Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Municipal broadband - think again

The future is here, so why is Lake Oswego going backwards?  

Fiber wire broadband, strung on poles all over town, by a local company that has never done this before, and making a deal that obligates the city to annual payments for 30 years - payments that will come out of the general fund (city services) if not enough subscribers sign up every year for 30 years .... does this sound like a good idea to you?

It would be surprising if the city could hold onto its minimum number of clients for long - certainly not 30 years.  Wireless internet is being rolled out in some cities - the technology is new and not perfected or widespread, but it won't be too long for improvements that will make wireless broadband the popular choice for internet users.
 Just think - no early 20th-Century overhead wires prone to weather-related outages, no expensive poles and wires to maintain and repair, nor underground infrastructure to install or wires coming into your house.

There are plenty of reasons for municipalities to not compete with private markets to sell services to its citizens, and putting out a poor product with a potential money-losing contract and a newbie provider are big ones.  Perhaps the City Council will exercise its last ditch option  to abandon this fiber wire deal and not sign the contract with this unproven firm in April.  

This deal sounds second rate - not something a smart community would buy into.  Read the letter and article below, and then let your mayor and council know what you think!   There is still time for the city to back away, but the clock is ticking! 

Lake Oswego Review.  
February 4, 2016
Laters to the Editor

Wait For Wireless 

Fiber-to-the-home networks certainly sound enticing: amazingly fast speeds at a reasonable price point. But they are quickly becoming obsolete, and I'd hate to see the City of Lake Oswego invest any money in one.

New wireless 5G networks coming within a couple of years will provide speeds comparable to Google Fiber, and wireless networks don't have to invest in all that expensive fiber

cabling from the central office, laboriously strung across thousands of telephone poles where they're susceptible to fiber cuts and weather issues, ending in complex home demark equipment. Prices will likely be comparable, given the typically small household usage.

In the meantime, current 20-50 Mbps offerings over the existing coax cable network (Comcast, etc.) will tide us over nicely.

Jim Battan

West Linn 

Bloomberg Business
January 27, 2016  By Joshua Brustein 

Aereo Founder Aims Wireless Broadband Service At Cord-Cutters

Chet Kanojia is taking on entrenched players such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Technical challenges abound.

Chet Kanojia is a man who likes to buzz in the ears of the biggest,
most entrenched players he can find. On Wednesday, the founder of the failed Internet television service Aereo launched Starry—a company that aims to replace the wired broadcast access sold by cable and phone companies like 
Time Warner Cable and Verizon with a new type of wireless network.

Use link above to read more.

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