hares-recovery

Copper is Better Than Fiber

Posted by Derek
Nov 02 2007

The local telephone provider has a trenching crew digging and boring holes all around the Lake Loop Road. There’s a little flag next to the box along the road at the top of the hill, marked “Fiber Node 6”.

This gave me no small amount of joy. At the moment, the only DSL product I can get is the so-called “Longreach” or “Extended” DSL. It’s a synchronous DSL, 768K up and down. It’s the best they could do for me where I am.

But secretly, I hoped with their new cable pulls, that’d be changed. They’re running more fiber-optic, along with new runs of 200-pair 24AWG copper.

I finally called the office today to inquire as to what was being changed. The first lady I spoke to transfered me to a “Service Desk.” I only wish I had the proper transcript of that conversation, but here’s a shaky rundown.

Me: I’d like to ask some questions about the linework going on at Metigoshe? The fiber they’re installing, will this result in my DSL running faster?

Scary lady: No.

Me: Then what’s it going in for?

Scary lady: <nonsensical reply followed by> because the fiber runs slower.

Me: Slower than… What? Copper?

Scary lady: Yes.

I do so love being lied to. Now, given, this poor soul could have just not known what she was talking about; however, she’s there to answer questions; if she that misinformed, she needs to be corrected. That’s not my job, and I usually delight in volunteering for it anyway. Not today, though.

She instead connected me to an engineer, who gathered that I knew at least a little of How Things Work and explained the fiber is being run to upgrade their cable TV service. Yes, our telephone co-op handles our dsl and our TV. They also make waffles. Tasty, delicious, waffles.

He went on to tell me that this time next year they should be finished switching their telephone system over to a new central office in the middle of the Lake Loop. I’ve seen the hut in question; it’s perhaps a mile away. Where’s my service routed through right now? A similar hut, five miles or so distant, next to a graveyard and church north of Long Lake.

After telling this story to my brother over his lunch break, he quipped, “At least that explains all the clicks and pops in the line.”

How so? “It’s haunted.”

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One Response

  1. Mark says:

    In fact, copper is faster than fiber. Electricity runs over copper at (nearly) the speed of light in a vacuum. Light runs over fiber at 65-70% the speed of light in a vacuum. Fiber is excellent for spanning large distances where copper can being to sustain loss. It’s also remarkably cheaper.

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