Re: High-end telecom
From: Erich Boleyn (
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 13:59:49 -0500
Ben Levi <ben [at]> wrote:

> My name is Ben Levi, and I live in Boulder, CO. I'm part of the Geneva
> group who has 175 acres in northeast Lyons. I'm thinking about doing a
> high-end telecom solution (e.g. fiber optic, fractional T-1, server) for
> the community, and possibly the surrounding area. Has anyone on the list
> done anything like this? I'd appreciate any experiences, lessons, wisdom
> you have to offer (you can send them privately if you wish).

For Trillium Hollow in Portland, Oregon, I've organized our networking/
Internet setup which is being put in (completion for the general project
is scheduled for sometime in May, and we'll have the built-in parts
finished by move-in).

Essentially, it consists of the following (for a 28-unit building):

  --  CAT-5 Twisted pair drops (one on each floor of each unit standard
        plus extras people could have added at a price) going to a patch
        panel in our "phone room".
    COST (when added during contruction): ~$3000 for the "standard" jacks
      We paid a bit less because we did some of the work.

  --  10-Mbit ethernet hubs for the "phone room".
    COST: ~$500 for reasonable quality hubs for the "standard" jacks

  --  Server computer to handle email/web server/whatever.  This is there
        because many providers don't provide anything other than maybe
        access to a USENET news server for dedicated commections.
    COST: ??? we're using a Pentium-100 w/48MB of RAM and a 4GB hard
        drive running UNIX.  An older machine, but figure equivalent of
        $600 spent on it.  Buying a new box would run $800-$1000.

  --  Hardware for T1 or ADSL:

        -- T1:
          COST for PC frame relay card: ~$700
          COST for frame/internet startup: ~$1000
          COST for frame/internet monthly: ~$500-$1000
            (frame/internet startup/monthly fees are provider/rate dependent)

        -- ADSL:
          COST for modem: ~$600
          COST for startup: ???
          COST for monthly: ???  (I don't know, GTE claims ~$100/month)

I think it's safe to assume monthly fees could total > $500 for a
community.  The cheap rates for ADSL and others seem to be assuming
a connection to a single machine rather than a network.

Last but not least there is the cost of ethernet cards for people's
machines...  probably ~$40 per machine is a good assuption.

I considered putting in fiber optic cabling in the walls, but frankly
the benefits are unclear.  It is highly likely that CAT-5 wiring will
be useful for a very long time.  Fiber is also very expensive (you have
to consider the cost of fiber media converters if you're using ethernet
cards in people's machines, for example, or the cost of a fiber-only
network otherwise).

    Erich Stefan Boleyn                      \_         <erich [at]>
  Mad Scientist  --  CyberMuffin               \__
  Motto: "I'll live forever or die trying"        ---------------------------

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