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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Direcway is to Slow to Support Me
Date: Sat, 08 Oct 2005 14:34:11 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Sat, 8 Oct 2005 00:40:33 -0700, "Ben Hogland"
<> wrote:

>"Neon John" <> wrote in message
>> There's a bandwidth war currently underway.  One of the cable company
>> infrastructure engineers was in the restaurant last week and we
>> chatted about this.  They're at 3/.5mb right now and will be bumping
>> to 5/2 sometime in the fall after they get the head end equipment
>> installed.  Planning 10/4 for the first of the year.

>Hmm..cable? I've been there and done that more than once as far as cable
>internet. DSL is *MUCH* more reliable IMO. Cable, in the evening, can be
>so bad as to be a much like dial up (Prime time), depending on where you
>live..  Cable line shared by many *and* limited by how they place the
>nodes. If cable goes down, your internet goes down. In my area, that
>seems to be quite often. You may not like DSL, but it's power is
>backed-up by the superiority of the phone system which generally has
>battery bank backup at the CO. I have DSL when power goes out, I don't
>have cable. Cable goes down very often, (I'd say weekly).

That's pretty reckless to smear all cable companies like that.  Things
ether have changed or are changing as the cable companies dive into
VOIP in a big way.  The reason the engineer I was talking to was in
town was to install the new equipment to reconfigure the head end into
a doubly redundant topology, the same as telephone and utilities use.
They own their own fiber just like the phone companies.

The cable distribution system is battery backed, with generators at
the head end and at various load points.  The light gray boxes you see
on pedestals labeled "ALPHA" are either battery banks or NG fired
generators (Using the Generac Impact inverter generator head rewound
for 48vdc).

That there may be failures is to be expected but in general, the cable
companies are bringing their systems up to telephone system standards
of architecture and reliability.  Frankly, there is so little
difference in the architecture right up to the last loop that one
would be pressed to tell the difference by looking at a print.  Both
use fiber distribution to remote fanouts.  From there the cable system
uses coax and the phone company uses copper or in some cases fiber
("fiber to the curb" and "fiber to the demark")

They'll converge even more in the future as the phone companies
struggle to deliver video.  In both cases, it will be fiber to the
demark (that little box on the outside of your house).

The phone companies are moving as fast as regulators will allow away
from loop powered devices (POTS).  It is quite expensive to supply
that loop current to each subscriber so the phone company wants rid of
it.  There will be one data pipe coming to your house for all digital
services, with a box to fan out the different ones to the phone, the
TV, the computer, etc.  If you want functionality during power outages
(or the regulators demand it) then there will be a UPS as part of the
interface box.  That is, in fact, what is being done with the
experimental fiber to the demark tests in places like Atlanta.

In terms of reliability of DSL vs Cable, one only need look at
different areas to see one better than the other.  My DSL has been
rock-solid.  OTOH, in most parts of Atlanta, DSL has been like cable
TV used to be, down as much as up. A quick look at dslreports or (or something like that) will quickly
illustrate the point.

I predict that the cable operators will put a major hurt on the bell
companies simply because the monopoly-think is so embedded in the
corporate culture.  That stunt that I described in my previous post is
oh so typical.  I'd be shocked to hear of a cable operator trying
something like that.


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