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RE: Locations with no good Internet (was ISP in Johannesburg)

  • From: Crooks, Sam
  • Date: Fri Feb 26 17:51:56 2010

I had good luck getting my dad some form of broadband access in rural
Oregon using a 3g router (Cradlepoint), a Wilson Electronics signal amp
(model 811211), and an outdoor mount high gain antenna.  It's not great,
but considering the alternatives (33.6k dialup for $60/mo or satellite
broadband for $150-$200/mo) it wasn't a bad deal for my dad when you
consider that the dialup ISP + dedicated POTS line cost about as much as
the 5GB 3G data plan does.  

Speed is somewhere between  dialup and Uverse or FIOS.  I get the sense
that it is somewhere in the range of 256 - 512 kbps with high latency
(Dad's not one for much in the way of network performance testing).

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael Sokolov [mailto:msokolov@ivan.Harhan.ORG]
> Sent: Friday, February 26, 2010 3:35 PM
> To:
> Subject: Locations with no good Internet (was ISP in Johannesburg)
> Daniel Senie <> wrote:
> > Better than western Massachusetts, where there's just no
> at =
> > all. Even dialup fails to function over crappy lines.
> Hmm.  Although I've never been to Western MA and hence have no idea
> what
> the telecom situation is like over there, I'm certainly aware of quite
> a
> few places in "first world USA" where DSL is still a fantasy, let
> fiber.
> As a local example, I have a friend in a rural area of Southern
> California who can't get any kind of "high-speed Internet".  I've run
> prequal on her address and it tells me she is 31 kft from the CO.  The
> CO in question has a Covad DSLAM in it, but at 31 kft those rural
> residents' options are limited to either IDSL at 144 kbps (not much
> point in that) or a T1 starting at ~$700/month.  The latter figure is
> typically well out of range for the kind of people who live in such
> places.
> That got me thinking: ISDN/IDSL and T1 can be extended infinitely far
> into the boondocks because those signal formats support repeaters.
> What
> I'm wondering is how can we do the same thing with SDSL - and I mean
> politically rather than technically.  The technical part is easy: some
> COs already have CLECs in them that serve G.shdsl (I've been told that
> NEN does that) and for G.shdsl repeaters are part of the standard
> (searching around shows a few vendors making them); in the case of
> SDSL/2B1Q (Covad and there is no official support for
> repeaters
> and hence no major vendors making such, but I can build such a
> unofficially.
> The difficulty is with the political part, and that's where I'm
> the wisdom of this list.  How would one go about sticking a mid-span
> repeater into an ILEC-owned 31 kft rural loop?  From what I understand
> (someone please correct me if I'm wrong!), when a CLEC orders a loop
> from an ILEC, if it's for a T1 or IDSL, the CLEC actually orders a T1
> or
> ISDN BRI transport from the ILEC rather than a dry pair, and any
> mid-span repeaters or HDSLx converters or the like become the
> responsibility of the ILEC rather than the CLEC, right?
> So how could one extend this model to provide, say, repeatered G.shdsl
> service to far-outlying rural subscribers?  Is there some political
> process (PUC/FCC/etc) by which an ILEC could be forced to allow a
> party to stick a repeater in the middle of their loop?  Or would it
> have
> to work by way of the ILEC providing a G.shdsl transport service to
> CLECs, with the ILEC being responsible for the selection, procurement
> and deployment of repeater hardware?  And what if the ILEC is not
> interested in providing such a service - any PUC/FCC/etc political
> process via which they could be forced to cooperate?
> Things get even more complicated in those locations where the CO has a
> Covad DSLAM in it serving out SDSL/2B1Q, but no other CLEC serving
> G.shdsl.  Even if the ILEC were to provide a G.shdsl transport service
> with repeaters, it wouldn't help with SDSL/2B1Q.  My idea involves
> building a gadget in the form factor of a standard mid-span repeater
> that would function as a converter from SDSL/2B1Q to G.shdsl: if the
> loop calls for one mid-span repeater, stick this gadget in as if it
> were that repeater; if the loop calls for 2 or more repeaters, use my
> gadget as the first "repeater" and then standard G.shdsl repeaters
> after it.  But of course this idea is totally dependent on the ability
> of a third party to stick these devices in the middle of long rural
> loops, perhaps in the place of loading coils which are likely present
> on such loops.
> Any ideas?
> MS

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