[NA-Discuss] DIY Broadband- High Speed solutions for remote areas

Bob Bruen bruen at coldrain.net
Thu Feb 21 02:02:19 UTC 2013

Hi Eric,

At bottom of the ICANN pyramid is the lowly consumer. How can this not 

Georgia is not the only place where the supposed voice of the people 
(representative government :) has been taken away with legislation 
forbidding a municipal-run network. It's really a problem when you are not 
allowed to run a network and the ISPs will not put one up.

I live in Vermont, with lots of rural areas without any network access, 
nor mobile phone access. It hampers the state in many ways.


On Wed, 20 Feb 2013, Eric Brunner-Williams wrote:

> All,
> I could attempt to reply to Joly who challenged (or "asked" if one
> thinks it a neutral gesture inelegantly stated) with these mortal
> words "And this relates to NARALO, how?" ... but that would be a
> re-tour through the does-or-doesn't one of the "N"s in "ICANN" have
> anything to do with numbers.
> There is legislation pending in the state of Georgia which will make
> municipalities unable to construct municipally owned networks. This
> incapacity would apply to municipal conduit capacity, unlit municipal
> dark fiber in municipal conduits, lit municipal fiber in municipal
> conduits, and municipally operated networks operating over lit
> municipal fiber in municipal conduits.
> In Maine, where I have a interest in a business operation which
> includes narrow-band and broad-band ISP, and the rest of rural
> Northern New England, the wireline ILEC has sold off its entire rural
> operation, and will be making no further investment in bandwidth
> improvements outside of the metro east corridor. The urban market is a
> duopoly and the wireless market is similarly concentrated to small
> oligopoly.
> The over all situation is not unique to rural Maine, and former ICANN
> Board member Susan Crawford's recent book length work, "Captive
> Nation", addresses the lack of competition in the broadband access
> market. The situation in Canada is only marginally different, with an
> equivalent end affected through slightly different policy and agency
> means.
> In short, pricing is higher than "the market" where there is
> broadband, and where there is broadband, the bandwidth available is an
> order of magnitude less than in regions where the regulatory model has
> not been captured by the industry the regulator(s) were created to
> regulate, in the public interest.
> Were Verisign and NeuStar to lobby local governments in some or all of
> North America to pass legislation preventing municipalities, singly or
> in aggregate, from operating municipal namespaces, even the very, very
> dim might be able to apprehend that this relates to NARALO in some not
> terribly obscure form.
> The legislative barrier to public networks is not limited to a few
> corrupt members of the Georgia legislature. Unlike municipalities,
> which may issue state and federal tax exempt bonds for any purpose of
> government, Indian Tribes in the United States are constrained to
> those purposes which are strictly governmental, through the
> unfortunate but intentional application of the IRS Code promoted by a
> single anti-gaming member of Federal Congress from Florida. This means
> that Tribal Governments can not, as a matter of law, in the United
> States, issue bonds to fund the building or buying of a data or voice
> network, or any other development project, unless the exclusive use of
> the network, or other development project, is for governmental purpose.
> So, in real life, we start from the legal impoverishment of Band
> Governments (in Canada) and Tribal Governments (in the US) and the
> additional incapacity to compete in the tax exempt bond market (in the
> US) and issue bonds to fund development, to which we add the
> withdrawals from investment in the general, non-Indian rural wireline
> voice and data service, and an overpriced and under provisioned
> duopoly in the metro markets.
> Is there a public interest issue here? If the last "N" in ICANN stands
> for "Nothing", then no. If it stands for "Numbers", then yes.
> Is there advice to offer the ICANN Board, consistent with the purpose
> for there being an At Large, to which NARALO is a geographic
> convenience? Obviously I think so, and just as obviously, others to
> not. The advice might be as I wrote previously, as simple as asserting
> that critical infrastructure resources be allocated by a means other
> than "market price".
> Eric
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Dr. Robert Bruen
Cold Rain Labs

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