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Name For a Community-Owned Fiber Network? 253

CleverMonkey writes "I'm a town representative to a newly created municipal group creating a new type of telco. This group has formed to build and operate a FTTH network, and provide both triple-play services and access to other providers, to over 20 mostly rural towns in East-Central Vermont. The project is novel because of the size of the network (a cable pass down every road within 600 square miles), the low-density of the area served, and the public-ownership/private-financing model that is being used. Some of the towns included in this group currently have nothing beyond 14.4 dial-up on a good day. This project began as a grassroots effort in a couple of towns and the name they chose was ECFiber — East-Central Fiber — or sometimes the East-Central Vermont Community Network. We hope that this network will grow beyond one corner of this state, and we would like a name that is both descriptive and flexible. What would you name a community-owned, cutting-edge, G-PON fiber-optic network covering every remote corner of two-dozen contiguous towns?"
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Name For a Community-Owned Fiber Network?

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  • Grassroute! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by penguin king ( 673171 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:10PM (#23050898)
    Reflects the grass roots movement and that you're routing traffic down fibre (grass is a fibre!)
    • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:55PM (#23051232)
      Grassroots Open Access To Serve East-Central Vermont
    • Network guy chiming in here: Grassroute may work with those who pronounce it as "root," but in network terms, it's generally pronounced "rowt" (rhyming with chow, not row).

      I gave up the former pronunciation because of how most people say router. When I try to say "rooter" I think of Roto-Rooter (and then Dirty Jobs). Because of that, I limit the "root" pronunciation of route to highways where router doesn't apply.

      (hmm, reading over the above sounds like a Dr. Seuss book... sorry)
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        I generally pronounce route as "root" when used as a noun, but as "rowt" when used as a verb. Thus, in the case of a router, it's pronounced "rowter" because that's what it does: it routes the packets through the network.

        However, in the case of "Grassroute", it would be pronounced "-root" because it's a noun.
    • It's deadly simple!

      It should be named COFiN.
    • by mcvos ( 645701 )
      The glass fibre network in Amsterdam is simply called "glasvezel Amsterdam", which translates to "glass fibre Amsterdam". Works well enough, so I'd simply call it "glass fibre East-Central Vermont", although I'm sure it'd sound better if you could get it to cover all of Vermont.
  • Easy. (Score:5, Funny)

    by The Ancients ( 626689 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:10PM (#23050902) Homepage

    What would you name a community-owned, cutting-edge, G-PON fiber-optic network covering every remote corner of two-dozen contiguous towns?"


  • Obligatory (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrbcs ( 737902 ) * on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:11PM (#23050912)
    In Alberta, we call that the SuperNet. []

    • In Sweden (Score:4, Interesting)

      by aliquis ( 678370 ) <> on Saturday April 12, 2008 @11:17PM (#23051370) Homepage
      I don't know if it works similair, but here in Ã-rebro/Kumla it's called "StadsnÃt": []

      Simply "Urban network".

      The prices are right atleast, I think you can get 10 mbps for 99 sek = 10.5 euro / 16.65 us dollar.
      • by fluffman86 ( 1006119 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @11:49PM (#23051518) Homepage
        I hate you.

        Need a roomate? :D
        • Re:In Sweden (Score:4, Informative)

          by aliquis ( 678370 ) <> on Sunday April 13, 2008 @12:19AM (#23051652) Homepage
          I don't have stadnat, I still have Bredbandsbolaget.

          100 mbps down / 10 mbps up for 320 sek / month.

          Was 10/10 since feb 2000 or was that 2002? for 200 sek. But then they raised it to 320 sek and offered 100/100 as an alternative for 895 sek or whatever it was with a cap at 300 GB or something and additional payments for each additional 100 GB. Now they don't offer 100/100 longer but 100 down and 10 up for everyone instead.
          But personally I think 320 sek are quite expensive, especially since I don't download much stuff and IRC are dead nowadays which was why I needed it anyway.

          But then again with cable you only get 256 kbps for 99 sek, so that suck. I hate the guy/team/company/university/whatever which invented xDSL, and especially ADSL. Crappy Internet onnections to everyone!! Hurray!

          They should have got fiber to everyone, kill the old copper telephone network, not built any new air broadcasting antennas for digital TV and just run it all over fiber to everyone. DVB looks like shit to begin with, sure it's "sharp", but there are artifacts all over the place.

          And now someone will complain that the Internet aren't good for broadcasting, well, then fix that!

          Fiber to everyone in Sweden was affordable at around 50 billion sek, stupid politicans which didn't took the plunge.

          I have no idea where you live, maybe you could have had fiber in all homes in the USA instead of war in Iraq? ;D
          • by zsau ( 266209 )
            But personally I think 320 sek are quite expensive, especially since I don't download much stuff and IRC are dead nowadays which was why I needed it anyway.

            According to Google, 320 SEK is about 60 AUD. For 100 AUD, I'm getting 1.5 Mbps for 20 GB (upload & download) and 64 kbps thereafter. I would kill for Internet that good and that cheap.
  • ...Skynet?
  • I would call it Bob.
  • by Minwee ( 522556 ) <> on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:15PM (#23050956) Homepage

    I would say CompuGlobalHyperMegaNet [], but it's already taken.

    How about CutCo, EdgeCom or Interslice?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:17PM (#23050968)
    How about this:

    Vermont's Eastern/Rural Independently Zoned Open Network

    I'm sure the name has never been used.
  • I'd call it.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pythor ( 1133919 )
    It envelopes everything and everyone. The Fiber Optic Gateway.
  • That is awesome; what a great idea. Please be sure to keep us posted on what it is you all actually end up doing with all that fibre.

    As for a name I dunno. Why not something simple and Vermonty like "Red Clover Rural?"
  • by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:29PM (#23051058)
    14.4k dial-up, wow... how about mobile broadband? Hey even GPRS is faster than this!
    And when setting up a community network, I'm also quite sure there are reasonably fast and much cheaper wireless solutions. Not necessarily WiFi (but with strategially placed directional antennas that should do quite well too), but maybe even packet radio like solutions?
    Why laying cables in this wireless age in the first place? Cables are expensive to roll out and very hard to upgrade, especially when you are talking about low-density rural areas.
    Or what about wireless connections for the backbone, and only wire the last bits to the homes, assuming clusters of homes that you want to connect?
    • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@b ... u d s o n . c om> on Saturday April 12, 2008 @11:16PM (#23051362) Journal

      Why laying cables in this wireless age in the first place? Cables are expensive to roll out and very hard to upgrade, especially when you are talking about low-density rural areas.

      Fibre isn't affected by rf interference, sunspots, etc.

      Fibre supports much higher speeds, w/o the problems of one person hogging all the bandwidth on an available channel.

      It's now really easy to lay even in built-up areas []

      It's CHEAP!!! [] 12 strands @ $1.30 /foot works out to 11 cents a foot/strand. Even if you only service 12 people with 1000' of the stuff, that works out to $130/person.

      • It's not cheap as soon as you are going to take the digging into account. A 1000 ft trench will easily costs you as much as the $1.30/ft for the cable.
        The summary is talking about 600 sq.mi., and then running fibre along all the roads. Could easily be 500-1000 mile of cable, or 2.5-5 mln ft. That means on cable alone US$3.25-6.5 million. That's not cheap. And this doesn't even take the digging part into account, so double that amount to a nice US$ 5-10 mln. Oh and I didn't take into account the cost of ro
        • It's not cheap as soon as you are going to take the digging into account. A 1000 ft trench will easily costs you as much as the $1.30/ft for the cable.

          They're not digging, they're putting the fiber on existing poles.

          • by grumling ( 94709 )
            Dump truck/garbage truck fade. Backhoe operators tend to be much more careful around fiber optic than copper.

            And why would you price out a 12 count? That wouldn't get you very far, even with creative use of DWDM. Most backbones are built with 288 count bundles minimum. A 12 count might be used as a feeder down the street to feed a few homes, but otherwise there's not much cost savings for low count fibers, except maybe if you expect to splice all of them at once.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nonades ( 1053946 )
      You sir, do not apparently know how Vermont works. We have these things called "Mountains", they block these "signals" you speak of. In most places we're lucky to get cell phone reception (I live in a dead zone a touch south of Rutland).
      • Everything would be OK if people in Vermont lived on top of the hills, but for some reason, they built in the valleys where line of sight is restricted. Once, a number of years ago, I had reason to look into setting up a wireless connection to a rural site in Vermont. I walked up the only accessible ridge and looked around to see what was in line of sight. What I could see was a barn about 400 meters away ... and trees -- about ten thousand trees. We actually could see a tree covered hill about three mi
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Javarrito ( 1272088 )

      14.4k dial-up, wow
      Yeah, I agree, that's blazing. I'm from the North-East Kingdom and I'm still taking my TCP packets to and from the ISP on foot. The bandwidth can be fairly good, but I have some serious latency and I keep timing out for some reason.
      • this is be far the greatest post I've read in at least a month. Speaking as one who started out at 2400 baud, and accidentally connected at 300 baud when personally yelling at an incoming modem, I can relate.

        But hey, just last month my cousin asked me the best way to transfer 4Gb video files (professional movie dubbing work) from Montreal to Toronto and back (~600 Km, ~400 miles), and I had to tell him that driving it would be the fastest way, since none of his clients would be on any kind of ultra-fast co
    • Ignoring the technical issues of wireless, a big problem with the wireless solution is more of a social issue. People don't mind having buried cable lying around, but they really dislike having wireless towers anywhere in their vicinity. So, wireless is often not a practical solution.
  • CommUNITY Network (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ScottCooperDotNet ( 929575 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:32PM (#23051074)
    CommUNITY Network sounds nice, gets the point across, etc.
    • Parents has a great idea plus you can expand with it!

      VERMONT CommUNITY Network:
      Vermont UNITY Network

      Other areas could prefix the UNITY network name and you could someday unite on shared projects under one banner: The UNITY networks (which would be useful as a lobby group since that is the ONLY way to deal with gov.)
  • COFFEE as in Community Owned Fast Fiber Enterprise E-initive ?
  • Fiberoads (Score:3, Funny)

    by CFrankBernard ( 605994 ) <cfrankb AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:36PM (#23051098)
    Fiberoads, take me home
    To the place I belong
    East-Central Vermont, mountain momma
    Take me home, Fiberoads
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:37PM (#23051102)
    If you go with public ownership, you're going to run into the same problems many community wifi projects have run into. Interference from telcos at the state and federal government level. They will be all over you, and you will end up wasting funds fending off legal challenges, and lobbying the state government to not pass legislation that would destroy your project.

    Instead I suggest the cooperative model that has worked for rural electric providers for over fifty years. A cooperative is a corporation that is owned by its customers. Using a cooperative organization will keep the government out, which I think will be essential to your organization's survival.

    Good luck!
    • This is Vermont (Score:4, Informative)

      by FranTaylor ( 164577 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @11:40PM (#23051476)
      Perhaps in California or Florida your argument might make sense, but this is Vermont we are talking about here. I grew up in that part of the country. There is an enormous sense of community spirit that cuts across town and even state (why isn't Hanover in on this?) boundaries. These are very small communities we are talking about here, so this basically IS a cooperative. You can see it in the way they share school systems, mutual aid for fire and ambulance support, snow removal, and the like. The towns already own their own infrastructure for water and sewer, and in some cases they own their own electrical power infrastructure. They do things for themselves and they don't need the feds or Verizon to tell them what to do. Owning and running their own computer network is not a stretch at all.
      • Re:This is Vermont (Score:4, Informative)

        by Telvin_3d ( 855514 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @11:54PM (#23051542)
        the GP is not saying that the community is not capable of this. Or that these people somehow need the government or major telcos help to be able to pull it off.

        The GP is saying that the telcos, through lobbying and lawsuits and other means, are entirely likely to do all they can to CRUSH this effort. They have a history of similar actions. A suggestion was made that being a cooperative might help provide some protection in the legal sense. It wasn't some sort of backhanded way of saying that the communities involved weren't capable of cooperating on their own.
        • Re:This is Vermont (Score:4, Informative)

          by thpr ( 786837 ) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @12:29AM (#23051692)
          While I would generally agree with you, in this particular case, that path has been paved already. The state legislature already took action to make such networks legal. The doubt disappeared when Burlington was tied up in court. The telcos & cable companies lost.

          You can read the case study [], or just go find out more [].

          • Take a lesson from Burlington Telecom, and name each segment for the town it runs through. If you need a name for the higher-level structure, use the name of the county or state: Vermont Broadband sounds nice. Fibre-to-the-home is inherently geographic, so using geographic names makes sense.

      • why isn't Hanover in on this?

        There are NH regs that currently prevent this model. There needs to be an RSA to permit the town to do it, IIRC, due to the way NH power delegation to the towns is structured. Folks are working on it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by witherstaff ( 713820 )

      If you go the co-op route, be sure to have your board stay focused entirely on your original goals.

      Electric Co-Ops end up acting like other private entities, spending money on projects outside of electricity. Wild Blue - the ka band satellite broadband service - received 10s of millions from a collection of co-ops. In turn, Wild Blue is offered - and installed by - these same electric co-ops. What satellite service and electricity have in common is beyond me.

      Let's see, my local co-op not only sells elect

  • iNet
    [The] Technate
    ECV Technate
    [The] Freeway
    Tri-county square route (or whatever instead of tri-)
    IV (Internet Vermont, IV as in intravenous therepy)
    Cybotiks Inc.
    Community Nexus
    Nexus Comm
    LoComm (local community/communications)
    uNet (unit, your 'net, etc.)
  • Too Good... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:38PM (#23051120)
    I'd call it the 2G2BT network. (Too Good To Be True.)

    You don't really think that the incumbent telcos are going to let you survive to complete this, do you?

  • I'd name it coffin.

    Community Owned Fiber Network, or COFN (coffin) for short.

    It fits because it'll be the death of you!

    YMMV - I was not a marketing major.

  • by BeBoxer ( 14448 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @10:42PM (#23051150)
    Pick the acronym first. Then decide what it stands for. Use a 'V', it is Vermont after all. Let's say you go with "VLAN". Vermont Local Access Network. That was easy. Or "VICAR". Vermont Internet and Commodity Access Route. Another easy one. "RAVE". Rural Access for Vermont Enlightenment. See how easy it is? Just remember: Acronym first. Meaning second.
  • CWAN
    Community Wide Area Network. You might go with Community Metropolitan Area Network but that would lend itself to being called c-man... no good.

    Then later, outside of the East-Central Vermont CWAN project, you can add the South-Western Vermont CWAN

    I'd stop short of calling it VCWAN in case McCain starts getting flashbacks.

    Technically Grid or MAN describe what you are trying to make. Metropolitan Area Network is an old term. You could put an F on the front for Fiber, FGrid or FMAN instead of CWAN...

  • Of course that is probably not PC enough so maybe somethings like
    The InterTube
    IP Freely
    or, just
    The Special Internet Group Network Architecture Layer (The SIGNAL)

    OK OK, those are pretty bad, but I applaud your goals and wish you well in your en devour.
  • WOW, they are getting really creative with slashvertisements now a days.

    What would we call it? A rose by any other name.
    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )
      Yeah, because if I was going to advertise a service to a very geographically limited area with about 60k people, Slashdot is the FIRST place I would look to advertise.
      • Of course, you make a good point. Although the article states they will be looking for private financing, all of those financiers will live in that geographically limited area, and they could not benefit in the slightest by raising their public profile. Hell, if something like this worked, then you'd have more people doing it, and they'd probably call them Public Relations people, then abbreviate it to something easy to say like PR. Then those fictitious people would probably create "campaigns".

        But we're sm
    • Re:Hrmmm news? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rfunches ( 800928 ) <thefunch&gmail,com> on Saturday April 12, 2008 @11:57PM (#23051558) Homepage

      Slashvertisement it may be, but it shows just how far some people in the U.S. have to go to get even semi-high-speed networks where they live despite the countless dollars in subsidies given to the telcos for improving network access across the country. Obviously AT&T, Verizon et al. have done so much with the help of subsidies that financiers are trampling each other like gold miners to get in on the Vermont market.

  • by menace3society ( 768451 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @11:03PM (#23051266)
    I would call it IntarWeb, or Interbutts, or some other dumb slang word for the internet, and then go around and sue the pants off everyone that uses it online. This way has three advantages:
    1 - you have a lot of built-in name recognition
    2 - you have an extra revenue stream from suing idiots
    3 - you will force said idiots to stop using at least one dumb slang term, the whole world benefits!
  • Since you are already going to be digging, you should really consider putting down large conduit, much like sewer pipes. Yes, it would be more expensive, but when you are done, you would have the benefit that upgrading would be dramatically simpler. You could also rent out the space to anyone that wants to run their own data lines. While the idea is that you will offer the data lines yourself, having the backup plan of being able to offer citizens multiple data lines from different sources would be a hug
  • H_O_P_E_D (Score:3, Funny)

    by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Saturday April 12, 2008 @11:21PM (#23051388)
    "Home and Office Porn Efficiently Delivered"
  • Out Of Business Soon Fibre
  • or Party Line
  • "Pipe dream"
  • pronounced like sci fi.

    let it stand for Community Internet Fiber or something. Copyright me.
  • What's the name of the local electrical grid? What's the name of the sewer and water system?

    I'm very familiar with the project, and I think it'll best succeed when Internet connectivity is thought of along the above lines.

    Remember, the Internet is just an interconnection of separate networks, so having one big name isn't all that important.

    So, 'Vermont Internet Grid Area 2B' is probably fancy enough. If you want to label the people running it the 'NNE Rural Internet Authority' or something, fine, but Vall
  • Got It! VERmont Independent ZONe.
  • TERA Net? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SlowGenius ( 231663 )
    How about The Eastern Regional Autonomous Network?

    (1) It's a play on Terra (i.e. of the Earth, appropriate for a buried cable)
    (2) I'd guess it's appropriate from a speed context (I don't know for sure, but Tbps speeds seem within reason for a light pipe)
    (3) When Verizon et al hear about this, they'll shit their pants because of the threat that other communities would join in and/or duplicate it. So they WILL come gunning for you on both the regulatory and legislative levels. They'll sow as much FUD as they
    • verizon won't shit their pants... they just sold of their land-line, and ISP operations to FairPoint in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
  • I damn sure wouldn't give a system supposed provide "to over 20 mostly rural towns in East-Central Vermont" a name based on the technical details like "cutting-edge, G-PON fiber-optic network". A tech-based name would be contrary to the nature of the community being served.

    When a medium sized Appalachian town wanted to develop its own service, it named it its "Electronic Village". The fact that Virginia Tech is in that town didn't prevent them from naming it something that fit the town of Blacksburg. In fac
  • Here's the obvious: you mentioned that the community is already calling it "ECFiber". The only difference I might suggest is just calling it ECV instead of just the EC part. Or maybe ECF (?). Whatever you call it, kudos to your community for taking on such a great project!
  • Mixture of optical and boutique, depending on the local community demographic. Or perhaps "Bran Dex" for a generic hi-fibre network. Or "Wire WeHere" if the value proposition is king. Dunno, I'd be happy with "FRED" (an acronym for "ridiculous electronic device").
  • Comfi, for Community Fiber
  • GrassPipe.
  • Community Network Neighborhood.
  • VerCom. Or maybe VtCom. I'd do some work on a logo and see what looks good. then pick the name that works best from among several alternatives.
  • See what I mean?
  • by Torodung ( 31985 ) on Sunday April 13, 2008 @03:58AM (#23052524) Journal
    Name it Metamunicipal: Get your fiber here.

  • ...I'd call the project "Let there be Light".
  • Vermont has colleges, ski resorts like Stowe catering to the northeast, many tourists / skiers from New York, it's 2+ hours from Montreal, and the land and air are fresh enough to raise a family. That's where my sister moved to raise her family and open a restaurant. Ben & Jerry's is there, and Green Mountain Coffee.

    You know they have Vermont Fresh Network, there is a big push to use organic ingredients, and most people get along without fiber. It is mostly extremely annoying to other family members whe
  • If this works, I'd like to know, how, and get a nice detailed report on it.

    I live in rural northern Maine, and I'm lucky to have DSL... There are many many people who are in the same boat as rural vermont, getting 14.4 on a good day.

    I would love to see the same type of arrangement expanded
  • what do you get when you bind a lot of fibers together - Community Linked Optical To the Home.
  • I'd not recommend calling it Fairpoint!

    Seriously, if you build it, and it works, you will likely have success beyond your hopes, as neighboring communities clamor for access...
  • "What would you name a community-owned, cutting-edge, G-PON fiber-optic network covering every remote corner of two-dozen contiguous towns?"


    Lesson Number 1:

    Show some pity for the GIMP.

    Never ask a geek to put a name to your project.

    Lesson Number 2:

    Read Parkinson's Laws.

    You are thinking like a committee.

    Giving your time to the least important question that needs to be asked and answered.

    It is not an unimportant question. It is not an easy question. But it is not the question you should be

  • Breakthrough Overland Optical Network Delivering Optimum Gigabit Grade Local Ethernet.

    Call it BOONDOGGLE for short.

  • Fidonet! []

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler