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« Southeast of Eden | Main | Kind of a big deal after all »

Mar 05, 2010


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Ross Myers

It was a nice article. Some possible points of discussion....

"...a city willing to make major ordinance concessions to ease access to city-owned rights-of-way (a majority of the cost of laying fiber is in obtaining rights-of-way and digging, rather than in the network itself)"

How much should we charge Google for right of way to fish their fiber through our sewer system? It could save them a lot of digging.

"Analyst estimates vary on what it will cost Google to build the network, but most seem to fall in the $500 million to $750 million range – far more than it would cost experienced network operators to wire a city using less cutting-edge technology. At that price point, a few million from a city is a paperwork hurdle rather than a help. Google may take incentives, but it's unlikely to base its siting decision on them."

How much would this scenario cost: include Google laying “middle mile” backbone, establish the needed WiMax transmitting locations, devour a chunk of the wireless market and sell end mile fiber connections to the end mile user.... One at a time?

Subtract that total from $750 million and it might give us a idea of where to start in the negotiations of what access to our sewers may be worth.


Ross wrote: "How much should we charge Google for right of way to fish their fiber through our sewer system? It could save them a lot of digging."

Dumbest idea I've ever heard for the following reasons:
1. From time to time workers will have to go in to the sewers to work on the cables. Do you really think high paid technicians are going to consider crawling into sewers for a living? Hell fire, even plumbers refuse to crawl into sewers.

2. Sewers contain vast amounts of toxic and explosive methane gas.

3. The hardware necessary to hold the cables in place would snag the "stuff" floating down the sewers and cause sewer clogs.

4. Sewers must be cleaned from time to time and the cleaning of sewers is done with huge truck mounted augers that cut their way through everything in the sewer-- even tree roots, trash and fiber optic cables.

Apparently, Ross has spent too many years huffing paint fumes.

Crawl back in your hole, Ross, you're no help to the cause.

Ross Myers



Ed Cone

90 seconds on Google shows sewers are being used to run cable.

Don't know if it's the way to go here, but it doesn't seem to be a dumb idea at all.

No need for personal sniping, either. Thnx.

Jim Caserta

While I disagree with running lines in the sewers, it's just a comment on a local-focused blog. Ross, I think GOOG will go the traditional either from street poles or through the lawn route to get the fiber-to-the-home. There are lots of major connections from your home to the street - electricity, phone, cable, gas - and none run through the sewers. I would imagine if that were feasible, someone would have tried it by now. Construction professionals' opinions on costs of laying cable/fiber are definitely useful.

I would imagine the cost of digging + cable + cable-installation is more than the initial right of way access, and I also imagine that there is some per-month access cost to the right-of-way that might be a bigger consideration.

Jim Caserta

Ross - I think that sewer idea is for more mid-teir, not to the home access. This is not a straw-man for WiMAX. Imagine 10 homes getting full stream video, three TV's per home - ain't gonna happen. WiMAX is a near-term, outside the home solution - fiber-to-the-home is the future, everywhere. Mid-teir, thru-sewer is a serious possibility. The folks at google are bright, sewers are ubiquituous, and like my dad would tell me, "do you think you're the first person to think of that?" The folks at google are creative, and would want to hear out-of-the-box ideas from local leaders.

Brainstorming like this is a lot more productive than renaming the city...

Ross Myers

Hi Jim...Google needs to reach those poles and lawns (either through existing fiber networks or by laying their own) my suggestion is more focused on the possibilities of running fiber cable through the "middle mile" sewer infrastructure of our City.

I agree that once they figure out how to get there GOOG will probably "go the traditional either from street poles or through the lawn route to get the fiber-to-the-home."

Ross Myers

Jim, your second comment went up as I was responding to your first.

The wireless VOIP market is poised for the plucking. I find it hard to believe that any business plan looking at deploying mass communication infrastructure would leave it the table.

There are a lot more cell phone and PDAs in our City than there are homes.

Jim Caserta

LOL. Good thoughts. It is a cool development, and I would love to be on the GOOG dev. team rolling it.

Pole to pole, they need to lay new fiber, whether digging new holes or using sewers. "Pole" to home will be holes in the ground.

It would be good to consider where we were 12 months ago. Dow 6600, economy really bottoming out. Now we're talking about a potential $500M investment in a mid-sized city! That is 10X the Grasshopper's or Dash stadiums. I don't expect things to get back to where they were, ever, but, now, I see some shoots coming through.


Nice article by Paul C Clark...... if that is his real name.

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