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12 Russell Senior: Why Publicly Owned Fiber is the Answer to our Broadband Needs


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Today, most broadband services are controlled by large corporations with large, visible advertising campaigns. Those same large corporations have mixed motives, that don't necessarily align with their customers. Furthermore, they are decreasing your options and increasing control of how you can use your internet connections. Newsflash! Low-cost high-capacity bandwidth is only a few miles away from your house or business, and it is high time we have neutral and very high-speed interconnection with those options. Yes, it won't be cheap to build the infrastructure, about a half-billion bucks for Portland. But whoever builds it, we'll pay for it. I'd just like for us to own it after we've paid for it. I'd also like to be able to *use* it after we've paid for it. We have lots of precedents for publicly owned infrastructure: water, sewer, streets, the Bonneville Power Administration. Break the chains of control! Own your future! Demand neutrally-operated super-fast last-mile broadband infrastructure.

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12 Russell Senior: Why Publicly Owned Fiber is the Answer to our Broadband Needs

  1. 1. Why Publicly Owned Fiber is the Answer to our Broadband Needs Russell Senior Secretary Personal Telco Project, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit
  2. 2. Own your networks Wifi as a medium Wifi is nice, but limited
  3. 3. Broadband Needs Faster Cheaper More freedom
  4. 4. The Problem Jumping the Last-Mile Gap
  5. 5. Why Fiber? Capacity Capacity Capacity
  6. 6. Massive Capacity 14 Terabits/second 14,000,000,000,000 dialup: 56,000 dsl: 7,000,000 cable: 15,000,000
  7. 7. What about wireless? Nice for mobility Sucks for capacity
  8. 8. Why public? Because private demonstrably sucks Neutral Non-profit
  9. 9. Incumbent's conflict of interest Higher speeds undercut existing businesses: Comcast (video) Qwest (voice)
  10. 10. Last Mile gives Control Constraints on kinds of usage Dichotomizing producers/consumers
  11. 11. The Internet means we can all be producers Producing is fun Just consuming is boring Be a producer!
  12. 12. Think Streets Neutral Non-profit Accountable
  13. 13. How would it work? Fiber-speed transit to a co-location facility Third parties provide services from there
  14. 14. Non-Discrimination Fiber network is vendor neutral Inexpensive to provide services Many providers, much choice
  15. 15. Financing? Like other utility infrastructure
  16. 16. How much does it cost? City of Portland (passing 284 thousand premises) $450 million
  17. 17. How much per service? Per house/business passed: ~$1k Each service connected: ~$1k Construction costs = about 3 years of Comcast service
  18. 18. User Owned Networks Did I mention there were advantages?
  19. 19. Other places have fiber! In Japan, a 100 Mbps internet connection is $11/month for a year, then $75/month. Other Asian and European cities are building this stuff. We should too!
  20. 20. How to make this happen? Be willing to pay Tell the City Council Support community efforts Russell Senior