Bring fiber optic access to Palo Alto!

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You are playing games at home, and just as you are about to clinch the game for your team...

...your ping goes to 1000ms+ and you are lagging behind as you watch your teammates lose to the opposing team.

You might not play games, but you can most likely relate to that feeling when you have to wait for your content to load.

The problem lies in an invention created in the 1820s, the glorious copper wire. Its conductive capabilities meant that messages could be sent over long distances. Comcast and AT&T, who hold a chokehold on the market have made internet an expensive, slow, and frustrating to deal with. It is clear that while copper might have helped in the past, it certainly isn't the future

The future lies in fiber optic, glass wires that utilize the speed of light to transmit information.

Dollar for dollar, fiber is 5x cheaper per mb than copper, while offering higher overall speeds on top of that (see https://imgur.com/a/hNqExwg

Palo Alto, believe it or not, actually has fiber. It has what is known as a 'dark fiber ring', which allows large businesses, and the schools in our town to have such high internet speeds. 

All that is left is to connect all the houses in Palo Alto to that dark fiber ring, and receive the benefit of that fiber backbone. This explanation is an oversimplification, but is analogous to having a majestic highway, but no streets or onramps to actually get onto it.

This idea is known as FTTP, or Fiber To The Premises. The city has explored FTTP in the past, and even did a pilot program in 2001 to 67 houses, but has stopped due to both internal opposition from city staff, and a flawed study that said that the people of Palo Alto just didn't want fiber.

This means that it is up to us to tell the City of Palo Alto that we want fiber, and we want it now.

The need for faster internet speeds will increase as we move into the era of remote working and streaming, not decrease. If we want to stay in front of the pack in technology, we need to adopt fiber.

Some steps that can be done include:

- the keeping and renaming of the CAC (Citizens Advisory Committee that looks over FTTP), rejecting any notion by city staff to sunset a commission that provides experienced volunteers the chance to advise the city

- hasten the deployment of fiber to MUDs (Multi-Unit Dwellings)

- Ensure that staff meet deadlines set by the CAC for deploying FTTP

- Issue a request for proposals (RFP) to vendors to implement FTTP

Email me, william.xuan@gregtanaka.org for more details, questions, or if you want to join the fight for Palo Alto's future.