Building A Fiber Network
Tuesday, March 8th at 6:30 pm
Unfortunately we had a last minute cancellation from David Russell
Why are so many communities bypassing incumbent service providers to develop their own networks?
The growth in municipal broadband networks is primarily being driven by communities that are unable to get their incumbents to invest in adequate broadband, these are usually referenced as unserved or underserved communities.
What if access to [services like Netflix, Uber, and Spotify] came baked into the network itself, like email or a Web page, protocol-to-protocol rather than company-to-company? And what if these relationships were all managed autonomously by high-order math running on distributed computing engines, beyond the control of any one individual or organization?
In the United States broadband is both more expensive and slower at the same time. And this is mostly due to government policy as Susan Crawford writes in Captive Audience:
Instead of ensuring that everyone in America can compete in a global economy, instead of narrowing the divide between rich and poor, instead of supporting competitive free markets for American inventions that use information—instead, that is, of ensuring that America will lead the world in the information age—U.S. politicians have chosen to keep Comcast and its fellow giants happy.
According to a report, the average cable bill today is $99.10 which is a 39% increase from 2010 when customers were paying $71.24 a month. That’s almost 4 times the rate of inflation during that period of time.
According to the Federal Communication Commission’s most recent cable TV prices report, published in December 2014, the average price for “basic expanded cable service” — the most popular subscription among cable customers — is $66.61. In 1995, it was $22.35. That’s an average price increase of 5.9 percent each year for the past 19 years. The average U.S. inflation rate in that same time frame was 2.3 percent.
The price of basic expanded cable has increased more than 2.5 times the rate of inflation from 1995 to 2014.
Other technologies that we are exploring:
The future of mobile phones systems (see 52 second video below).
These hardware experiments, and the measurement campaigns in Austin and New York City, have convinced us that millimeter-wave cellular communication will be not just feasible but revolutionary.
The Metro Open Network is a non-profit created to build an open-access fiber network in the unserved and underserved parts of the New York City Metropolitan Area.
According to a New York Times article, the United States ranks in 14th place behind countries like Sweden, Japan, South Korea, Romania and Macau in fiber connectivity. The fastest are in countries where the government has paid for fiber upgrades. But in the United States it has been left to cable and telecom companies, which have been slow to make the investment.
If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas, like Chicago, have been labeled felons for life. These men are part of a growing undercaste — not class, caste – a group of people who are permanently relegated, by law, to an inferior second-class status. They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits — much as their grandparents and great-grandparents once were during the Jim Crow era.
~ Michelle Alexander