Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Distinct Disadvantage of Experience

In my experience and in my opinion, Academic lawyers generally have never done anything real, especially with regard to the operations and technology of a broadband fiber system. Like walk a town and do a pole count. Like try and get a pole attachment agreement. Like scheduling fiber pulls across front laws and then dealing with the blow-back from home owners. Like trying to sell fiber to the home. Like managing a fiber data network. Like trying to raise funding for what "you" want to do.

Unfortunately and fortunately I have been in all of those spots. So I have a basis upon which to opine. In contrast the academic attorneys most likely would not in my opinion be accepted as an expert witness. The Daubert rule most likely would knock them out. Hearsay does not an expert make.

Now in Backchannel one of these folks states:

We do need fiber, everywhere. But we’re talking about basic infrastructure when we talk about fiber. And it is not in any private company’s short-term interest to make that basic fiber infrastructure — which amounts to a substantial upgrade to the last-century copper and cable lines with which Americans are now stuck — available to everyone at a reasonable price. Google’s retreat is all about the bottom line. It wanted an unrealistic rate of return on basic infrastructure. It wanted to see rapid cost declines per subscriber, like the Moore’s Law changes in productivity that have taken place when digital technologists squeeze costs from other legacy businesses.

Now in my opinion and in my experience there a mass of less than correct statements in the above. First we do NOT need fiber everywhere. I have argued elsewhere that wireless, especially 5G, will very effectively compete with fiber. Secondly fiber is very very expensive. Been there done that. Why the costs? Duh! Politics. Pole attachments, rights of way, franchises, local boards, and on and on. If one has ever tried this then one can see what happens. 

So when I see articles of this type I am amazed that they continue. That at no point do they ever ask; what really happened. Google was in my opinion wrong from the start. I think I know what may have happened, but all too often it is egos and too much money.