[LMB] why we still need paper books

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Thu Sep 22 06:46:17 BST 2011

I wonder what blue-green or other laser usable in atmosphere for 
communications would cost "for the last mile"

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jeff Shultz
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 1:08 AM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold.
Subject: Re: [LMB] why we still need paper books

On Wed, Sep 21, 2011 at 9:28 PM, <phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 07:30:48AM -0700, Becca wrote:
> > We live half way between Ann Arbor and Brighton in SE Michigan - two
> > metropolitan areas. Our little town has broadband... up to about a
> > mile from our house. We live far enough out in the country that it's
> > not worth the while of the cable companies to wire us. The telephone
> > There is no indication that this situation will change. Not sooner, not
> later.
> Living a mile from your neighbors has costs...
> It's surpisingly hard to find costs per mile of lines.  Best I can find
> is $1-6 million for power lines, and maybe as low as $40,000 per mile
> for rural fiber.

It's expensive enough that the rural co-op phone company I work for is
instead running fiber out to "junction points" where they can feed a decent
number of customers and putting in a box that will originate DSL for 3 wire
miles from it. We're researching another, much cheaper solution that will
feed a non-decent number of customers with the same (or possibly better) DSL
as well for even more remote locations. Both solutions use the copper wire
that is in the ground currently for the "last mile (or 3)" service.

> On Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 05:39:07PM -0400, Paula Lieberman wrote:
> > Once upon a time also, localities owned and ran their own power and
> > light companies as municipal businesses owned by the localities.
> You still need a certain level of local population density to make the
> utility work affordably.  Municipal ownership won't help if homes are a
> half mile apart.

Without the rural electrification and telephone funds, it's unlikely they'd
have either. Cable TV is not a necessity. Power and basic communications is
considered to be one.

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