Saturday, July 29, 2006

Broadband for everyone else :)

There is an intended double meaning in the title of this post, because I want to summarize what I said in the video about the rural broadband project (for everyone out in the bogs and forests) as well as for everyone else (my readers in Latvia, who don't follow my mumblings in what could be perceived as a terrible American accent :)).
What the Communications Department of the Ministry of Transport says in going to happen is that there will be a series of tenders (or "lots" as part of one big tender) for broadband access points (that is, terminations of broadband carrier network branches) where local (i.e. operators seeking end-user customers in the swamps and forests) can then hook up their last-mile distribution systems. These will most likely be wireless solutions of some kind (point to point radiolinks, whatever calls itself WIMAX these days, maybe CDMA 450 EV DO).
All of this will happen in the fall and will start from the poorest regions of Latvia (Rezekne) and move up the socioeeconomic ladder until the LVL 4 million in European Union support funds is spend (this is a public/private partnership model, the actually spending is assumed to be more). The process will continue with the next round of EU funding.
The MoT model does forsee building some parallel infrastructure to the Lattelecom network, perhaps using Latvenergo, Latvian Railways or Latvian State Radio and Television (LVRTC) infrastructure as a base for extending nodes out to the remote and poor areas. Lattelecom says it has most region (rajon) cities and towns covered by its DSL network, although there may be some gaps and cases where a single customer in a multi-dwelling building can't be served at a reasonable cost ( LVL 1000 to run a cable to the whole building, would cost less if 10 --15 customers signed up, maybe Lattelecom would even absorb the cost).
All of this, of course, is a bit of a zoo, since Lattelecom and Triatel are already cooperating to hook up rural customers, running wireless last-mile for voice, Triatel is operating on its own for wireless internet, there are other local solutions here and there. So customers are not completely and hopelessly left unconnected, except for some exceptions that prove the rule.


Solnyshok said...

Well, Juris, I am just one of those exceptions you mention. After waiting for one month, I got a call from Lattelecom technicians, informing me that they cannot hook me to internet "'cause all switches are in use" - whatever this means, and suggested that I can have voiceline meanwhile. lol. Since my basic needs are covered by umts, and none of "normal" providers wants me anyway, I guess I will go for HSDPA this autumn.

Juris Kaža said...

Interesting. Perhaps you will get the Bite mystery gadget, the fixed wireless HSDPA unit that will be a substitue for wireline DSL.