Saturday, July 05, 2008

Palo Alto moves forward with open access fiber

After more starts and stops than a dial-up connection, ultra-high-speed broadband Internet may soon be feasible in Palo Alto.

In a new business plan recently submitted to city staff, a group of companies proposed funding and constructing an open network capable of delivering cutting-edge communications, including voice, data and video services.

The city council will review the plan at a study session on Monday and will direct staff later this month whether to move forward with the project.

The new network would have the capability of delivering Internet to residents at a speed of 100 megabits per second. In contrast, a regular broadband service sends out information at a speed of two-tenths of a megabit per second, said Palo Alto resident Bob Harrington, one of three council-appointed citizens advising on the project.

This is the kind of thing I like to see: solid steps toward actually building broadband infrastructure in a public private partnership instead of useless projects by telco-funded nonprofits to study broadband black holes and aggregate demand, as if the latter activity is going to have any influence whatsoever on telcos' broadband depolyment plans. It doesn't as shown by numerous petition drives directed at telcos and cable companies over the past several years by folks who are still waiting in vain for high speed Internet.

Funding these nonprofits are merely cynical PR efforts by the telcos to paper over their sprawling broadband black holes and give the impression they are "concerned" about the lack of broadband access, costing them very little money relative to the real dollars they would have to invest to bring their infrastructures into the modern digital age.

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