Wednesday, January 12, 2005

"Slashdot | Getting Broadband To The Bayou"

Hey, if you want to know what the nerdiest people on the planet think of LUS' fiber optic plan take a look at "Getting Broadband To The Bayou"on Slashdot. Its so nerdy that it even categorizes and rates each post. (Look for 5-insightful). Really. No joke. Go look.

Slashdot is the nerd home par excellance. It gets a huge traffic of the technically sophisticated. Getting mentioned on slashdot is a sure way for to generate so much traffic that it brigs your server down. There is even a verb form: "getting slashdotted" as in: "Oh, yeah, we were down yesterday, we got slashdotted" It is considered the very coolest excuse for losing service.

Getting covered on slashdot is the techie equivalent of getting a cover story coverage in USAToday.

Wow, that's two wowsers in a week.

Yo, petition guys, here's a chance to find out what technically sophisticated people think. Read it and weep.

(original link found over at Doug's)

Update, 7:12 am 1/12/05: Folks new to slashdot might well find the sheer quantity of posting over there overwhelming--and that same quantity might make it hard to read the "sense of the crowd." Here is a shortcut that uses the slashdot rating system. It is a version of the page that returns only the very highest rated comments; lets call it: "Only the best of Getting Broadband to the Bayou." (I do think it makes it clear what the "technorati" think of Lafayette's municipal broadband on the one hand and the incumbent providers on the other.)


jdd48 said...

I looked at their petition this morning. If they are trying to convince people based on their "3 Simple Truths", then they have a tough road ahead of them:

1 - Private companies want to, will soon, or already do provide everything that LUS would provide.

2 - The LUS FTTH could be committing too much money to technology that is already becoming obsolete.

3 - Open competition, not closed access systems, brings better prices and services.

Private companies do already provide similar services to what LUS will provide. However, private companies will not provide MUCH faster, cheaper services anytime in the future.

Just how in the world is fiber becoming obsolete? They've not even been able to find a bandwidth limit on it yet. What's going to replace it anytime soon? An inferior and totally insecure WiMax?

3 might be true in most businesses, but in Lafayette, the system is already closed! Thus, it cannot be true.

John said...

Hi jdd48

Yes, their three points are nonsense of the worst kind. And knowing more about how they arrive at their conclusions confounds more rather than less.

For instance, on #1, Incumbent providers will provide everything soon. Actually they believe that incumbent providers provide everything now. They reach that conclusion through their own lack of imagination. They can't imagine what they'd do with all that pipe. So the (ill)logical conclusion is that no one really needs it. Adding to the twisted logic is the fact that you can't say "I want fiber." to them. In their universe that doesn't mean the same thing that it does in the reality-based universe. In reality that stands for "I want, secure, inexpensive per bit, blindingly fast, reliable broadband with no visible technical ceiling. They've let the incumbents convince them that something call "services" exists in some stable form (ignoring the primal reality of bits and bites) and is the only thing people are allowed to want. So wanting fiber just doesn't even factor. The way to get them to change the subject on this is to point out that they are reasoning from their own lack of imagination and point out some real (not pie in the sky) moments when you wanted big broadband.I used stuff from my ed tech days and work I just finished on the cover for an academic book I helped edit. I don't think he understood much of it but he quit trying to convince me that I didn't want more than I had.

Fiber obsolete? Too foolish to contemplate. And just what is everyone from the federal govt. to BellSouth to Cox busy investing in? Fiber? Bingo. I didn't even get so far as to explain that fiber isn't a technology but a medium and that is part of its charm. The technologies that run over fiber have changed several times unbeknownst to the likes of these guys (but not their handlers at Bell!) Multiplexing alone... Nope they are not qualified to talk.

I've even posted on the foolishness of #3 in Whaddaya want? Open systems? (Or something close to that.)There is no way to get an open system except by letting LUS build it and mounting a campaign to get them to open it. If one of the private monopolies gets the local fiber monopoly then its permanently over. No private provider will ever open their system willingly. (And ask 'em, they're against regulation too.) It just doesn't make sense.