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WeMatter.com > Issues > PaloAlto > Fiber to the Home

Now that the Palo Alto City Council has decided to put the funding of a FTTH project on hold, it is important for the people who think that it is destirable for Palo Alto citizens to have their own Fiber to the Home to explore other ways to fund the project. This page contains information about funcing as well as imfornation on the project and other areas who have such projects.

The city council voted 5-1 Monday night to end a trial providing fiber infrastructure and broadband to 70 homes in one neighborhood in Palo Alto. (while studing) partnering with a private company to provide high-speed Internet access, telephone service and cable television to residents and businesses. ...

Bond Funding #

as if: July 2004

One possible way of funding the project is to form a bond company that will be owned/managed by a few civic minded investors. The following is a first cut proposal for this funding plan and reader as encurraged so contact me, mailto:ftth@wemattter.com, or enter their comments in the Blog comment area

1) to sell (400 * $100,000) 10 year bonds,

2) To have the bond holders control the company as though the bonds were stocks, but as the return is fixed, the holders are presumed to be interested in setting the rates as Cost of Service +6% and running the company to survive and serve the community.

3) To generally provide a "Bit highway" and only go into the end content service if no other vender wishes to "rent" the "highway" at a non exclusive rate.

4) To out-source the maintenance and operation of the service to the City Utilities department as they have shown that they can operate such a service.

Commit to connect #

July 4, 2004

Palo Altans, we have an opportunity to help our City government make a decision which they have been trying for months to make. The City staff, the Utilities Advisory Commission and the City Council are unsure how best to move Fiber To The Home forward for Palo Alto with a sound financial plan. We have been in this situation once before when the Council could not make up its mind whether or not to have a trial of FTTH. It was up to the community then to provide them with support by offering to pay for the trial. Each of us committed to giving the City $1200 to hook up our homes, a figure the City staff produced as an estimate of the per household cost of FTTH. Shortly thereafter, the City Council voted to authorize the FTTH trial. The FTTH trial has been a huge success. We are in a similar situation today.

A group of us in the Community Center neighborhood now propose, therefore, that we once again offer the City $1200 to hook up each of our homes and/or businesses, in each of our neighborhoods throughout the entire community, into a City of Palo Alto Fiber Optics Utility. This time, however, we want to reach an agreement on the requirements necessary for the creation of a successful expansion of the City owned and operated Fiber Optics Utility. Since we are the ones who will be providing the initial step in funding for this City investment and since we will be its customers and as such vital to its success, we propose the following general guidelines for the City Council to consider.

Marvin and Alison Lee

Mayor Bern Beecham and Members of the Palo Alto City Council
250 Hamilton Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301


July 4, 2004

The undersigned pledges $1200 to hook up our home and/or business to a City of Palo Alto Information Utility that brings the services and benefits of a fiber optic network to all of Palo Alto.

Please copy and forward to the   city_council@city.palo-alto.ca.us

Information about FTTH can be obtained at www.pa-fiber.net

The Council should immediately appoint a five (5) member Board of Fiber Optics Utility Commissioners and set the conditions of their service. Their terms should be staggered and their service on the Board limited. The Board should be authorized to make policy, oversee the design, construction, operations and business of the entire Fiber Optics Utility. They should be given authority to administer all Fiber to the Home and Businesses and its integration with the City's dark fiber ring as well as integration with wireless services and coordination with the present Institutional Network.

Further, we propose that the plan include the intention to bring the highest quality fiber optic communications to every home, business and public institution in Palo Alto and that the most efficient level of two way communications be developed to make possible in the near future the opportunity for competitive access to the Internet, competitive television, and FTTH radio and telephone communications making it possible for the community to have the advantage of lower costs and better service in all sectors of telecommunications.

For all those in the community who find it difficult to invest $1200 up front, the same option should be offered to them as is offered to those who are in undergrounding utility districts. Money should be lent to them by the City at nominal interest. However, no checks should be sent to the City until the City asks for them.

We also propose that announcement of this proposal be sent to every Palo Alto Utility customer in the next mailing and to the local newspapers with the explicit notice that all information will be shared with community groups supporting FTTH and that all household and businesses in the community receiving those notices are invited to sign a pledge to join our community commitment to provide the necessary initial funds to create FTTH in Palo Alto.

The Community Center FTTH neighbors extend a friendly challenge to all Palo Altans and neighborhoods to help move FTTH forward as our forebears did with our locally owned utilities one hundred years ago of which we today are major beneficiaries with better services and lower costs than other less forward looking communities.

Please consider asking two or more of your friends to join you in pledging $1200 to obtain FTTH for all of Palo Alto.

/ Marvin and Alison Lee

Links to FTTH information #

City of Palo Alto Utilities, FTTH trial - FTTH trial approved on November 13, 2000, continuation  approved on October 14th, 2003. Approximately 70 residential participants in the FTTH trial have been selected based on their previously stated interest in the trial and their location within the Community Center Neighborhood. (FAQ - http://www.cpau.com/fth/cpaftth.html )

PA-COMNET - It is the thrust of PA-Comnet to learn to use the power of this new technology for productive civic engagement, by tapping the creative energies of citizens and community groups in the Palo Alto area. We hope to find and show a way to build a sustainable local infrastructure to support community dialogue, learning, and engagement that will lead to a revitalization of our community. (Maining-list - pa-comnet-subscribe@pa-comnet.org. Comments -  marvalis@aol.com ) 

PA-FiberNet - Palo Alto Fiber Network was created in August 1998, to organize and represent people interested in the Fiber to the Home project in Palo Alto. ( Links - http://www.pafiber.net/misc/links.htm , Mailing-list - pafiber-subscribe@pa-fiber.net , Comments - Hilda@Weisberg.com )

Invest in Palo Alto (fiber) - We are Palo Alto people dedicated to the healthy birth of a valuable new city-owned fiber optic network available to every home and business in town. (Contact Us:)

Letter to Palo Alto Citizens to commit to connecting to an FTTH system (July 8, 2004)

Discussion groups/Mailing lists


Municipalities with good or interesting muni FTTH systems:

Other material:

PaloAlto weekly on ftth -- Letters to the Editor

July 9, 2004 article on advice to not fund FTTH

Letter from Comcast -- I enjoyed meeting with you last week after the Palo Alto City Council meeting.  A couple of you asked for a copy of the letter I gave to the City Council, ...
     John Aragon, Vice President-Government Affairs, Comcast Cable Communications

From: Jeff Hoel <jeff_hoel@yahoo.com>





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July 29, 2005 18:46