Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Ongoing thoughts about internet access

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking over the years about solving the rural internet gap. The ability to make it possible is mostly limited by the “bootstrap” costs necessary.

Would you be willing to pay a $1000 install fee, and $50/month for internet access?

Would you support a ‘neutral’ last-mile provider of an “internet” pipe to your home, allowing you to select from a set of ISPs that can utilize that link for various services (eg: TV, VOIP)?

Building the next generation residental internet

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Michigan is currently stuck in a backwater of internet access. There are parts that just managed to get basic telephone service in recent months (eg: Don’t Get Mad, Get ILEC) and the local consumers are stuck. If there is any area of sparse population you pass, that’s likely the firewall for real internet access.

Currently AT&T, Comcast and other providers are unwilling to step-up and invest in the infrastructure to capture these consumers. Local activities have been started, such as municipal/county and other wireless projects, but the unlicensed bands these utilize are blocked by trees and their leaves.

Getting the current generation of technology installed is going to require real effort on the part of consumers. Would you be willing to use a shovel to save costs? In norway you can get fiber to your home, and save $400 in installation fees by digging yourself [Dig your own trench, save $400]. With spools of fiber cheap (eg: 2km fiber for $150) this means the largest part of the expense is conduit and digging. Even the equipment runs around $200 for each end.

If you are in Washtenaw County and interested in solving this divide, I’m interested in hearing from you. If you are elsewhere in Michigan, please tell about what you’ve done to solve these challenges. It’s time to create a solution instead of living with 1970’s technology.