Fiber Update From General Meeting


The Board and Race Communications representatives were on hand last night to give us another fiber update.

Some promises were made. Assuming no new glitches, they expect the first customer to be using the fiber network by early summer, and for all initial signed up customers to get service by year end. However, Race Communications won’t be ready to do initial site surveys of customer properties for another 30-60 days (so, mid June to mid July), making an “early summer” first connection unlikely.

Race is waiting for the backbone installer, HP Communications, to tell them which zones (geographic areas) will be first ready with fiber in the ground and hooked up to the central office. Apparently HP still isn’t sure, or isn’t ready to tell, what those areas are. 

I pressed Race to ask them why they couldn’t do a property survey and even install conduit now rather than wait for HP, and they just fell back to that’s their process. I pressed again asking if they were confident they would be able to hook up 500-1000 customers by the end of the year if they don’t start for another 30-60 days and they said yes, they were confident. At the extremes, 1000 customers and not starting until mid-July, would mean 8(!) customer hookups a day for all working days for the rest of the year. I can tell you right now that isn’t going to happen. It would be nice if the tech. committee would also perform these simple math calculations and either get Race to change their process, or give us more realistic timelines.

After a kindergarten level presentation (“It’s going to be awesome”), Race took questions from the floor:

“Will Race provision fiber all the way into the house”

Typical exterior house fiber connection box

Yes, technicians will run fiber from the street onto your property and terminate it with a fiber connector at the side of your house. They then will run an indoor fiber cable to wherever you want your fiber electronics box to be located. This inside box will then provide you with a gigabit Ethernet port and maybe be the initial WiFi hub for your house as well.

“Will you be able to provide 10 Gbps service?”

Yes, if the market demands it. Race has found that the only customers that want to pay for it are larger businesses. The fiber in the ground will support it from day one, it would just need appropriate electronics in the central office and in the home. 

“Will we be sharing bandwidth with our neighbors on the network?”

The network will have a single fiber from the central office to your house – no field splitting, so you’ll be assured that the access network won’t be a bottleneck (unlike coax cable based networks).

If you want more information about the services Race will offer, go to Race’s RSF web site and click on the Services menu item. That web site has lots of additional information.

Pulling fiber through a conduit

By the way, HP Communications is indeed pulling fiber into our conduits now. They started with a small crew about 3 weeks ago, and hopefully will amp up their crew count of fiber pullers. The next (and final) crew we will see is the fiber splicing crew which will attach all these backbone cables together in the underground vaults. 

Long haul fiber crew in Encinitas

Sharp eyed observers will have noticed that there were crews working in Encinitas in front of the Rhoades school this week and last. That’s the long haul fiber company which is installing a fiber spur for our network from their fiber location at the eastern base of Encinitas Blvd. This is our first uplink fiber which will connect our network to the giant Los Angeles Internet interconnection point. Another uplink fiber route (for redundancy) will be built later this year as well.

For more information about the fiber network architecture, read my earlier story here.


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