Telecom Plan Raises Questions About Future Internet Service | Vermont Public Radio: “It’s shortsighted to make that investment in technology that can’t go the whole nine yards,” says Irv Thomae, chairman of the governing board of ECFiber, which currently serves 800 customers in six central Vermont towns.
Thomae says the draft plan doesn’t represent a commitment to the Legislature’s goal.
“If the Telecom Plan says we aren’t to take the 100 Mbps seriously, then we aren’t going to take it seriously,” he says.
Thomae says state funded "dark fiber" projects constructed by the Vermont Telecommunications Authority should be the model for reaching the 2014 goal. These projects enable service providers to lease space and compete for customers.
Thomae says the state should raise money through the sale of bonds to finance an extensive dark fiber system.
Thomae raises a key issue on U.S. telecom infrastructure planning and financing policy. The nation is at an inflection point where the service line extensions of the legacy telephone and cable companies have gone about as far as they can within their business models in terms of making landline Internet service accessible to all American homes and businesses. And possessing the capacity to deliver the bandwidth that will be needed going forward as bandwidth demand doubles every couple of years or so, consistent with Moore's Law on microprocessor development.
Vermont's situation is a metaphor for the United States as a whole and points to the need for greatly expanded public sector financing capacity for this infrastructure that's as critical to the 21st century as highways and electricity were to the 20th.