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Oct. 27th, 2005

I discovered something really good today. Of course in true IT fashion, it takes an explanation before most people will even understand why this matters, let alone is good.

Here's the short form. Last year I got a grant from the state to put in an underground fiber connection from two elementary schools to Classical Magnet. Nine months after the award the cable hasn't even been started because SBC (the local phone company) is still giving us the runaround on access to the portion of their underground conduits that they must, by law, make available to us. The law, alas, say nothing about how quickly they must cough up access.

Today I was out at the new Breakthrough Magnet building with one of my fiber vendors prospecting for routes to two of the nearby elementary schools. The vendor will be generating a quote for me to use in my submission for this year's round of the state grant program. All of the utilities in that part of the city are aerial — power, phones, cable TV, fire alarm, they're all up on poles. And here's the good news. All of the poles there are owned by Connecticut Light and Power.

CL&P sells electricity. Unlike SBC they don't see anybody's communications cable as a threat to their bottom line. Getting CL&P's approval to string fiber on their poles is much easier, cheaper, and faster then getting approval from SBC. I'm willing to bet that, even with a year's head start, we won't be done with Classical before we start Breakthrough. If I get the grant money I may well be able to get this project done.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 28th, 2005 03:13 am (UTC)
We have a connection between two buildings in Cambridge (MIT NE125 and MIT NE123). These buildings are across the street from each other. Moreover, said street is absolutely full of fiber, being the location of a major Level(3) POP, a Verizon CO, and an AT&T CO.

Naturally, the buildings are linked by a point-to-point laser/RF paired system (1Gbps each, so if both work we have 2Gbps and if one fails we still have a link). Sigh.

NE30, however, will have campus fiber run under Main St; the conduits are already in place.
Oct. 28th, 2005 10:27 am (UTC)
How well do you find the laser/RF system works during nasty weather? And, what equipment are you using?

I have a new school site going up that has one clear fiber path to a nearby elementary school, but getting a second path will be very hard due to the geography. There is however, a likely optical/radio path across a set of railway tracks to another school...
Oct. 28th, 2005 03:22 pm (UTC)
So far so good during weather; certainly I don't remember any Nagios alerts even during downpours heavy enough to kill my DirecTV signal at home. Of course, we're shooting across a TWO LANE ROAD. (They put an attenuator on the laser to keep it from being too strong a signal....)

Send me your email address (mail to me @ livejournal works) and I'll forward you the vendor info from our network guy.
Oct. 28th, 2005 09:20 pm (UTC)
Attenuator. Um, yeah, that would be short range. I'll drop you a line. Thanks!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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