Foul Fiber Fiction

December 11, 2015

cracked2Heavy rain‘ forecast for this early Friday on California’s north coast, and indeed, all morning on-and-off deluges –accordingly, we’ve already nearly two-inches in rainfall so far off this system.

Nice to pluck weather information from the InterWebs — however, this week a shitload of local people, including some government agencies of Humboldt County, lost Internet due to an AT&T fiber line being inadvertently cut by a CalTrans work crew cleaning a storm drain.

The company subsequently repaired the line, and seemingly all’s well that ends well — Lost Coast Outpost from Wednesday has the details. I’ve a shitty history with AT&T, still owe them money from nearly a decade ago — they never allowed me to remove AOL from my phone bill, a financial monkey on the back of sanity.
Anyway, this morning I spied a related news story, and how AT&T is bullshitting about developing Internet access nationally, and apparently lying about it.

Just as AT&T’s customers up here were getting whacked, the company was ‘deploying gigabit fiber to 38 more markets, bringing the grand total of its gigabit fiber deployment to an amazing 56 total metro markets,’ and it’s all full of shit.
Details yesterday from TechDirt:

Note a few things about the announcement, however.
Nowhere does the company state when these connections will be delivered.
Similarly nowhere does the company make clear that it’s targeting mostly high-end housing developments where fiber is already in the ground, making costs negligible (the only way you could technically accomplish a deployment of this kind and magically have your CAPEX consistently drop).
And while AT&T claims these improvements will reach 14 million residential and commercial locations, AT&T gives no timeline for this accomplishment.
That means it could cherry pick a few hundred thousand University condos and housing developments per year and be wrapping up this not-so-epic fiber deployment by 2040 or so.
Nowhere — now or ever — will you see AT&T specify precisely how many users have, or will be able to get gigabit speeds from AT&T.
That’s because, in reality, users in these “launched” markets will almost always find it difficult if not impossible to sign up for this gigabit service.
And, in some cases, by a “launched” market AT&T actually means a few dozen homes sitting on a hill in a single housing development.

Unfortunately/fortunately, this new AT&T adventure for California is confined to the southern part of the state, though, including San Francisco and San Jose, but not up here.
The outages experienced this week were just further examples of way-crude construction for such an important, serious component of modern life  — how protected, and deep were those cables disturbed by that CalTrans crew?
And that wasn’t even the recent worse — I didn’t loose Internet this time — as last September, vandals cut a fiber-optic line down near Ukiah, and the shit hit the fan — again, LoCO had the details.

Most-incredible communication-technology maybe in the history of the world — yet fragile as shit…scary.

(Illustration above found here).

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