[FRIAM] The Last Mile, again

Nick Thompson nickthompson at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 24 09:56:39 EDT 2018

Thanks, Steve, 


So clear.  May I share your exposition with locals, here?  Attributed? Or


I thought "Radwin" might be a standard.  It turns out to be a company.
Interesting website.  




Let me know what you think.  




Nicholas S. Thompson

Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Biology

Clark University



From: Friam [mailto:friam-bounces at redfish.com] On Behalf Of Steven A Smith
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 12:53 AM
To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <friam at redfish.com>
Subject: Re: [FRIAM] The Last Mile, again



Thanks So much.  Can you explain the following  passage in greater detail?
What do you mean by "over-subscription".  

If I actually got my 10Mbps down and 5Mbps up from my provider consistently
and I had say 4 devices running in my house, potentially all trying to use
*all* 10/5, then within my household I would be "oversubscribed" by 4X.   Of
course, I know that it is unlikely for all 4 devices to be trying to
push/pull that hard at the same time, continuously so for all practical
purposes, my 10/5 is available to all 4 devices under most "normal"

I don't know who (if anyone) regulates oversubscription of bandwidth, in
this modern wild west it is probably just market forces.

That seems to be what they are promising.  See my answer to Gary, just sent.
The said that they had contracted for a 1 gig pipe and that that would take
care of anything subscribers could throw at them.  I didn't make any sense
to me, but perhaps I just misunderstood.  If I understood the units, 40
users could exhaust I G if they all got on at the same time.

Yes, I misregistered the units by 10x.  IF 40 users all started pushing (or
pulling) as hard as the link would let them (25/3) at the same time,
continuously, then you would begin to see degradation (probably sooner for
lots of reasons), but the fact is, very few people have the need to use the
network that heavily except in bursts and rarely is there a service on the
other end willing to meet them halfway and push/pull that much data.   If
they are planning on supporting 100 users, then they are at a 2.5X
oversubscription rate, but from anecdotal evidence, THAT is very reasonable.

  I assume we are talking about Mega/Giga per second here.  So to carry out
the promise as I heard it, they would have to have a 1 gig pipe for every 40
users and they are talking about 100-200 users to begin with.  So, is that
what you mean by "over-subscription":  the number of paid subscribers who
would be left out if everybody tried to get on simultaneously at full speed?

Yes, that is a correct understanding, but as I indicated above, it is
unlikely that anyone, much less everyone can push/pull that hard except very

What questions should I be asking them? 

I think they are making all of the right promises and suggesting all the
right things...  the real proof will be in their execution.   You aren't in
a good position to be second guessing too much about their technical design,
but what their redundancy/backup plans are may define how long they stay
down if a backhoe, for example, cuts their main line... or if lightning
fries a rack of gear, etc.    They probably will tell you reassuring things
in any case, so the bigger question is whether you trust them.   

One thing that might be *real* problems are "line of sight" from your
location to one of their towers... if you can *see* one or more of the
hilltops where they have towers, you are in pretty good shape unless you are
seeing it through your bare trees (or right past the edge) or your neighbor
puts up a big barn in the way.

Another is whether they have the install capacity to stand up 100 or more
customers quickly... one install team might be able to do several a day
(without problems) but with delays and weekends, that might mean some
customers won't see service for a couple of months.

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