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July 31, 2008

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Jim Van Meggelen

I was in Romania this summer and they had a fascinating approach to the last mile: run your own fibre.

It was really funny to see the massive numbers of fibre strands running all over Bucharest, hung willy-nilly from lampposts, power poles, balconies, traffic signals, weather vanes, and pretty much any structure that one could figure out a way to attach a cable to. Messy? Yes. Unregulated? Effectively, yes (you simply sneak up the pole late at night). The upshot of all this is that most of the urban centres in Romania have massive amounts of bandwidth right to the residence. It is common to be able to download data as fast as the NIC in the PC is able to consume it.

They have access to last-mile bandwidth that we in North America can only dream of, for the same cost as we get DSL.

Brough Turner

Jim, thanks for this information! That makes me very interested in visiting Romania.

It also reminds me of some strange wiring I saw in Moscow (summer 2007) where there were many examples of cables strung directly between the roofs of 8-12 story apartment buildings, including cables that went across public streets. See:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/broughturner/987586071/in/set-72157601172978418/

I asked what they were. I'm not sure I got the correct answer, but it appears they may be cable TV (but why are there so many??)

In any event, the real last mile issue is rights-of-way, i.e. what vested interests get to control access to rights-of-way.

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