFencer (260473) on Friday July 19, 2013 @03:20PM (#44331053)

      for the same price that they currently pay for a guaranteed download speed of 100 megabits per second

      The 100 megabit figure is what they currently have, not the new network.

      The summary is right, but the subject (gigabyte vs gigabit) is wrong.

      • by Xicor (2738029)
        lol i feel really upset that a small town like that gets 100megabits per second for only 57 dollars a month... in dallas texas, 57 dollars a month will get you max 10 megabits
      • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

        The summary is right, but the subject (gigabyte vs gigabit) is wrong.

        Perhaps they are using a Linux box with a Gigabyte motherboard as a firewall.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No it doesn't, it clearly states that they will receive 1000mbps for the same price as they currently pay for 100mbps.

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Friday July 19, 2013 @03:15PM (#44330995) Journal

    Canada.. figures.... Do that in the states and get sued into bankruptcy.

    • by firex726 (1188453)

      Actually you don't even need to get sued; the big ISPs in some states have lobbied for laws that disallow municipal internet after one town successfully set up a network, because I think Comcast basically refused to provide them adequate service.

  • by decipher_saint (72686) on Friday July 19, 2013 @03:16PM (#44331009) Homepage

    Olds, Alberta
    (Population eight thousand)

    Getting high speed internet in Alberta anywhere outside a larger population centre has been virtually impossible, so it's interesting to see rural towns take the problem by the horns on their own with success.

    • by dimeglio (456244)
      There were delays in laying out the fibre but once they were shown all the pr0n they could get with 1gb, it motivated those workers to get it done quickly.
    • Offering gigabit to endpoints isn't that hard. Gig Ethernet is cheap these days, GPON is likewise cheap for metro type situations. However, you can hook all the endpoints up at gig but if your backhaul to other providers isn't good, then it doesn't matter. You can have "gigabit" but only to other nodes on the network.

      So that'll be the real question is what kind of bandwidth they can buy to hook this network up to. That'll determine if it is really fast internet to homes and businesses or just a big LAN with

    • Getting high speed internet in Alberta anywhere outside a larger population centre has been virtually impossible, so it's interesting to see rural towns take the problem by the horns on their own with success.

      Considering this is only possible by them jacking into the (expensive, very slow to actually roll out, many years in the making) provincial government's Supernet project, I really don't think it's a case of "rural towns tak[ing] the problem by the horns on their own".

      • Getting the link was the key yes, however this should serve as a model for other towns that want to get connected via Supernet.

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Friday July 19, 2013 @03:20PM (#44331071)

    why can't we have something like that is usa?

    • by Jawnn (445279)

      why can't we have something like that is usa?

      You can. So stop whining and buy some Congressmen. If the telco's can do it, B.F. KS can do it. Right?

  • Alberta Residents Complain About Internet Content Filtering Plan

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mvdwege (243851)

      Right, with a market solution you are at least sure of not filtering....Oh wait. [slashdot.org]

      Fucking libertards who always drag in their fairy-tales when this comes up. Move out of your Mom's basement into the real world, and until you do, shut up while the adults talk, OK?

      • Yeah, and if you're upset tumblr did that you can go to flickr. Or photobucket. Or DeviantArt. Or imgur. Or...

        If the municipal ISP starts filtering, you're pretty much SOL.

      • by thaylin (555395)
        Wait, huh? It would be the repubes who would argue with a market solution you are sure of not filtering, not the libtards.
  • From TFA.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19, 2013 @03:25PM (#44331145)

    "Because we're a community-owned project we get to balance out profitability versus what's best for the community."

    I'm from America, so could someone please explain to me what that last part of the sentence means. Does it have to do with Q4 fiscal projections, or stocks, or something else? I just don't understand what this whole "community" thing is.

    • by thaylin (555395)
      It means as a business you get to give as much in campaign contributions, since it is best for your community.
    • by PPH (736903)
      Its the basis of socialism: The needs of the collective over those of the individuals.
  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Friday July 19, 2013 @03:28PM (#44331181)

    I'd still rather pay 5.70$ for 100 megabits, which would still 20 times faster than my current connection at nearly 40$ per month. Gotta love monopolies in small towns.

    • by neminem (561346)

      It's about 20 times after than my current connection at 50 dollars a month, too (which, granted, also comes with a phone landline we didn't want, and aren't allowed to not pay for). Small town not required: I live in LA county, in one of the top 50 most populous cities in the US (though really, LA county is just one giant city anyway, certainly as far as laying cables would go.)

  • Lots of unused fiber (Score:5, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) on Friday July 19, 2013 @03:28PM (#44331189)

    There are lots of towns in the US, big and small. that have un-used fiber laying around, which was installed the last time they ripped up their streets for remodel, or which was built into subdivisions as a conditions of their permitting process. Most of this is used to tie a few buildings public buildings together, or (an a sad number of cases) not used at all.

    There entire counties that have fiber running to every minor town. (Google county fiber network = 14 million hits).

    Most of these towns don't have fiber running everywhere. So turning it on ind the downtown core is often avoided simply because it will cause a clamor for fiber everywhere from the rest of the tax payers. Some of it has been in the ground so long nobody knows if it works or not. Since it wasn't being used, in some cities it has been damaged by construction and nobody was even aware of it. Some towns are putting up FREE PUBLIC WIFI, using their fiber. And almost as soon as it is turned on the "won't somebody think of the children" crowd shows up demanding censorship. There are a lot of political land mines to dodge when putting this stuff to use. So far too much of it sits idle.

  • Ashland, OR (Score:4, Informative)

    by curunir (98273) * on Friday July 19, 2013 @04:22PM (#44331797) Homepage Journal

    Ashland, Oregon did this [ashlandfiber.net] many years ago. From what I've heard from people that live there, it's worked out well.

  • by Tom (822) on Friday July 19, 2013 @05:07PM (#44332319) Homepage Journal

    Surprise, people with a common interest banding together and pooling their resources to make it happen is a model that can actually work.

    Thinking about it, that's how corporations originally got started. You know, before they turned into immortal international government-corruption special interest lobby groups.

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