Ars Technica describes a pilot project in Ottawa that puts a new twist on telecommunication infrastructure: the customer-owned last mile.
From the article: A private company has recently completed a project to string dark fiber from a colocation facility under the Ottawa City Hall to a neighborhood of 400 older, upper-middle-class homes.
The idea is to sell the fiber to the home-owners. The larger the uptake, the lower the cost of the fiber will be since the bulk of the run is shared between all home owners. They estimate a cost of $2700 (Canadian $, I assume) if there is an uptake of 10%. If 50% of all homes sign up, the cost could be as low as $1000, and it can be paid with a lump sum or in installments.
The colocation facility is carrier-neutral, allowing the home owners to sign up with any ISP that has a presence there. A fiber management company will look after the fiber for a small fee, similar to how condo associations are often organized.
This is a really great idea. It puts the whole last mile problem on its head, and puts power in the hands of the home owners. Best of all – local communities can start doing this without having to wait for any state-wide or national laws.