[FoRK] PSTN and regs

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at jarbox.org
Sun Feb 9 23:55:29 PST 2014

On Feb 9, 2014, at 11:35 PM, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
> Wired is failing in many places because of copper thieves.  Wired lines are more fragile and wireless overall.
> Doesn't seem like fiber has the same fate, so rewiring everyone with fiber is the main alternative.  (I should have fiber to the house in Sunnyvale in the next month or two!  We've been on fixed-wireless for a year while we waited.  Overall, it's been fine, but it's no longer available to new customers after Sprint/Softbank finished purchasing Clear.)

Fiber would be nice but even in states where it is ubiquitous, you still don’t get something sensible like a GigE drop for residential that actually goes to the core that way. 

Wireless is convenient but the quality of the bandwidth tends to be terrible even with dedicated spectrum. I would not want to rely on it.

> Run enough concentrated power and you can punch through anything. Use a line of sight laser if you have to.  A highly directional phase-based antenna with huge dynamic range would solve this. Phased array picocasting is something like this.

Free space optical (FSO) was a thing for a while and with stellar bandwidth but too easy to interrupt on a cheap system. Damn seagulls. That said, it is inexpensive to implement if you don’t care about the connectivity of individual nodes so in principle you could build a pretty robust optical mesh with very high bandwidth for not much money.

Maybe someone has already done this but I always wondered why no one had wired an urban core with an ubiquitous FSO mesh. It is probably simpler and cheaper to wire to the telecom and fiber plant in the basement of most urban buildings since you still need long-haul routes.

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