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Designers of fiber networks for electric utilities and communities.

News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Some of the topics we cover:

  • ADSS cable technology
  • OPGW cable technology
  • Fiber to the home
  • Powerline broadband
  • Fixed wireless broadband
  • Other power utility telecom topics
  • Innovative fiber deployment technologies

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Note: comments posted are strictly the opinion of the poster and not necessarily those of Fiber Planners Inc. or any other posters.


Tuesday, December 23, 2003


So what's a "blog" and how does this one work?

A friend of mine found my blog, signed up for a subscription, then sent me an e-mail asking me just what a blog was and how it worked. I thought others might have the same questions, so I've posted our exchange:

What's a blog?

"I will be honest, I am not too familiar with what is a "blog". I was doing some research and came across one of your "posts" on the net and followed the links and signed up for a subscription."

A blog (short for "weblog") is an ongoing commentary, usually updated daily or weekly by an individual. If you click on some of the links in the left hand column of my blog, they'll take you to other, somewhat relevant blogs. Several very different lists of "the top blogs" can be found at these sites:

Blogs are especially popular with younger adults and with people working in high tech. Blog content is purely up to the owner -- many consist of very personal, "dear diary" type entries about deep personal feelings. Others cover politics or sports. Most feature links to other stories or pages on the web.

What's this blog cover?

My own blog covers the areas I'm interested in professionally:
  • Power utilities' telecommunications businesses
  • Special fiber and telecommunications technology for power utilities
    • OPGW (optical groundwire)
    • ADSS (all-dielectric, self-supporting) fiber cable
    • wrap cable
    • power line communications, both the narrowband kind -- used for years for metering and relaying -- and the emerging field of power line broadband (sometimes called "broadband over power lines" or "BPL")
    • outside plant design and construction issues

  • Since power utilities -- especially municipal utilities -- are getting into last miles broadband access, I'm also covering 3 key last mile access technologies:
    • FTTH (fiber to the home)
    • power line broadband
    • wireless broadband

Often, I'll touch on what cable TV companies and telephone companies do since they have a big impact on what power utilities are doing. For instance, Verizon's decision to build FTTH to 1 million homes in 2004 will have a big impact on equipment costs and availability for power utilities building FTTH systems.

Likewise, sometimes I'll post on legal and regulatory issues.

My hope is that readers -- especially at electric utilities -- will use this blog as a "cookbook" of ideas for their own systems. To date, there are over 1500 posts on these topics -- if you're looking for more information on a particular topic, you can use the built-in Google search function to dig up previous posts.

How does your blog work?

"The information available on your site is definitely very interesting. But I am not quite sure how everything works --? i.e., how to have a link added or to make a comment?"

Every day (when I'm not too busy or traveling), I try to post links to stories of interest on the web. You can e-mail me a link if it's on a new topic. If you want to comment on one of my posts, click on the comments hyperlink (at the end of each post) and a comments box should open. I'm eager to get more comments.

This is a public web site, so you don't have to subscribe. If you do sign up for a "subscription" via the Bloglet service, you should start getting a daily e-mail summary of blog posts. Some days Bloglet doesn't work, but I can't really complain, given the fact that it's a free service run as a public service by Monsur Hossain.

How about similar blogs?

"Are there other similar sites as yours?"

Not exactly except for wireless broadband topics -- see especially Esme Vos's MuniWireless site and the Daily Wireless blog. Other blogs hit on some of the areas I cover -- see the list on the left side column of my blog.

"is there one for OPGW?"
No -- so far, I'm the closest thing, so I encourage you to send me news items and links to post. Or, start your own blog.

Who are you anyway?

Here's a question my friend did not ask, obviously, but I'm sure others are wondering. I work for Fiber Planners Inc. designing and troubleshooting fiber networks for power utilities and municipalities. For more information on my background and that of the other key people at Fiber Planners, you can check out the "About Fiber Planners" page.


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