It's Time for Seattle to Become a Gigabit City

As Obama says, "It's like being the first city to have fire."

Comments

1
Come on, mayor Murray - let's get a municipal broadband network built!
2
It will not cost $800 million for a Muni BB FTTH or FTTN network. That was loosely based upon a study in 2005. Much has changed since then. Both in tech and in financing options.

Current napkin estimates are around half that. And it could be even less. Hope the report due in April includes cost estimates.
3
Not much will happen when you have Mayor who is in Comcast's pocket.
4
@3, if you think Ed Murray was bought by a few contributions from Comcast, you don't know much about politics, let alone Ed Murray.
5
At 1 Gbps, one could exceed CenturyLink's 250 GB monthly data transfer limit in less than an hour.
6
Among the most compelling arguments for a publicly-run ISP are those that I see least often discussed: Public control and transparency of operations. I long for an ISP that is required to comply with Washington's Public Records Act and Open Public Meetings Act.

The wire or fiber that connects devices in my home to the rest of the Internet is my connection to the outside world. It is how I communicate with nearly anyone outside of my immediate vicinity. I want to know under precisely what circumstances the details of my communications will be shared by my ISP with third parties and under what circumstances my connection to the outside world will be severed. When policy violations are made, I want the head of the ISP to be called before my representatives in City Council to explain herself or himself. None of that will ever happen if my ISP is a private business.
7
Gigabit Seattle did not "collapse" last year. Murray and The Stranger targetted it for a complete destruction. The Stranger is one of the reasons we don't have gigabit internet speeds in Seattle, even as they decry that lack.

Why the continued hypocrisy? You made this bed. You intentionally took this course. Why the sudden 180?
8
I've got gigabit through CenturyLink. They didn't require a voice bundle, but it's ~$120/mo on a 1-year commitment. I'd love to pay less, but it's certainly worth it to me.
9
I used to think this would be a great thing. I actually still do, but I doubt the city could pull it off. Too many monied interests, too many gubberment haters, too many random nutcases that that are afforded way too much attention, and way too much process. It would die by a million cuts.

If we woke up tomorrow morning with everything in place, I have no doubt the city could do it and do it quite well - have the utilities handle the front office stuff and have the IBEW folks do the field stuff, and have a bunch of geeks do whatever it is geeks do to make the interwebs happen.

But the implementation is what would suck.

10
I am so over Comcast today I was on the phone with them for an hour and half. I have been trying for a year for them to change my first name on my bill and I am still getting bills in my old name. I have been guaranteed by three customer reprentatives that it has been fixed but never fail to receive a bill the next month in the old name. Today I also had to deal with my account being hacked that they didn't warn any of their customers back in February of last year when it happened. Someone went in and created a new email and changed it to the primary account lockig me out if my payment page. Comcast says that none of my payment info was in danger but I have no reason to trust this company. On top of that they fucked up may auto pay and didn't charge it resulting in a late fee, and their customer rep had no record of me changing my card info even though I had two emails from them confirming it. What. The. Fuck.
11
@10 Comcast customer retention will do that for free for you if you cancel your service. As long as your new name is A**hole ...

http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/29/news/com…
12
Comcast customer service leaves a lot to be desired, but their Performance Internet speed is more than double what the article quotes as the average Seattle broadband speed. The price is well below CenturyLink's price for a slower connection, too.
13
@7, it must be difficult to be so incorrect.

Gigabit Seattle was a project by Gigabit Squared. Gigabit Squared had their founder/ceo resign and has had disasters in other cities.

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Gigab…
"Similar problems plagued the organization's equally over-hyped efforts in Chicago, resulting in the resignation of at least one high-level Gigabit Squared executive. Now Seattle has moved forward with a lawsuit against GigaBit Squared, during which it has been revealed that the company no longer technically even exists:

quote:The lawsuit indicates that Gigabit Squared has dissolved and is no longer a company. Co-founder and President Mark Ansboury resigned from the company in January amid the controversy over the failed deal with Seattle. The city is seeking $52,250 in unpaid bills for research and reports city employees put together, plus related legal fees.
Gigabit Squared made one payment of $2,500 in November 2013 on the original balance of $54,750, but has not made further payments. The city billed Gigabit Squared in July 2013."
14
@12, Speed measures only count if they're what you actually use your connection for. Comcast and many other ISPs give sites like "Speedtest.net" servers a "fast lane" so your speed test measures a lot faster than your browsing on SLoG or kitten video watching.
15
#13, you're supporting my argument. If anything you're showing that Murray pulling out of the deal then suing after pulling out of the deal doomed Gigabit Squared as a company. It isn't enough for Murray to kill Gigabit internet in Seattle with The Stranger's blessing, he had to kill the entire company, lock, stock and barrel.

And some people wonder why Google Fiber won't come to Seattle.
16
@15,
I think the deal was likely killed by announcing rather low pricing before they'd actually secured financing, but I'm sure McGinn was helping thrust that out there since muni broadband was a part of his first election and he was running again.

The implosion due to lack of money to roll it out was announced in Dec 2013, before Murray took office, and it could have been announced earlier if not for certain optics.

Then again, this is Seattle, where we'll do crazy stuff like collect money for a monorail before we have a real figure on total project costs.

http://www.geekwire.com/2013/gig/
Funding for Gigabit Seattle fiber Internet project was in question from the start

by Todd Bishop & Taylor Soper on December 11, 2013
This week, preparing to leave office after coming up short in his re-election bid, McGinn said in an interview with GeekWire that the Gigabit Seattle project has been delayed due to financing problems, and acknowledged that he’s concerned it ultimately might not come to fruition.

So what happened? Interviews this week with people familiar with the project make it clear that the financing was left largely up in the air, even as Gigabit Squared’s Mark Ansboury touted Seattle as one of the first cities to take part in the company’s $200 million broadband program.

In reality, that funding was not money in the bank, but rather a plan by the company to raise money for fiber projects across the country.

“When you dug into what Ansboury was saying, there wasn’t any money there, and there wasn’t any clear path to the money other than this general notion that if you got enough people moving in the same direction, money would show up,” said veteran broadband industry consultant Steve Blum, president of Tellus Venture Associates, who has cast a critical eye on the Gigabit Seattle plan in a series of posts on his blog.
17
#16, still supporting my chain of events. McGinn had reservations, while Murray was outspoken against Gigabit Seattle even when running for office.

If you think the monorail or Gigabit Seattle were boondoggles of high price/low performance, what do you think of the 10 years over time and millions of dollars overbudget Link system? The UW line was supposed to be finished in 2006, yet by then they hadn't even designed the length yet. An entire second round of funding was dedicated to the project after the first round disappeared.

You're holding Gigabit Seattle to a level of scrutiny that is beyond what most projects are held to here. Which is fine, as long as you hold all infrastructure projects to the same level of scrutiny. You don't seem to be doing that, though. If you did, you'd know there were bigger fish to fry in that regard.

BTW, Tellus Venture Associates is a California based broadband infrastructure firm. Of course they'd attack Gigabit Squared. They were competitors at the time. TVA wants Seattle money, so of course they're going to attack their competition on their blog. The amazing thing is that anyone actually read and believed their spin.
18
@17,
Fine, you're always right. I'm sure McGinn was so intimidated by what Murray would do to the project that McGinn announced the project was being halted in December, a month before Murray took office.

Maybe the founder of Gigabit Squared resigned because he feared what Ed Murray would do to the project. And the banks didn't fund it because they heard Murray hated it.
19
Nobody said anything about bank funding. McGinn pulled the plug on the project because Murray made it clear he'd abort it.

I like how you ignore some of the important facts at hand. Murray is the one suing Gigabit Squared, not McGinn. Your McGinn hate is not only showing, but showing your lack of objectivity in this matter.

The founder of Gigabit Squared resigned because Seattle pulling out doomed their venture capital. You do understand how businesses work, yes?

Who said the banks didn't fund it? The Geekwire piece, half of which just quotes TVA drivel?

Are you even familiar with the events being discussed in this thread?
20
@19, I thought so, but aside from a few hundred dollars in campaign contributions going to Ed Murray, I sure didn't see the same message you did re: how much Murray had spoken out against municipal broadband, how he blocked financing, or how he's suing out of some vendetta rather than the City Attorney trying to recover unpaid bills.

Go figure.
21
What? You aren't paying attention. The amount of money Comcast put into Murray's campaign via PACs was so large it made news in DC. 5 grand just from one PAC that gets 94 percent of its funds from Comcast. The uproar was so bad they had to drag out Sandeep Kaushik to do personal damage control.
When The Washington Post, Ars Technica, and even Mynorthwest.com all say the same thing regarding Murray, Comcast, and killing Gigabit Seattle, it forces one to wonder how you didn't see this message. Were you intentionally not looking or something?
22
Gigabit Squared was DOA dude. Projected costs were severely short, they had no financing, and they never provided any technical details. They sold snake oil.
"McGinn pulled the plug on the project because Murray made it clear he'd abort it."
"Damn that Murray!"
"Why? McGinn was the one who killed the project. It wasn't going to work."
"Well... well... Murray would have killed it if McGinn didn't!"
"..."
23
Gigabit Squared was never viable from the get-go, as savvy tech/business people immediately understood.

I'm gagging and gasping for city-utility-provided gigabit Internet, however I'd say that the ONLY way this is ever going to happen is to implement FTTN (Fiber to the neighborhood) which then transitions to one of the new super-high-speed Gigabit Wi-Fi technologies now on the horizon.

The City of Seattle is NEVER going to get behind digging up every single neighborhood street and yard to get FTTP - the chaos involved duplicating the existing physical cable/phone/power-line infrastructure just does not make sense.
24
Nothing like this is going to happen until some "company" ( campaign contributor ) has a way to make millions and billions of dollars of profit off of it.
25
I switched from 8M x 1M DSL to CenturyLinks Gig service last month and it's awesome.
If you run a business in seattle and need fast internet, give me a call. I can get you hooked up with the service you need without all the hassle.
http://www.caissontechnologies.com