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Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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July 1, 2008 7:11 AM

VidChat: Talking Fiber with Joe Savage

Seeing as how I love fiber, I was excited to sit down recently for a VidChat with Joe Savage, president of the FTTH Council.

We covered a lot of ground about the benefits, current state, and future potential of full fiber networks. Enjoy!

(Quick note: There's a bit of a synch issue in this, but I didn't want to reshoot as Joe said so many great things. Just know that despite appearances, I was not cutting Joe off. I have far too much respect for him to do so.)

Here are some followup thoughts:

- Here's the FTTH Council's website.

- I love the stat that FTTH subscribers are telecommuting one more day a month than they would be otherwise. I wonder how much that saves us in terms of our demand for oil. You'd think even if it reduced it a mere 1% that this would start paying for itself in a hurry.

- With the availability of broadband being the third most important consideration for where a business locates itself, you'd think that alone would convince communities they need bigger, better broadband infrastructure. It'll be interesting to see what happens as more and more companies choose fiber communities to set up shop.

- I covered that story about 150 jobs teach South Koreans English via videoconferencing coming to Wyoming because of the availability of fiber previously here.

- The point Joe makes that fiber's been around for a while is important, especially the fact that 100% of the backhaul transport infrastructure of the Internet is fiber, and fiber to large-scale business customers is pretty much built out, so laying fiber all the way to the home is simply the final frontier.

- I hadn't realized America was third in the world in terms of the number of fiber subscribers. It's also reassuring that that number is realizing a 100% year-over-year growth rate. But until we're #1, we can't be satisfied.

- Also important to realize is Joe's assertion that FTTH deployers in the US include Verizon and 599 other service providers, many of which are in rural communities.

- Here's a link to that op ed Joe wrote for the Des Moines Register about the successes being realized in Iowa. The fact that in that state some are seeing a reverse digital divide, where rural areas have better connectivity than suburban or urban is fascinating, especially as it's largely driven not by making money from networks but because these rural areas see fiber as a necessity for staying alive in the 21st century information age. Now if only the rest of the country could wake up to the same realization!

- Here's an eye-opening stat: relative to leading fiber deploying nations like South Korea and Japan, it's going to require laying upwards of ten times the amount of fiber to reach the same number of homes here in the US because of our population density and geography. I'd always known this was a significant factor but had never realized just how much so.

- And as a followup thought, I loved Joe's comment about how labor intensive fiber deployment is and that bucket trucks don't work on Moore's Law where they double in speed every 18 months.

- Finishing things up, Joe couldn't be more right that we need leadership in DC on these issues. Most everyone's agreed we need a national broadband policy, and now's the time to figure out how we can implement one.

- Final thought: here's a link to the FTTH Conference website. As I say in the video, it's the best event around if you want to bump elbows with fiber deployers and the suppliers who help make these networks possible.

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