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Notes from TDS/CHR Meeting 6/28/2011

 
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F Miller
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:49 pm    Post subject: Notes from TDS/CHR Meeting 6/28/2011 Reply with quote

Meeting Notes:

Per Al Ripp
Current stage: engineering, staking, archaeology
Spring 2012: Plows in the ground

$2.6 M from RUS/USDA (Rural Utilities Service), TDS invested $650K
27 miles fiber; All new equipment
Nov 2012: network ready; cut over homes with new network: Jan/Feb 2013
Deadline: 8/22/2013

Troy Kranz: promised web addresses of TDS filing reports to government agencies.

Homeowner Process: Place an order for high speed internet.
Pricing: land line/or data, and/or Dish Network satellite TV
[Note: it’s too far out from 2013 to be talking costs for services.]

Each home needs a power source. [Discuss with them your off-the-grid power.]
RUS requires: 1.5 mbps downstream; 768 kbps upstream service.
Wiring is non standard (Cat 5)
RGYB wiring: not good for the speed [Note: wire color/type not confirmed.]
WBOW works well. [Note: wire color/type not confirmed]

Free: 1 room, 1 modem to hook up to the Internet
Per Jim Davis: “TDS pays for the boat trip”

TDS displayed a map of BBI with the fiber loop, around the perimeter of BBI. TDS indicates there are 283 households; 187 will have direct fiber to the home; 96 homes will have copper drop.
TDS is in the process of identifying folks on BBI where there are no service drops. This was not included with the RUS funding, they are trying to work it out.
It’s important for residents to notify TDS if there is no existing telephone service.

4 Serving areas: each with a cabinet; 8 hour battery, plus a portable generator. The Main service area will have UPS (uninterruptable power supply). It’s located at the BBI Central Office.

The microwave link from the mainland to BBI will be a licensed link. [Least likely to have interference.]
Howard Gortor indicated the microwave link would be a 1 gigabit per second data rate.

Confirmed: TDS equipment will be IPv6 compatible. [Existing Internet is IPv4.]

TDS indicated that on Beaver Island: they have a symmetrical network to schools. 5-20 Mbps download.

CHR presence here as supervising the project.
A pre-construction meeting by the end of ______________________

A request for “public good” was made for a free high speed connection to the school and the town hall. Al Ripp indicated he’d present the request to TDS.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read this gem... three times actually. What a chrome plated crok of taxpayer funded crap.

$2.6 mil total??? Who's pocket? TDS funding $650K? Maybe a profit in the year 4026 assuming DSL isn't totally obsolete in five years.

Loop around BBI? there are like two-three deer camps on the north side, no power up there.

283 "households". Seasonal vacation cottages with land lines? How many are actual residences? Year round? 15-20?

Cottages w/out phone drops? I don't have, need or want one. I use my cell phone, thank you.

1.5 mbs. That dog crap slow. Get that from satellite if you are willing to pay for it.

Through the grapevine I hear that wide coverage WIFI is going in Cheboygan area maybe acccessable on BBI with amplified send/receive equipment. Will see. If thats a fail, cell 3gG wil outperform BBI DsL at lower cost.

Too far out there (2013) to describe costs to "homeowners' So WTF????

So what is this? Install this dinosaur and TDS write off the the loss? $650 k to break even and the rest comes from gov't funding? Like taxpayers buying this clustrf***.

Lets see. 50 subscribers @ $50/month=1083 years to break even discounting inflation and interest. And that's only agains the $650k TDS has into this.

I must be missing something here. if so, explain this to me. Is this like gov't policy in action? Just blow $$$ and *darn* the torpedoes? The total cost being $2.6 million dollars to provide DSL internet service to ? cottages an households, that number decreasing, as wireless cell gains ground?

I am a dumb non-tech savvy guy. Explain these costs including gov't fund assist so it makes sense to me. Somehow... spending $2.6 mil to service "potentially" 280 summer cottages on BBI seems just a tad over the top.

To my BBI pals that suffer with sucky huges net sat and inferior broadband service, I apologize for pointing out the obvious. Another grant scam grab that come out of all of our pockets. Wasted tax $$$ out of everyone's pocket.
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mrshelf
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conis.....I don't think I know you. Were you at the TDS town hall meeting?
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Conis
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No actually I wasn't. But wished I would have been after reading the summary.
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mrshelf
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conis,,,,,

By not attending the meeting, you did a great dis-service to those of us in need and interested in high speed internet. You could have posed your questions & concerns to a very rounded group of TDS representatives and gotten some first hand answers. Instead, after the fact, you are arm chair quarterbacking and belittling the program.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never said BBI isn't in need of broadband or anything close to that. I am not armchair quarterbacking anything. Just asking the right questions after the fact, none of which TDS seemed to have answered with this presentation, at least in the summary which I read several times over.

Re read some of the questions posed in my two posts. How is this cost effective? Our country is 15 trillion in debt because of these open ended unaccountable subsidies. When and if this thing is ever up and running, how many will actually subscribe to it? $2.7 mllion? Find those answers and bring me up to speed.

Had I been on BBI when the meeting was held, I would have been in the front row asking these pointed questions... which I assue TDS couldn't or wouldn't answer while every one else just sat in their chairs for the entertainment of it all.

Don't worry, be happy. As long as TDS is installing a soon to be obsolete broadband technology at the taxpayers expense... who cares? Five years from now the BBIslanders will be stuck with it and owned by TDS.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK...Mrshelf... I don't know you either, so some questions for you...

Are you a TDS employee or spokesperson? If so, let the games beigin. I know far more about DSL and broadband distribution than you may assume.

Or do you simply feel BBI needs broadband at any cost, subsidized by the taxpayers, regardless if it will ever be cost effective?

Do you know what 3G cell-net is and why many are ditching out landlines and wired broadband? Like on BBI, already?

Do you understand why wifi, being more current, might be a better island wide technology considering the seasonal nature of BBI with only a handful of winter residents?

How much is the DSL broadband service going to cost YOU?

I consider those fair questions. A lack of an answer... is an answer.

Have a nice day.
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hoverusa
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Shelf,

You have 3 posts, do you live on the island or come and visit every year as I have for the last 25 years?

I believe Conis calls it like it is, a huge waste of tax payer dollars for a technology that is antiquated.

I work for a major communications company.
I no longer carry a laptop my iPhone works on both shores.

I realize there are parts of the Island that need coverage but at what cost?

I think your a shill
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:51 am    Post subject: Comparison Reply with quote

From the meeting information above:
"RUS requires: 1.5 mbps downstream; 768 kbps upstream service."

I dug out some information about Wildblue internet dish services, so I could compare it to the information from the meeting. Wildblue has three offerings.

Value Pack - 512 Kbps down and 128 Kbps up $50
Select Pack - 1.0 Mbps down and 200 Kbps up $70
Pro Pack - 1.5 Mbps down and 256 Kbps up $80

This is from 2006 and may have changed, but it does give you a comparison with the Rural Utility Service installation requirements v. Wildblue.

I have the Value Pack and it is a lot better than dial up. The major problem with Wildblue is that they limit the AMOUNT you can upload and download. I recently uploaded a large amount of pictures and Wildblue punished me for doing that by slowing my service and blocking my ability to upload pictures.

Not mentioned in the details of the meeting, but it hit home for me, was the fact that the AMOUNT of data that could be up or down loaded was UNLIMITED. That means that I could download a Netflix movie without being punished by my provider. The fact that the people of the United States would do that for me made me happy.
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whatever happened to broadband over power lines? That always seemed to be a cost effective solution for most users without the need for archeology, staking, and digging.

In many areas, fiber is pulled onto existing power poles and included within power cable bundles. Why have separate utility corridors?
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:41 am    Post subject: fiber optics Reply with quote

I suppose spicing fiber optics back together after a tree takes it out would be trickier than repairing plain old wires?

TDS buried the phone lines over ten years back and it has eliminated the tree falling on the line problem. I have a feeling that the 2.6 million is going to also replace some of the older style line that they buried then. That fiber will carry the phone service as well as internet. I am only guessing on that statement. They did say at the meeting that they are not abandoning the system now in place.

The fiber will go into the main county road from the West End and go all the way to Lake Mary. It will not "loop" around the North Shore.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike white...

I feel your pain, pal. Here on the island , attempted to check my email via neighbors "Hughs Net"... Pretty pathetic during the 4-5 minutes it actually worked, before it seized up and didn't work at all. "please try again  later"??? The appropriate message would have been : "this system is an obsolete piece of crap that is overloaded, and works when it's in the mood, so take a number..." Not sure Wild Blue is any better. At least dialup is predictable and maybe faster considering all the sat' down time and errors?

You have good line of sight to the mainland and probably get excellent cell where you are at. I don't recall which towers are where except both Verizon and Sprint own it. Both have 3g. Verizon is working to update to 4g in the next 18 mos This cost of either would probably be equal to what you pay wild blue exclusive of WBs limitations and restrictions on bandwidth usage. And several times faster.

To bring your cell signal up to full 5 bars inside, you would need a repeater amplifier such is sold by "WIEX" or "Wilson" Cost around $300 for that equipment.  Wilson is the best of the two.

Then... you will need a Mifi receiver. ( Don't ask me what mifi stands for) This is a device made by Novell which is the same as a smart phone receiving 3g signals... to which you can connect up to 5 devices wirelessly (Wifi) or via ethernet cable and a router.

Mike Lynch (Hovercraft usa) knows this stuff in detail and could fill you in on the fine points. Ron Peterson recently ditched his land lines and went total cell via mifi for internet. See what he has to say and how it is working out for him.. Google "mifi" and you will see how this works.Package plans up to 5gb a month. Not netflix streaming video but way faster and  more allocated bandwidth that what you have already. At least worth looking into.

As this stuff takes hold and once they get past the constant upgrading, prices will drop with competition between services. They always do as infrastructure improves.

Anyone remember 4-5 years ago when #1 complaint was marginal cell service on the island? Which has since improved since all digital and Alltel/Verizon has beefed up their service along 23? And at that time, I did a wad of research into what would be needed to put 2-3 low profile cell towers on BBI, along with contact people and all of it? Then going as far as I could, passed all of it along to the township for review and further action?

Predictably, nothing happened. Nor did I ever receive an acknowledgment or thanks or FY for the time I spent researching this. Oh well.

Had anyone pursued any of this, cell coverage on BBI (including passing marine traffic) would no longer be an issue, nor would 3G internet access on BBI so this DSL thing would be moot. That was then and this is now. Nor am I slapping myself on the back saying "I told you so". 5-10 years behind the technological 8 ball... much? Mackinac Island is up to speed with cell and broadband. What's the problem on BBI except inaction? 

And here comes TDS to save the day to the tune of 2.7 million by installing already obsolete technology at the taxpayers expense? I don't live here so I can express my opinions and they are only that.

I counted 215 phone numbers on the 634 exchange (including fax lines). Do the math here. The trend is landline disconnect. My local rural phone company has 1200 subscribers in it's exchange, they installed DSL via existing lines (no fiber optic) to the tune of around $500k and have about 200 DSL subscribers. This year, it will begin turning a profit. $50 a month for 3mbs download speed. Rock solid. Do the math. My netflix doesn't cost the taxpayers a penny.

Isnt it always about the money?
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Ron Petersen
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know if this is any help - I am on United Cellular - Phone & Internet - Has a little plug in modem and I also run it through a wireless router to feed my computer in the shop (about 50' away) No Phone lines at all!! Any place I can get a phone signal, I can get internet - Runs about $50/month - - - I good a signal at our shack on Rocky Road between Conis's and the bar.
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TDS
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:25 am    Post subject: Response to some of your questions Reply with quote

Good morning,

I would like to answer a main few questions that are being asked.

a) Will TDS charge Bois Blanc residents any more than what 'mainlanders" are being charged for internet?

The residents would not be charged any more for services that TDS customers on the mainland. We would follow the same pricing structure that we use for Chatham and Beaver Island MI.

b) Will the system you are installing be obsolete in 3-5 years? Could you explain what these "experts" are saying or suggesting regarding this?

TDS is installing Adtran, the latest equipment available to us in the Bois Blanc market utilizing VDSL technology. We know that technology is changing quickly and that it is impacting all internet providers both wire line and wireless. However we do not see DSL technology going away anytime soon. Software and hardware developers are continuing to come up with ways to deliver more bandwidth over existing copper infrastructure.

What’s driving the changes, are the demand for higher bandwidth services. Currently many applications like Netflix and YouTube are utilizing a substantial amount of the bandwidth on the network without paying the carriers like TDS for the use of that network. The cost of upgrading a network is solely on TDS rate payers at this time and we feel that has to change in the future in order to keep up with demand.

c) What internet speed will those of us who have copper wire have. They say that with copper, even less than 15,000 feet, the speed will be no better than dial up.

Definitely not true! The copper loop length limitation for DSL is 18,000 feet and the distance away will affect speeds at the higher end of the spectrum. When we design DSL serving areas there are very few customers that would push the 18,000 foot limit but there may be a few.

A dial up service is usually 50,000 bits per second download while our lowest speed offering is 1,000,000 bits (1 Meg) per second and can easily be delivered 18,000 feet away. That’s 20 times faster than dial-up! TDS will be offering a 5 Meg and 15 Meg service also! So, if you purchased a 15 Meg service you may actually receive 10 to 12 Meg if you were 17,000 feet out.

There are a number of factors that can impact speed, inside wiring, the computer’s capability, cable characteristics or AC power influence to name a few. As you can imagine, it’s difficult to provide exact distance vs. speed relationships because there are so many variables.

d) Do you need to buy telephone service to get DSL

No you do not! You can purchase a stand alone internet service.

I am planning on being on Bois Blanc on 9/16 so if anyone would like to talk with me face to face about what's happening I'll be happy to try and accomodate you.

Sincerely,

Al Ripp
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