FCC chair Wheeler says fiber companies can't hold 5G hostage

7 September 2016 by Steve Blum
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Backhaul is critical to development of next generation mobile networks, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said in Las Vegas this morning, promising the commission will ensure “that lack of competition in some places cannot be used to hold 5G hostage”.

It doesn’t look like the Federal Communications Commission will be taking up pricing and access regulations for middle mile backhaul in September, though. In what could be his final CTIA keynote as FCC chair, Wheeler promised new rules, but “before the end of this year” and not before the end of the month.… More

Google, Facebook, Microsoft follow Ford's vertical integration path

9 July 2016 by Steve Blum
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Another big, transpacific fiber cable is now lit. Less than two years after it was announced, the FASTER consortium has completed construction of a link between Bandon, Oregon and two landing sites in Japan, with a further extension to Taiwan. The group’s membership includes Google as well as several Asian telecoms companies, including China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI and Singtel. NEC built it.

Google is taking one-sixth of the capacity, 10 terabits per second out of a total of 60 Tbps.… More

Verizon hates copper but still loves glass

25 February 2016 by Steve Blum
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Pennsylvania is the latest state to begin an investigation of the condition of Verizon’s wireline networks. It’s in response to a complaint filed by the Communications Workers of America, the union representing Verizon’s employees. According to the petition

For many years, [Verizon’s Pennsylvania subsidiary] has intentionally failed to maintain its physical plant in non-FiOS areas of the Commonwealth. The state of deterioration is now so advanced that poles are literally falling over, cables are sagging to the ground, animals and insects are infesting broken wiring cabinets…

[Verizon] is failing to provide safe facilities by refusing to 1) replace damaged, bent, and broken poles; 2) repair or replace damaged cross-connect boxes and remote terminals; 3) repair or replace damaged cable; and 4) properly control falling trees and vegetation near its facilities.


Don't put all your fiber in one conduit, study says

4 October 2015 by Steve Blum
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The study shows where to find the main conduit routes in the U.S. Click for more.

A study by four researchers – Ramakrishnan Durairajan, Paul Barford, Joel Sommers and Walter Willinger – comes to the conclusion that the more conduit is shared by different fiber optic network operators, the greater the risk of disruption, essentially due to the fact that one careless backhoe operator can take out several key routes all at once. It’s a counter-argument, they say, to those (such as myself) who push for policies that encourage installing as much and as many fiber strands as possible any time a street is cut open

A striking characteristic of the constructed US long-haul fiber-optic network is a significant amount of observed infrastructure sharing.