by Lake County News-Chronicle
January 6, 2011 at 3:16 am in Lake County News-Chronicle
The first public shots have been fired by a potential competitor with Lake County’s fiber-to-home phone, television, and Internet service project. Continue Reading
Tags: technology, Two Harbors 7 Comments »
One of the very costly mistakes made in VT was BT’s system architecture. First the equipment behind the fiber is second rate which means it runs a lot slower than it could (8megabit rather than 1gigabit). Second, and this is the really costly part, they tried to run fiber to every house. There’s a big movement now in technology for mobile computing. Nobody wants to be tied down to a â€œcable (fiber or not)â€, just ask your kids. What i’m suggesting is use of radio technologies similar to cell phone architectures. One type is known as WiMAX. The idea is you build the highest speed fiber back-bone (at least 1gigabit) with fiber build out to high volume users such as business’s and various public facilities (and those who are willing to pay to connect). Otherwise you put up equipment similar to cell phone towers but that can probably sit on top of existing telephone poles that would provide wireless access. There are also power line technologies (IBM has it) where you can communicate over existing power lines. The main advantage is there can be very rapid build out. Also providing access for for police, fire, emergency functions. There is already WiMAX like technologies which will run in the gigabit range.
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michael…the whole idea is one of partnership: providers and technologies. Public wireless routers need high speed physical lines as backbones to connect to content providers and the internet most effectively. WiFi works great in populated areas, or wards of the need for expensive physical connections in sparsely populated areas, but users must be in decent unobstructed range of the receiver/transmitter. New 4G cellphone connections can boost the speed of data services on many wireless devices into extremely fast data intensive response arenas, some claims range as much as 10 or more times the current 3G capability. For many PDA and laptop users, this may be mostly all they need for routine activity…in some instances even video downloads like full length movies. This type of connectivity for the average user is probably the real wave of the near future, as speeds and bandwidth capacity with accuracy will continue improving. Providing the best all around access and useage of the technology will require working partnerships. I’m not sure what the County’s original RFP asked for, but it was probably skewed toward a buildout of a non-partnered distribution system. It is no wonder the major providers didn’t respond, if such was the case. Its also no secret, once the infrastructure is built, it will have to pay off its debt and ongoing maintenance/operating costs from subscriber revenues. Given the demographics of both counties, and the income stream proposed by the project managers, and historical information about current provider market penetration and sustainability rates…its also no wonder the major providers didn’t feel confident responding to the RFP. This is a very expensive and risky undertaking requiring exceptional management skills and fiscal accountability. The winds that are blowing lend some suspicion as to whether or not the current proposed project manager, NPB, and its players, can or has delivered with regard these requirements…particularly Mr. Nulty who is the only person with any tangible experience on a previous project of this scope and nature. I can tell you, if Nulty structured Burlington properly from the beginning and had the appropriate management skills, I can see no reason why Burlington would be experiencing the issues it has today. That goes for any chief executive of any well-run organization. With regard to Lake County’s current circumstances, there is an old saying in the business world, “If you yourself don’t know what you are doing, are being pressured to act quickly, don’t have the resources to check out background facts, are told the only reason you need to do it yourself is because not even the established experts can do it properly for you at the right price, and the only reason it is being challenged is because of some unsupportable self-interest on the behalf of the establishment…you better stop and regroup your thoughts.” There are numerous organizations that could replace NPB as project manager, and not cause any issue with the loan, grant or bonding status…in fact, given the circumstances at hand, such action might even improve the project’s chances for success, and reduce the cost exposure!
High frequency wireless systems are entirely dependent upon clear line-of-sight pathways between provider and customer antennas. Obvious interferences like trees and buildings will prevent access to service, but weather conditions like snow and fog will also wreak havoc with connectivity.
An original sales pitch was the ability to serve any customer who was also connected to the electrical distribution grid. The premise being that the same rights-of-way for electrical distribution would serve for fiber optic line distribution. If it is the case that existing power line distribution cables can also carry signal data, that would seem to be a no-brainer for county-wide internet connectivity. The key question in my mind, then, is: can mutiplexing signal data over power distribution lines have the same digital throughput rate and volume capacity as fiber optic lines?
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Hello from Burlington Vermont. As a current resident and former subscriber to Burlington Telecom I would like to advise you to be very carful in how you proceed with this venture. Our Mayor, MR Nulty and others speed their time pointing their stubby little fingers at each other with little about this debacle coming to light.
As you are considering this idea you should know that the FBI, Chittenden County States Attorney Office and a Special Prosecutor are all investing ting Burlington Telecom, a missing 33 million dollars and another 17 million dollars misspent by the City of BTV. I further advise you and especially your elected officials to keep a regular eye on the Burlington Free Press web site or the WCAX web site. Be afraid be very afraid especially if you have an established Progressive form of
You may find this very interesting:
City, former director disagree on Burlington Telecom financials
Much more on Burlington Telecom
Let me see, in one article, Nulty says he only needs $850,000 to connect 22 rural towns with his ECFiber project and make the project profitable, while he was unable to do the same for Burlington, with 1322 houdeholds and 70 businesses, for the now contentious sum of $50 million. In addition, he thinks Lake and St. Louis Counties need a $70 million project he’s perfectly capable of managing to profitability…with perhaps around a maximum of 4800 households and around 250 businesses in Lake County (at close to a 100% signup rate) and perhaps another similar number of households, at best, in St. Louis County as potential users. NPB will need around 80% of Lake County households just to pay off the debt, much less build, maintain and provide content on the proposed system. And, why does anyone think Nulty was miffed there was not enough pressure on Montpelier, VT to join in with Burlington in 2007? The push to bring in Montpelier clearly had to be to set up another source of income with which to begin paying off the funding shortages for Burlington, I would surmise. As it turned out, the Mayor of Montpelier clearly made a wise and financially prudent decision. So, again, why would Lake County continue with Nulty or any of the NPB folks until their capability to deliver is ascertained, and proper business plans and oversight are implemented, and judged reasonable for the demographics of Lake and St. Louis Counties? The business viability and financial projections for what is now on the table with these NPB folks comes more into question with every passing day.
When one looks at the number of articles available on the issues with Burlington Telecom (the second link in “burlingtonvermont’s” comment above), and how far back they go in time (with regard to the published dates of all the articles on the problem), it amazes me the Lake County Board, particularly the project’s biggest supporter Paul Bergman, didn’t do their background research more carefully. It wouldn’t have taken much, what with all the information out there. This is particulalrly disturbing when Commissioner Bergman and others were urged on so many occasions to check these things out in more depth. The commissioners have been fortunate enough to have been given a second chance with the integrity of this project, and I trust they will use that opportunity well!
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