Fiber Near Futures

sf-fiber-future-2013

San Francisco Fiber Internet Map
last updated: 2013-09-01

A map of recently permitted infrastructure improvements in San Francisco that may point to enhanced networking capabilities, along with current service or pilot project areas. Click on the map above to move to google maps, and then click on the individual layers to see current permits for Sonic.net and for the ATT’s Uverse pilot.

Data Sources

1. SF DPW/Surface Mounted Facilities, Active Permit Map

2. SF DPW Surface Mounted Facilities Permits

3. Search for the following vendors

Methodology

Using a combination of the above public data sources, and perhaps selective manual use of the FIOS/uverse/(input vendor here) web app, metro San Francisco is able to be data-mapped for service.

Vendor Notes

Some notes on ATT’s Infrastructure Improvement Plan.

All evidence points to the sunset district as the earliest-adopter neighborhood for ATT’s Uverse build-out. Specifically, the outer sunset from 45th to about 15th, centered on Kirkham should be active by now. Permits have been approved as per the map above for decent coverage of the sunset district. As of summer, 2013, permits are in-process for much of the inner mission, mission, bernal heights, and sunnyside.

Notice for permits for the new Uverse cabinets are placed on utility poles by proposed locations, with residents given ample time to comment.

The speed of the newer, post-buildout uverse service is unknown. The most useful data points would be a selection along Kirkham, as these seemed to be the first upgrades to be completed.

Speeds along Mission Street in the core business district of the Mission District, ie Mission Street between 16th and 24th street are currently max 12Mbps/line. For sonic.net bonded, that is doubled to max 24Mbps.

After the infrastructure upgrade, speeds are rumored to double to 24Mpbs single, 48Mpbs bonded. This would be more in-line with Comcast business service speeds, the usual at-home internet service provider for local tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. ETA: end of 2013.

Political Notes

Of concern is that in the recent municipal elections, a credible plan to improve SF infrastructure was not mentioned once, in any race, by any candidate. This is not even an issue that candidates for the Board of Supervisors have to address! Instead, San Franciscans have to endure more fretting about public nudity and dogs off leash.

More concerning: the 5-year and 10-year infrastructure plans for the city do not even mention telecommunications, networking, wireless coverage, fiber, or use of the existing “dark” fiber network.

People, wake up. San Francisco’s status as an alpha-city in the internet economy is at-risk. San Francisco is not competitive with other high-tech locales for individual network infrastructure. The continuing lack of leadership by Mayor Ed Lee and all the current members of the Board of Supervisors may be relegating San Francisco to last-off-the-block in the US municipal fiber race. Sign the petition to make fiber broadband a priority for San Francisco!

The only action this year has been David Chiu‘s plan to allow for installation of fiber when the streets are ripped up for repair. Given his previous opposition to any gig fiber buildout, this is slightly encouraging. (However obvious.) Sadly, this is two years too late for the massive, city-wide sewer repair, and far too weak.

Chicago has a plan.

Post-Sandy New York has a plan. The massive infrastructure replacement required after “Superstorm” Sandy in 2012 mandates a fiber future.

Seattle has a plan, and an activist mayor.

Los Angeles? Sure.

Kansas City already has a plan, a working implementation, and many many many delighted residents. Right now, that mayor is sitting pretty.

The saga so far:

Fiber Last Century!

Fiber Internet Wins!!

San Francisco Supervisors vs. Fiber Internet

Fiber Last Century!

(This is a recent photo of items found while doing a once-in-a-century telecommunications infrastructure upgrade on a 100 year old SF building. Given the MPOE choices for this locale, the shaky aerials climbed, there is no doubt that the dark corners of the SF telecom system has parts that look like this or worse.)

Was: Fiber Now!

Then: Fiber Last Year!

Now: Partial Fiber Soon Maybe.

So what’s up with high speed internet in San Francisco? Wasn’t there some big hullabaloo about this last year?

In fact, there is some good news. San Francisco Beautiful’s (SFB) latest delay tactic for the all-city fiber internet rollout by ATT has been defeated. Sadly, this is not a chance to rejoice and carouse through the streets, singing so long, suckers. They will no doubt appeal, as haters always hate. And SFB has been hating for five long years and counting….

So what’s going on here?

Let’s break it down into three groups: San Francisco Beautiful, leading the opposition to a once-in-a-century telecommunications upgrade for San Francisco. The Supervisors of San Francisco. And San Francisco citizens who want broadband/home networking that is competitive with other top-tier, high-speed venues like Paris, Bucharest, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul.

News on the high-speed front: in the report above, is there a glimmer of hope for people who want gig internet in SF’s mission/media gulch/north/beach/haight/castro/noe/soma/etc neighborhoods? Is Sonic.net gonna put 200 boxes in? YES PLEASE ACCORDING TO THESE COMMENTS. Is Verizon looking to put FiOS in SF, for real? Pinch me. Again, the primary goal for SF should be to have multiple vendors providing high-speed internet services, and not limit it to one vendor. This kind of competition means lower prices and faster bandwidth. A secondary, hail-mary type goal should be to convince sonic or google to bring gig-ethernet service to the city, and stop messing around. Note, some expedited processing by the part of city government certainly helped Kansas City. Would the same help SF?

Of note: Seattle just allowed private licensing of the (public) dark fiber ring: SF has this same capability, but is not even considering these solutions. The lack of use of SF’s fiber network is even more distressing when one considers all the recent SFDPW water/sewage improvements, which ripped up streets all over the city: with effective leadership, a full fiber to the home solution could have been implemented simultaneously with the water conservation work. Wiff…. missed opportunity.

News on the supervisor front: Mad Rad Supervisor and proven Internet Champion Carmen Chu and the FUF are planning on planting a record number of trees in the Sunset district in a couple of weeks. Come on people, sign up for the “Outer Sunset” plant and help to make San Francisco REALLY Beautiful. Oh, look who helped pay for some of this beautification: ATT. LOL. Now, I will go cry over a glass of wine….

And bringing up the rear: San Francisco Beautiful. INTERNET DEATH EATER. Stick to the Mission Mural Restoration project and give up on attacking internet infrastructure already. What has to be done to get you to stop harassing San Francisco residents who want better internet? What has to be done to get you to live up to the “livability” part of your mission statement?

The saga so far:

Fiber Near Futures

Fiber Internet Wins!!

San Francisco Supervisors vs. Fiber Internet