Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The FCC Plan and Reality

Today the FCC issued its Broadband magnum opus. Before getting into it I want to relate a few tales.

This past weekend we had a torrential downpour, some may call it Gorian Global Warming, I just called it a heavy Spring rain, but whatever. As usual, Jersey Central Power and Light let the power go again. You see there is one street where there are hundreds of trees with branches between the power lines. Duhh! Ya think they would cut them. Every year at least once the trees fall and the lines are cut for 24+ hours! Well again this weekend. And the Government wants Smart Grids, it's the last 1000 feet, stupid, and that indeed is what the power guys are, stupid!

Now the old copper lines for the telephone worked, they always work. I have had 10 power losses in the last three months, we went on battery backup, and Cablevision goes dead at 11 AM like clockwork! They even adjust for EDT! Amazing!

Now to broadband. You see copper telephone has its own power, broadband fiber does not, it relies on house current! So guess what, when the morons at the local power company drop the circuits as they are wont to do frequently then your wonderful broadband goes dead too. You see glass does not conduct power from the Telco Central Office.

This is the law of unintended consequences. 100 Gbps goes to zero really quickly! Especially when you have no power. You see, we moved my US company to the Czech Republic in 2002 mainly due to continual power outages in the US, amongst other factors!

Thus the FCC has a wonderful Plan, but in the end, unless the current Administration nationalizes the telcos also, and I thought all nations had abandoned that dumb idea, that it is ultimately still a market decision as to what someone gets depending on where they chose to live. Perhaps we will see communications nationalized also, as will be newspapers, education, autos, banks, healthcare, and on and on. Who would ever thunk!