ILUG ppl, The general consensus is that this aDSL thread should move to IIU
where it's more at home... so I've BCC:d ilug in this mail. Any replies should
end up only going to the IIU list. (Assuming anyone thinks this makes enough
Or at least it would have gotten through if the mailing list sw didn't spot the
BCC: and have a canary... I've re-sent it in full to ilug, but would prefer
if people continue on IIU rather than ILUG (unless all of ILUG feels that
it's still a valid discussion)
Before we start the petitions, and the calls for heads to roll we need to
our goal. From what's been said so far, I think that this goal can be written
To give people the facility to use highspeed (> 128 < 1MB) internet access
home at a reasonable price, immediately.
In thinking about this, I took a look at the supplier market in the telecoms
in Ireland. At the moment - for residential use, it's Eircom or Esat.. No-one
has a national infrastructure. If you wanted to get your aDSL service from
Foo Telecoms Ltd, then they will just end up renting/leasing the lines from
Eircom or Esat anyway.
It's clear (at least to me) that Eircom want to stall this (as a business
for as long as possible. Esat are trying to compete with Eircom on too many
and are getting stretched a little thin.
My first question is, if we go to the regulator and force the unbundling of the
local loop.. and then no telco's come (or at least for those in Athlone, don't
come for a year or two) - what will people do ?
I'm half thinking that if we go to the regulator, we need to be able to say
Eircom's foot-dragging is impeding more than just Esat.
How would people feel about building aDSL co-ops ? Gathering all the people in
your area together - to implement their own aDSL services ? How much would
really spend to get aDSL..
Think about it for a sec - and let's throw some figures at it - leaving out
all the frilly bits (support etc).
Say, to build an aDSL node for your locality, you needed
a/ Rent space in the exchange to install your DSL kit
b/ DSL access server (DSLAM)
c/ DSL modems at each house
d/ Internet connection from exchange to an ISP (say 2Mb)
Your setup costs are the DSL access server, DSL modems, and setup charge on
Let's say -
DSL access server (DSLAM) - £ 8000
DSL modem - £ 150 per house
Internet connection (2Mb) - £ 2000
Your ongoing charges are the maintenance charge on your DSL kit, the internet
DSLAM maintenance - £ 500
Internet port - £20000
For 100 houses, that's 8000+2000+(150*100) == 25000 == £250 per house
Plus 200 per annum service charge..
Now, admittedly, that is 100 possible users on a 2Mb circuit, which isn't going
to beat a 56k modem... but that's assuming that all 100 are using it all the
Double the bandwidth, say 40,000 for 4Mb and that's a 400p.a. service charge
4Mb available to all that are on.. and no other charges... schedule your
for whenever you want - (24x7)
Let's increase the cash a bit, to include for a server somewhere.. let's make
it £500 setup, and £500 p.a.
Would you do it ? Really ? What if the DSLAM gear costs 20000, would you pay
1000 setup, and 800 p.a.... At what price point does this become too expensive
for people ?
The DSLAM gear can be picked up cheap second hand in the states, the modems
are going for $30 on some of the sites I checked.. get a couple of these co-ops
to order their circuits under one account with the ISP and you start getting
into the realm of corporate discounts.. I've no doubt that if enough people
started looking into this there should be no major problems getting funding
from the government to help people do this - get the ISC on side and away
Create the local ISP as a not-for-profit company, and let people in the
do the support.. Create a local WWW site that has a list of the techies that
will pop round to your house and fix your problems... at £20 a go... The
cover their petrol/wear-and-tear-on-pedals and jolt costs. The users get
someone who is there to fix things.
Remember the way the TV reflector people started - it was service on a
but they got it working in the main - now it's all big business.. If we can
get the local loop unbundled, then maybe the internet in Ireland needs to be
reborn the same way..
Without the commercial pressures that the telcos are facing to turn huge
and margins, a small local organisation has an opportunity to set the pricing
on the actual local costs rather than forcing some areas to subsidize others..
And before you ask - yes I am simplifying things a lot - you do need to create
a company, you will need a basic telco license (easy to get), you will need to
sort out what you want to do with voice calls, you will need someone to do some
form of billing and management, you will need to make enough cash to plan for
upgrades... but there is no reason why you can't do it cheaper than a telco
(other than the larger discounts they get from suppliers, but bundle enough
co-ops together and that happens to.).
AIHSLISCO (Association of Irish High Speed Local Internet Service Co
shortened to the community of internet service co operatives ( cisco :)
Power to the people (except in California, where they won't pay for it)
Anyway, to come back to reality (mine at least), for a sec..
If the ODTR is presented with reaons why LLU means more than just business for
(and the other telcos), then in increases the importance that is attached to
If we go banging on the same drum as the Telco's, we wont' be heard... bang on
a different drum and we might get noticed enough that the ODTR has to respond
I started this mail over 2 hours ago, and I've been off in meetings since,
so apologies if I get a bit disjoint through it (no more than normal, I can
hear shouted from the back )...
So I think the message the regulator is
We don't need any of the telco's to do this for us, we can do it ourselves.
All we require is that you allow us to place certified kit in the Eircom
exchanges. We are ready to start rolling this out around the country as
in each area demand it.
The only obstacle to us doing this, is LLU. The availability of LLU is
down to the activities of the ODTR.
Physical Local Loop unbundling must happen immediately.
Chris (need coffee - more later)
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