On Sat, 01 Mar 2014, in the Usenet newsgroup comp.protocols.ppp, in article
<WJpQu.33022$x%6.2...@fx08.iad>, James Carlson wrote:
>Moe Trin wrote:
>>> I'm half tempted to start my own ISP ... except that I know exactly
>>> what sort of legal hellscape that would involve.
>> I'm told you are seen as a "common carrier" and thus not responsible
>> for the content of the packets, but there are more than enough hoops
>> in the way in government oversight. The bandwidth supplier may also
>> have requirements.
>There's a good bit more to it than that, unfortunately. One of the
>problems that Google is running into in deploying fiber access is that
>the telcos and the cable companies have anti-competitive exclusive
>deals in a number of areas, and have friends (often former employees)
>in the local utility commissions.
Yup - seen that quite a lot. If I look at my utility bills, I even
see where the telco and power companies include a "Franchise Fee" as
part of the taxes and fees bit (here, 2% of the pre-tax part of the
bill). But how much of that is the result of "new infrastructure"?
The city/county/state sees free money in that. New pole lines to
carry the fiber... right-of-way costs...
>Breaking into that comfortable mutual back-scratching club is not for
>someone of modest means.
Here, the utility commission is part of the Arizona Corporation
Commission - a state office, and the officials are elected, so there is
some semblance of fairness/honesty - see that paragon of accuracy, the
The basic expenses are bad enough without the extra legal work. In
many areas, an out-of-area ISP can provide DSL, but they have to pay
the transit fees to the "last mile" (wire) owner. When I moved here,
the only choices were the local cable-TV provider and a "wireless"
(roof-top antenna) service - and both saw the opportunity to provide
minimal service for maximum cost ("what the suckers will pay"). The
telco only got into the act after the city of Phoenix upgraded the
water system (we have an open trench - lets' lay an additional 10" pipe
for fiber) allowed them to install Remote Access Multiplexers road-side
in the neighborhoods. The telco had to recover that cost, so fees were
high (and still are) but would have been worse if the telco had to do
the trenching on their own (most neighborhoods here have underground
power, cable and phone service).
>A few towns up here have municipal utilities, such as power and gas.
>Ours doesn't, but I've lived in towns that had it, and it's a great
>deal -- much better service and lower cost.
That's a great big "that depends". We have municipal owned utilities,
and perhaps one of the worst examples is Los Angeles. See
We had similar problems in the San Francisco Bay area - where the biggy
is the City/County of San Francisco itself. They get their water from
the Sierras - specifically the Hetch Hetchy reservoir,
) which is the next valley
North of Yosemite. It's a gravity system, and on the Eastern edge of
the Central Valley the line has a significant vertical drop. They built
a "regulating reservoir" and hydroelectric plant there (initially, 75
MW) in the 1920s. Several more dams and power plants were added in the
1960s. The power is delivered to the city (about 140 miles away, as
well as to irrigation districts in the Central Valley) where it's used
for transportation (electric buses and the cable cars), street lighting
and such. None is actually delivered to the city residents.
>I know that some of the towns tried to set up their own ISPs and ran
>into trouble. Just googling "municipal isp" will get you pages of
>woe, including the fact that 20 states simply outlaw it to protect
I can't say that I've run into any - and I'm not sure why the city
would think it a viable product. You need some transmission media
(wire, fiber, wet string) and that's either on poles or buried. Unless
the municipality also owns the power or phone system, they'd have to
be paying transit fees to those that do own it as regular ISPs do.
>> Using traceroute, it appears that the PoP is doing it all, but the
>> packets may be tunneled. Depending on the access number I'm dialing,
>> I seem to connect to servers in Phoenix (AT&T), Los Angeles (UU.net),
>> Stockton, CA (PacWest) or Houston (Grande Commu). In the past, I
>> also saw indications of Chicago and Pittsburgh locations.
>You can't really tell that much of the infrastructure by traceroute.
>That just shows the IP hops.
True - but as you say
>Sometimes, the reverse DNS look-up on the addresses revealed shows a
>bit of the complexity ("foobar-atm-switch.blah.net
"), but often it
Most often, I see the clues in those names (amazing how many use ICAO
or IATA abbreviations for cities). Another clue is in the search
engines (and similar) that have done some extra work to map IP address
ranges to locales. Searching for a brand name of a nationally
available product (such as cars) and you're presented with icons/URLs
to "local" retailers. That's how I picked out several.
>In particular, if they're back-hauling your PPP frames over L2TP (or
>similar) to an ISP, that'll just look like a single hop to you, no
>matter how far away it might be. The inner (encapsulated) TTL doesn't
True - and the only indication you might have is the IP addresses and
the average transit times (though that also is highly dependent on how
busy the link may otherwise be).
>> "You own a plane, so you must be made of money".
>Ha! Not quite. When my father passed away, I had a little bit of
>extra money. Part of it went to pay off credit cards and the house,
>and I was lucky enough that my wife suggested that if I wanted a
>plane, it was "now or never," so I started looking.
I think I learnt my lesson when I got out of the Air Farce, and used
the savings to make a down-payment on a new car. At the time, I had
a decent job, and was getting overtime. Of course, a year afterwards,
the economy had softened, and I was only working 32 hours a week (had
to take a part-time job to afford snow tires). I've tended to minimize
consumer debt if practical.
>Now, about four years later, with kids going off to college, I'm
>definitely back on the debt train.
Retired, and no kids - house and cars are paid for. Of course, we're
going to need to replace the (23 year old) central air soon.
>I suspect I'm one of the more fortunate plane owners. Most that I know
>have even lower resources, and keep up just because they love flying.
That was why I went with a fractional ownership. I had gotten used to
flying on the cheap thanks to the GI-Bill, but it was decided that I
wouldn't make it as a CFI - don't have the patience. So it was back to
paying full price, and that pointed to fractional ownership or lease
back. The local FBOs were leasing in aircraft for use as rentals,
but it just didn't feel as comfortable.
>But you're right that a lot of people seem to assume that aviation is
>the sport of the rich alone.
Especially when they hear about the price of fuel - never mind this
concept of annuals and time based overhauls.
>>> a bit more complicated (constant-speed prop and cowl flaps), but
>>> nothing that would be horrible to forget (e.g., gear).
>> At least with a high-wing, you can _usually_ see that it's not up.
>For me, it's not really a matter of seeing, it's a matter of
>remembering, which usually means doing whatever I can to make sure I
>always do the same flow every time.
That's why I've gotten into the habit of ALWAYS making a gear check
even in a non-retractable. For the planes I fly the most, I have a
copy of the check list on the clip-board on my lap.
>When an annoying instructor interrupts that flow, I either start over
>from the beginning, or just tell him I'm going to ignore him until
>some specific point.
As I said - "Tower, 72-Whiskey is going around!".
>>> (9G8) has a surface elevation of 2099 MSL.
>> A mere 86F/30C and you're looking a 4100 density,
>Mere? 86F is an awfully hot day in Ebensburg, but true enough.
Yeah, it's warm, but it happens all to often in the summer. If you
really want an eye-opener, in 1990 the airport at Phoenix became
unusable because the observed temperature exceeded 122F/50C. That
was off the end of the charts, even though the density altitude is
no worse than ISA conditions at Denver (where I've seen ISA+15C in
summers - there's a reason for those 12000 foot long runways at KDEN).
>> and the rain - official average down-town is 7.07"/year, and a lot of
>> that is from thunderstorms. That means it can be pouring "here" and
>> bone dry two or three miles away. I'm 25 DME North, and because of
>> the local hills (MSA 25 miles is 7000) I average around 10.9"/year
>> (with a standard deviation of 3.6" over 15 years).
>Ouch. It's more like 43" of rain per year here. At 11"/year, we'd
>have a lot of dead plants.
You get used to it. When I moved to the San Francisco area, I thought
it was barren with only 17"/year. But we've broken the spell, and got
rain Friday and Saturday. Down at the Sky Harbor (KPHX), they seem to
have gotten 1.10 inches, while I got 2.00 inches plus a dose of 1/2"
hail. The hail trashed some of the veggies, knocked a lot of the
leaves off the trees (and into the pool). As for the dead plants - we