Jun. 7th, 2017

walkitout: (Default)
Back in 2014, I blogged about PSTN coverage, with a little bit of followup in 2015. Links will be to DW, rather than LJ, but the entries should be present in both locations.


This is mostly linkfu (including to Ars) about providers working on ending PSTN, as more and more customers are connected via fiber to the residence/business/wtf.


This entry was more about things which continued to depend upon PSTN: 911, security systems, etc. (And analog fax, which as near as I can tell, really is gone now.)


This entry was about relative innovation rates in consumer electronics (fast), cars (slower), and airplanes (really all over the place). I was considering bring your own device in transportation, and the impact on the cabin crew and passengers.

I included a paragraph of what we could predict based on the deployment of terrestrial internet:

“Ground based internet tells us that whatever bandwidth you provide, in short order, people will be complaining that it is too slow, and all those Netflix streaming people are hogging it but don't want to be deprioritized, and you know other cities/countries/continents have much faster broadband EVERYWHERE so why can't we? Ground based internet also tells us that even after a large enough chunk of your telephony customers cut the cord so you can't make any money on PSTN, there will be a bunch of The Olds insisting that you keep providing it and restoring it after damage and threatening you with regulatory punishment if you don’t.”

That captures perfectly the world of 2014-5: people moaning about the end of PSTN and how that was awful and the phone still worked during power outages with PSTN and it doesn’t with digital voice / VOIP, blah blah freaking blah.

But even in 2015, you could see the shoots of people moving to the exurbs / country / rural areas (or just visiting) and WANTING fiber and hating that they were stuck with PSTN>


But it isn’t 2014, or even 2015 any more. It is 2017. And here is what Ars has to say about PSTN now, in Pennsylvania.


Turns out that people who have PSTN in NOT rural areas are really unhappy because the maintenance work isn’t being done, and hasn’t been done for long enough that they are no longer fighting the switch to fiber because PSTN works during a power outage. PSTN only works during a power outage if there are batteries scattered all over and maintained. And that ain’t happening any more.

Expect updates, as I search for more developments in the transition from copper to fiber.
walkitout: (Default)
I don't think they are officially a Thing yet. But I'm wondering if they are about to become one. Ars covered a recent agreement with Verizon to catch up on some back log of maintenance that included double poles. Specifically, where the power company had put in a new pole, Verizon was _supposed_ to move its equipment from the old pole to the new one, but they often did not do so in a timely fashion. That's in Pennsylvania. But I've seen double poles around my town (I'm planning on taking pictures from here on out until I lose interest or quit being able to spot them) and am wondering if double poles are a Thing.

I've really only found coverage of this as a problem in three states: Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York. I am _sure_ this is a problem elsewhere, but without local governments taking action and local journalists covering that action, it's pretty invisible to me. I've roughly organized by state, and when I noticed I was reaching back to 2014 for coverage, I stopped. So far, this is all searching on "double poles". I'm going to try ghost poles and some other searches on telecom deferred maintenance next.

Here are double poles appearing on a laundry list of issues in Lowell, MA:


"Requested that Verizon, National Grid, and Comcast representatives meet with the council to discuss double poles, hanging wires, and the all around appearance of their equipment in Lowell." (Payment in lieu of taxes is a much bigger deal -- that's when a community notices that someone not subject to taxes like a hospital or school would otherwise be a huge chunk of tax income and leans on the corporate entity to pay up.)

In Haverhill (also in Massachusetts):


This article includes the following:

"A municipal modernization bill signed last month by Gov. Charlie Baker had an order in it related to double poles, said Councilor Michael McGonagle. That order required utility companies to submit inventories of these poles to the state. LePage said the Legislature has sent sections of the bill to a study committee to get more facts before it is enacted."

I'm no fan of Republicans. But I have to say, I don't mind Charlie Baker one tiny little bit. In fact, I'm sort of glad he won. This isn't the only reason I feel that way, either.

Lots of detail in this Milford, MA article (includes discussion of the issue in Framingham and Natick as well):


New England, and especially Massachusetts, lets towns do a bunch under the "home rule" rubric. A little of this could go a long way, and the fact Baker is already pushing for an inventory is an indication that there is already a desire to tackle this at a higher level than the town.

I sort of assumed the pole owner would be aware of everything on its pole. Apparently not. (And I don't mean yard sale signs and lost pet announcements, either.)

"Companies sometimes spend time searching for the owner of equipment that was installed on a pole without the pole owners being notified. These unlicensed attachments can delay the transfer process, he said."

"Companies in Massachusetts “are also working to verify the accuracy of the database information for each town,” Bonomo said. “This process already has helped identify more than 23,000 unlicensed attachments – including 15,000 unlicensed municipal attachments.”"

So apparently the towns themselves are responsible for some of the problem.

I think this Greenburgh is located in New York state.


Wallkill also in NY state:


This article goes into some detail about the safety implications, and the power outages that can occur because telecoms refuse to move their plant to the new poles that are installed by energy providers.

Local coverage from Pennsylvania, including a new term: ghost poles. I've been searching on "double poles" in quotes. But I'll try this other phrase next.


I'm now searching on "pole owner". Turns out telecoms might have a hidden agenda for dragging their feet on maintenance. It might slow down the deployment of competing services.


More about one touch make ready -- another example of the desire to regulate this at other-than-the-local level.


Broadband providers who want to attach to existing poles are being pressured to bring the poles _other_ attachments up to current standard.


Hey, there is a comment period happening!


Rule making is progressing.

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