Note: comments posted are strictly the opinion of the poster and not necessarily those of Fiber Planners Inc. or any other posters.
Thursday, April 08, 2004
Washington state: Grant County PUD fiber users remain committed to FTTH
Grant County Public Utility District (PUD) in rural Washington state started a pioneering FTTH (fiber to the home) project several years ago. Internal politics and cost overruns led to the replacement of the general manager and a general stink about the project. Large power users such as irrigators were concerned that they were subsidizing the project (even though they still have some of the lowest power rates in the U.S.)
The 'Zipp' fiber optic project was much more expensive per user than most FTTH projects for at least two reasons. Most importantly, it was done in a low line density area. I don't have Grant County's exact statistics, but I know they are much lower than the 50 homes passed per mile that's typical of municipal broadband projects. Second, this was one of the first (if not the first) commercial FTTH deployments in the world. Costs have since dropped significantly; most new FTTH systems in areas with higher line density cost less than 10% of what Grant County has paid.
With all the negative press surrounding Grant County's project in the last few months, it's significant that a PUD meeting held to discuss the project turned up more than 75 attendees, almost all calling for continued commitment to the project and speaking of how important the fiber access was to their daily lives. The article quotes the different ways in which the Zipp network has become important to its users. posted by Al Bonnyman
Thursday, April 08, 2004#