Muni broadband sucks (was: New minimum speed for US broadband connections)

Yes, this is how I remember it some 4 or so years ago...

Thanks for the clarification.

Mark.

Jim Troutman wrote:

However, with PON, only the provider with the largest share can
win the initial competition, after which there is monopoly.

No. Most of the municipal proposals I see are open access, even with
a PON design.

Private fiber operators are strongly motivated to deploy PON
because PON is designed to make competitions impossible even
if regulators forces the operators to do so, which is why
PON is so popular.

Muni fiber operators deploying PON because it is so pupular
are just dumb stupid.

If the network is not a "one fiber per customer" design, then the
muni network will own the entire GPON/XGS-PON infrastructure (fiber,
splitters and lit electronics).

What if the muni infrastructure is plain PON with 1G ether
switches?

Where is the competition to improve the infrastructure, even
though it is already "broadband"?

Or, even if it is GPON with 10G switches, how can it be
upgraded to 10GPON with 100G switches?

The ISP is just providing bits,
customer service, billing, and maybe the inside install and CPE.

You miss "bps", which is essential to be "broadband".

            Masataka Ohta

As the founder/owner of a private FTTH operator I can say the above is wrong. The only reason we use PON is because it is vastly cheaper to build. It is also more flexible, which might be counter intuitive. I have watched competitors try P2P but it is always a disaster for them. The PON network will finish sooner, require considerably less cabling and ducts, easier to expand with unplanned capacity, can be rerouted when an expected permit fails to go through, and does not require much footprint for active equipment. We have a single road side cabinet, using less than a single square meter, serving an area in excess of 100 square kilometers. In theory GPON can go all the way to 40 km from switch to customer, which would be more than 1000 square km served from one point of presence.

Fiberstrands are not free. In a P2P topology you need to have cabinets with active equipment close to the customers, otherwise you will have huge costs for all that fiber. Your network would also become vulnerable because a fiber cut on a duct with thousands of fiberstrands is not something that gets fixed in a few hours. Huge cables can not easily be rerouted when other construction works require you to do so.

Regards,

Baldur

The incumbent operators and cable companies want nothing to do with these networks because they already have their own. I’ve worked with several smaller regional providers and WISPs that would love to have access to muni networks but the local network muni either won’t allow the access or they price the access at a price point that it’s impossible to be competitive with the muni’s retail side of the house.

-richey

The incumbent operators and cable companies want nothing to do with these networks because they already have their own. I’ve worked with several smaller regional providers and WISPs that would love to have access to muni networks but the local network muni either won’t allow the access or they price the access at a price point that it’s impossible to be competitive with the muni’s retail side of the house.

-richey

As cabling cost is mostly independent of the number of cores in a
cable, as long as enough number of cores for single star are provided,
which means core cost is mostly cabling cost divided by number of
subscribers, single star does not cost so much.

Then, PON, needing large closures for splitters and lengthy drop
cables from the closures, costs a lot cancelling small cost of
using dedicated cores of single star.

On the other hand, if PON is assumed and the number of cores in a
cable is small, core cost for single star will be large and only
one PON operator with the largest share (shortest drop cable from
closures to, e.g. 8 customers) can survive, resulting in monopoly.

            Masataka Ohta

My experience is that people can prove either active-e or pon is the cheapest by changing the in-parameters of the calculation. There are valid concerns/advantages with both and there is no one-size-fits-all.

As cabling cost is mostly independent of the number of cores in a
cable, as long as enough number of cores for single star are provided,
which means core cost is mostly cabling cost divided by number of
subscribers, single star does not cost so much.

Sorry but that claim is completely wrong. Cabling cost scales linearly with the number of cores. A 192 core cable is approximately twice the price of a 96 core cable. Only at very low core count does this break up somewhat. A 12 core cable is still significantly cheaper than 24 cores. A 1 core cable is the same price as 4 cores however.

On top of that, the price to splice is also linearly related to the number of cores to splice. Yes there is the setup time, but then working on 192 cable takes a whole day, requires larger enclosures, requires larger manholes, while we might only need 2 (!) splices to do the same work with GPON.

Then there is the price to the ducting. A 192 core cable requires bigger ducts and plastic is not only expensive, it has recently become scarce. Putting in a 24 core cable in a 10/6 duct is much cheaper than a 192 core cable.

Then, PON, needing large closures for splitters and lengthy drop
cables from the closures, costs a lot cancelling small cost of
using dedicated cores of single star.

Now a splitter can be mounted in a splice enclosure taking up the same space as 12 splices. We use dome shaped water tight enclosures for 96 splices and then we replace one of the splicing trays with the splitters. All of this fits in a handhole about 70 cm long, 60 cm wide and 30 cm deep.

Another operator here instead has the splitters in cabinets with a cabinet for every 50 to 200 passed homes. You could build a P2P network like that, but then you would need power and active equipment in these cabinets.

Not sure what you are talking about with regards to drop cables. The house connection is identical in a GPON and P2P network.

On the other hand, if PON is assumed and the number of cores in a
cable is small, core cost for single star will be large and only
one PON operator with the largest share (shortest drop cable from
closures to, e.g. 8 customers) can survive, resulting in monopoly.

Typically the infrastructure owner runs the PON equipment and resell vlan based access to ISPs.

Regards,

Baldur

In my opinion, if a city is installing a fiber network for other providers to use, they need to plan on active-e only. Let it be up to the providers back at the head end to either plug the individual strands into a switch for active-e or into a splitter for a PON type setup.

Thank you
Travis Garrison

Baldur,

Dude you are just so wrong. You really need to stop guessing at things.

A 192 core cable is approximately twice the price of a 96 core cable

192 doesn’t even really exist in the mass market. The cost of 144 is not double that of 72. 288 is not double the cost of 144. This is accurate as of June 1 2021 from my quotes.

Mikael Abrahamsson wrote:

> My experience is that people can prove either active-e or pon is the
> cheapest by changing the in-parameters of the calculation. There are
> valid concerns/advantages with both and there is no one-size-fits-all.

Indeed, there are people who insist cost of PON were small without
valid reasons. See below for an example.

Baldur Norddahl wrote:

As cabling cost is mostly independent of the number of cores in a
cable, as long as enough number of cores for single star are provided,
which means core cost is mostly cabling cost divided by number of
subscribers, single star does not cost so much.

Sorry but that claim is completely wrong. Cabling cost scales linearly with
the number of cores.

It's *cabling* cost. OK?

A 192 core cable is approximately twice the price of a

Cabling cost means cost including but not limited to cable cost.

Most of cabling cost is cost to lay cables. Backhoe costs.
Space factor of a fiber cable is negligible if you put a
cable into utility tunnels which is wide, especially when
tunnels were used for copper cables of POTS.

Josh Luthman wrote:

> The cost of 144 is not
> double that of 72. 288 is not double the cost of 144.

Yup. When PON was first conceived several tens of years ago, core
cost a lot. But, today...

            Masataka Ohta

Baldur Norddahl wrote:

Sorry but that claim is completely wrong. Cabling cost scales linearly with
the number of cores.

My apology to Masataka Ohta for my too strong wording by calling you wrong. The moderators put me in place. I wanted to say I disagree with the claim.

Most of cabling cost is cost to lay cables. Backhoe costs.
Space factor of a fiber cable is negligible if you put a
cable into utility tunnels which is wide, especially when
tunnels were used for copper cables of POTS.

It is true that trenching costs are higher than the cables themselves. But that does not mean the cables are cheap and that it is an insignificant cost. Cables + duct is about 20% of our cost to lay down the network. Not having huts with active equipment spread all around is also a huge cost saving that can not be ignored.

The cost of 144 is not
double that of 72. 288 is not double the cost of 144.

Yup. When PON was first conceived several tens of years ago, core
cost a lot. But, today…

I should point out that I probably buy more cable than most. The exact pricing is of course not public, but lets say a core cost somewhere between 1 to 2 USD cents per meter. Then you simply multiply up to get an approximate price of the cable. Holds true for cables with more than about 12 cores. This is because with larger cables the cost of the cores dominate the price of the cable. When you buy as much as we do, you do not really get a huge rebate for buying more cores in a single cable - we already buy insane amounts of core - it is just distributed in more cables.

The moderator is right in that we do not seem to progress much here in this discussion. So lets agree to disagree. But let me get this closing comment in anyway… the guy that actually builds PON networks says he does so, because it is significantly cheaper. We have no other motivations as our network is not open to third parties in any case. Our motivation is to stay profitable.

Regards,

Baldur

All I’m going to say is at $5/foot for fiber, even if it’s 864 count, you are royally overpaying for material!

Baldur Norddahl wrote:

Sorry but that claim is completely wrong. Cabling cost scales linearly

with

the number of cores.

My apology to Masataka Ohta for my too strong wording by calling you wrong.
The moderators put me in place. I wanted to say I disagree with the claim.

I rather thank you for your very strong statements with so obviously
wrong reasoning, as it is trivially easy for me and, as you can see,
other participants of the list to argue against.

It is true that trenching costs are higher than the cables themselves. But
that does not mean the cables are cheap and that it is an
insignificant cost. Cables + duct is about 20% of our cost to lay down the
network.

"Cables + duct is about 20%"???

Are you saying reduction of 20% of cost of single star by PON
matters if duct cost of PON, which is as significant as that
of single star, could be ignored?

Maybe. it could actually be 20% of cost reduction, if, in addition,
cost of complicated closure and unnecessarily lengthy drop cable
cost of PON could be ignored.

So?

Not having huts with active equipment spread all around is also a
huge cost saving that can not be ignored.

Are you saying single star has "huts with active equipment"?

The reality is that reach of single star without active relays
is a lot longer than that of PON, because single star does not
use splitters, which is lossy.

With a fiber of 0.2dB/km loss, 9dB loss inherent to 8 way
splitter of PON means 45km less reach.

I should point out that I probably buy more cable than most. The exact
pricing is of course not public, but lets say a core cost somewhere between
1 to 2 USD cents per meter. Then

When? 50 years ago?

              Masataka Ohta