If you aren’t on the list of cities Google is considering bringing into its fiber-optic cabal, you’re probably wondering if there are any alternatives. High-speed internet is a necessity for industry, education, innovation and so much more, yet most providers are willing to wait until demand reaches critical mass before they even consider upgrading their networks. That’s why some cities have decided to handle the situation themselves. More →
Homes and business in Los Angeles will soon be living in the digital fast lane. As Ars Technica reports, Los Angeles plans to issue a request for proposals that would build a massive citywide network that would deliver last-mile fiber connectivity to every home and business within the city. The city is projecting that such an ambitious project will cost between $3 billion to $5 billion but will be worth it to attract more businesses to the area that want to take advantage of world-class Internet services. The new fiber network will offer all Los Angeles residents free broadband service that ranges from 2Mbps to 5Mbps that they can then upgrade to different speeds in a tier-based pricing system.
The fiber revolution is slowly but surely rolling across America. In addition to major cities such as Kansas City and Austin, Tex., smaller communities in places such as rural Vermont have also been getting access to fiber networks that offer speeds of up to 1Gbps. And now TwinCities.com reports that the tiny town of Melrose, Minn., with a population of just 4,000 people, will get its own 1Gbps fiber connection through local broadband company Arvig. Unlike Google Fiber, however, Arvig’s gigabit broadband service won’t be affordable for many residents since the company is offering a 1Gbps connection for $300 per month and a 100Mbps connection for $200 a month. The company is also offering a 20Mbps connection for a much more affordable rate of $20 per month, however.
Think Google (GOOG) Fiber is fast? Whatever. Some scientists in Wales are brewing something that’s 2,000 times better. As ISPreview reports, a group of scientists working at the Welsh Bangor University are trying to create “a commercially affordable method of using Optical Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OOFDM) over fibre optic lines, which could deliver broadband ISP speeds that are 2,000 times faster than current services.” What makes this especially cool is that the researchers are gearing this technology specifically toward home and business Internet connections and not toward infrastructure such as undersea cables. Bangor University Professor Jianming Tang said that the new technology will deliver insanely fast speeds while also providing “a guaranteed quality of services at a price that subscribers are currently paying for their current 20Mb/s services, regardless of subscribers’ home location.”
The Fiber Felons? The Cable Crooks? The Manhole Mobsters? Whatever you want to call them, it’s looking more and more like an organized team carried out the fiber optic cable cutting we first discussed yesterday. To recap quickly, after the onset of a severe service outage in Northern California on Thursday, it was discovered that fiber belonging to AT&T had been intentionally severed. The result — landline, internet and cellular outages across the region. Now the plot thickens, as this doesn’t appear to be an isolated incident. Following Thursday’s findings, similar cuts have since been discovered in three additional manholes spanning two cities. That’s no accident. While service has been restored to the area, AT&T means business when it comes to bringing the culprits to justice; the $100,000 reward for information leading to convictions has been upped to $250,000. Many speculate this is the handiwork of some disgruntled ex-employees but so far any theories are just that. With the bounty now at $250k however, it might not be long before the solid leads begin to flow.
[Via Between the Lines]
Fiber optic cables are typically well-protected from damage or anything that would sever them. Early on the morning of April 9th however, fiber optic cables belonging to AT&T were cut and it was no accident. Whoever cut the cables knew exactly where they were going and what they were cutting as equipment was required to lift manhole covers and cut through thickly coated and covered wires. If the vandals responsible for this were targeting AT&T, they must have missed the fact that Verizon and Sprint also relied on those cables and were affected by the damage, too. Landlines, cell phones and Internet connections are affected – including the ability to make 911 emergency calls. A spokesman for AT&T said, “Clearly, we have some vandalism. Someone purposefully and deliberately cut the wires.” No one knows when services will be restored and AT&T is offering $100,000 for information that leads to the conviction of these criminals (you can call (408) 947-7867 or (650) 802-4423 with any information you might have). As of this morning, AT&T reports that services have been restored.