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FCC proposal could streamline installation of new fiber internet

By Greg S ยท 15 replies
Jul 16, 2018
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  1. Even though the United States is a technological leader in many regards, widespread availability of gigabit internet carried over fiber optic lines is lacking. Last mile installation costs and bureaucratic policies imposed make it impractical to deploy fiber outside of the most densely populated areas.

    Due to the high costs of last mile fiber installation, Google Fiber became the first internet service provider to launch wireless gigabit service. As it turns out, obtaining access to utility poles for cable installation is extremely time consuming and difficult since the majority of other utility companies must acknowledge when their installed cables need to be moved or adjusted.

    For companies in the midst of deploying fiber, several trips must be made out to utility poles before any real work can be done. A new proposal from the FCC could eliminate numerous required trips and establish a "one-touch make-ready" system. Changes could allow any company to make necessary changes to wires on a utility pole without waiting for third-parties to make the changes themselves.

    Broadband deployment could be rapidly accelerated by opening the doors on new installations. There are a handful of common sense rules that go along with the proposal that require safety and reliability to be taken into consideration when moving cables belonging to other service providers.

    In addition to removing many restrictions that currently apply to service providers, the FCC plans to preempt state and local laws in the event of a crisis. Should a natural disaster or other widespread event that causes an outage occur, the FCC will review rebuilding and restoration requests on a case-by-case basis to allow expedited repairs to be made without wading through seas of red tape.

    You can read the full FCC proposal and take a look at all of the potential improvements that could be made.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 4,067   +1,190

    Just possibly...COMPETITION!!
    Lurker101 and psycros like this.
  3. Jeff Re

    Jeff Re TS Addict Posts: 151   +115

    Because no company would ever "accidentally" mess up someone else's line. Heck the companies can't even keep from messing up their own lines. I've never seen the phone company get anything fixed in less than three trips and most of the time you're lucky to get a 50% fix.
    madboyv1 and psycros like this.
  4. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,000   +2,295

    You mean to tell me that the Time Warner rep that I once spoke to about a mistake they made was wrong when he told me "We don't make mistakes"? I never would have figured that out. /sarcasm

    I can just imagine installers getting electrocuted. Nah, that will never happen.

    And the FCC treading on states' rights? WTF? What party is Pai from?
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,400   +3,789

    He missed the biggest issue of all. In many states the utility pole is "owned" by the first utility to use it or claim it and the company or service that wants to attach to that pole must get the permission of the "owner". When it comes to fiber there is a competitive issue since AT&T or Bell South tends to own most poles, particularly those strategically placed. In Nashville, AT&T made it so difficult that Google gave up their project in install fiber throughout the city. Regardless of the FCC ruling, it does not trump (please excuse the pun) States Rights so the issue is far from resolved and will no doubt be tied up in the courts for the next decade, if not longer.

    Also is the issue of local governments (city & county) granting sole source contracts to a number of cable companies which eliminates "like service" contracts. This non-competitive practice would need to also be defeated in advance or again, more time in the courts and if it's in State Court, the changes of getting a change is going to be very slim .....
  6. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,213   +671

    But if there isn't a clearer case of eminent domain, I don't know what else is. The poles are usually installed on/in sidewalks and medians (public land), are nearly always paid for with government money (especially the oldest ones), and its in the public interest to update them. Seize a couple poles first few times AT&T or Bell south try to get smart, and they'll get the message pretty quickly.
    psycros likes this.
  7. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,833   +679

    It's not the FCC it's all the providers
  8. loki1944

    loki1944 TS Addict Posts: 156   +92

    I doubt anything will change for rural areas, nothing much (if anything) was done in the past despite FCC promises and even rural homes within 2 miles of towns with fiber cannot get modern DSL or are forced to use criminally data capped cell providers like Verizon or satellite such as Hughesnet. I'm willing to bet rural America will not get taken care of within the next 20 years at least (if ever) unless the FCC and state governments step in to help (not just bs talking).
    psycros likes this.
  9. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 734   +566

    Unless there are strict guidelines of wire layouts and standards of adding and insulating them along with all of the pre-existing installs, then I can see this causing outages or issues for existing infrastructure. The installers need to be far more technically trained. There also needs to be excellent communication of where and what is being added/moved. This will help outage/issue troubleshooting and some kind of standard documentation.
    madboyv1 likes this.
  10. gamerk2

    gamerk2 TS Maniac Posts: 260   +161

    You know what? Too bad for them. We tried to push ISPs to upgrade their networks, and the representatives these states sent to Congress whined and complained and got the higher standards neutered.

    This is what they wanted; sucks to be them.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  11. Sochsun

    Sochsun TS Rookie

    So I'm a project manager for a fibre installation company in Canada, and this is the biggest problem in the areas we work in aerially. Since the utility owns the pole, we submit a design for usage, and depending on the work that needs to be done, it can take a few months to get an approved drawing back so we can start placing the cable.

    The biggest issue is that the utilities are not keeping up their "plant", so poles need to be replaced, anchors/downguys need to be added so proper strand tension is maintained, or spacing between power/utilities/other telecoms need to be adjusted. And most of the delay comes from the utility being pushed by a telecom to do one area, so they make a big adjustment to the whole area or wirecenter when it comes instead of doing the work they should be doing over the last 20-30 years to keep the plant within code.

    We've had whole 10,000 home projects stall because the utility deems an area needs a bunch of work, and we work piecemeal as they finish a particular small area within the wirecenter. So with this proposal in the USA, yeah, they can maybe cut down on the pole visits, but at the end of the day the Owner/Utility still has control over their poles, the work/spacing still needs to be brought up to modern standards, and the wheel of bureaucracy can still afflict it.
    madboyv1 and wiyosaya like this.
  12. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,467   +639

    The fix is to make all the poles government owned then only allow company to rent space on them. If they had a system in place like this for internet things wouldn't be the mess that it is now.
    Sochsun and ShagnWagn like this.
  13. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,717   +2,517

    WTF are you talking about? Who is this "we" that supposedly pushed for better rural broadband access? The city dwellers who enjoy multiple options and couldn't give a rat's *** about the people who live a few miles past where the sidewalk ends? Absolutely NO ONE in the private sector or any kind of advocacy group has ever spoke up for the 20% of Americans who've been repeatedly screwed over by the usual suspects in Big Telecom. Even if your statement had been marginally coherent it still wouldn't have made any sense.
    loki1944 likes this.
  14. Sochsun

    Sochsun TS Rookie

    Well that's precisely the problem, all the poles used to be owned by government or corporations owned by the government/public. Massive de-regulation in the 80's as governments unloaded the utilities to private corps or independent businesses caused the current situation, and you know what they said when that maintenance cycle came up? "We'll let it ride as long as possible before we do anything, we don't like spending money. Also don't touch our stuff."

    And in some cases I've dealt with before, when a telecom comes to a utility provider, if work is outside of a scheduled cycle of check/upgrade, they'll charge the utility for the work. Causes the project to go sideways until something can be worked out.
  15. roberthi

    roberthi TS Addict Posts: 406   +124

    Stop thinking 2-dimensionally. Google's got it right. Go wireless.
  16. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,000   +2,295

    That might happen with 5G.

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