Progress in bringing broadband to Darwin
It was 10 years ago today
that Darwin offered to pay
Progress? HAH! There has been no progress in 10 years — unless you count a zeppelin full of lip flapping by serious civic-minded residents attempting to accomplish the impossible.
Not that the residents haven't tried. Hundreds of phone calls have been made to the county, satellite outfits and to (of course) Verizon, who does not want to connect Darwin to broadband ... Even if it would bring them money. Not a railcar full of cash, but money for sure.
Verizon could net
If Verizon charged residents $50 a month for DSL and 20 signed up, that would be $12,000 a year for Verizon. Considering a T1 line costs about a $150 a month a mini remote DSLAM switch costs $1,000 if purchased online (let's mark it up to $3,000), that means ye olde Verizon would be raking in $7200 in cash the first year alone.
And that's where the vitriol for the phone company comes from. No one in Darwin is looking for a handout. They don't want broadband for free. They're perfectly willing to pay. And multiple T1 lines ALREADY come into town. It's a complete no-brainer. So hitch a switch to a T1 line, and shoot the DSL over EXISTING phone lines to customers. Pass out some DSL modems. You're done. Verizon makes dough, and the residents get internet broadband.
Multiple T1 lines already come into town
The phone company MIGHT (maybe) have to redo a couple drops (where the cable connects to the house) to upgrade for DSL compatibility. Still, they would be making money off Darwin for a tiny investment. Verizon already installed a T1 phone line to the Darwin Post Office, which is totally under-utilized by the Darwin Post Office to sell maybe $10 worth of stamps a day and to track five daily packages. In other words, it's a complete waste of a T1 line. But no problem. Let the PO have a T1 line. But if Verizon can do it IN ONE DAY for the post office, why can't they do it for the rest of the town? Huh? CAN SOMEONE AT VERIZON PLEASE ANSWER THAT???
And don't start with the one-T1-line-won't-have-enough-bandwidth excuse. We're talking 10-20 people on a T1. Install $10 worth of load-balancing software to keep one customer from hogging all the bandwidth. Even if everyone is on at once and the speed figures out to only 128k, that's better than 28.8 and certainly better than satellite. Satellite internet access is a JOKE (more on that later).
County wants to help
Inyo County is aware of the problem and wants to do something. But after all, government is not in the business of stringing T1 lines and installing remote mini DSLAMs. So what can they do, really? They can plead like Darwinians and whine ..... We'd love it if they threatened to rip out all of the phone company's equipment from county offices unless Darwin was given broadband, but wethinks that's not going to happen any time soon.
10 years of phone company baloney
Now the phone company is another deal entirely. They can fix Darwin's lack of broadband tomorrow if they wanted.
This web site is sorta an afterthought when it shoulda been a forethought. Darwin shoulda kept track of the absolute baloney that it has been handed by the phone company for 10–15 years. But, alas, Darwin hasn't. SO, let's hope in the future, the mean-wells behind this web site can see fit to keep track of what's going on.
So, where were we? Is it time for lunch yet? Oh ... Still on this broadband deal?
Yes this page was supposed to about Darwin's fight for broadband circa 2000, but we had to do the back story on the whole mess. Finally, as promised, here's a capsule summary for the broadband activities in 2000.
56k is impossible in Darwin
2000 — Many moons ago, the phone company tells many in Darwin (and this author personally) that the phone signal is converted one too many times from analog to digital (or vice versa) and that's the reason for no 56k in Darwin. Fixing this problem would require a dumptruck full of money, and "will never happen." Yup, that's a quote I will always remember.
As it turns out, fixing the line so Darwin gets 56k is a fairly simple fix. Yeah, it may cost the phone company a few bucks, but they could pass it on to the consumer. But God forbid the phone company should do anything to bring rural phone service into the 21st century.
So what happens next? Does the phone company use a small amount of its cell-phone cash cow business to help out a community in dire need of a speedier internet connection? Nah, that would be too logical, fiscally wise and humanistic — and as we know corporate America and the word "humanistic" rarely appear in the same sentence. What happens is the subterfuge and double-talk continues. The fascinating story continues here.