You know a paper like the Wall Street Journal is more interested in who 'ripped 
off the public' or 'got lucky' so someone could get rich then someone who 
actually worked for what they got.  I submitted an article once about the 
'write-off Billionaires of Seattle' showing the huge losses by Charter and 
Clearwire.  I demonstrated the negative cash flow that showed both a deception 
to the stock buyers/investors but the inability to support payments by their 
lack of income and how 'showing a profit' is simply shuffling your debt into a 
different category.  Not even a 'drop dead' from them, or a 'thanks for the 
heads up'.  

That is why I think us honest businessmen have such a hard time understanding 
how people's idea of making money is not hard work but how easily they can rip 
off someone for a big score.  Maybe they just think bigger then us and feel 
fully justified in what they do but anyone who has to lobby congress to get 
special treatment because what they are doing is not in the public's interest 
has my suspicion especially when it gets the praise of the WSJ who loves a good 
scam when they see it.  Equal reporting or Media Integrity is an oxymoron.


-----Original Message-----
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Marlon K. Schafer
Sent: Friday, January 26, 2007 8:03 AM
To: WISPA General List
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Re: [WISP] New report on Muni Wifi

I'm merely pointing out that all is not wine and roses in the muni market. 
Yet, for some strange reason, we never hear about the problems.  The Wall 
Street Journal had a write-up about the Grant Co. network out here.  Did 
they print ONE word when the state auditor caught them giving over 
$1,000,000 in cash and labor to one of my competitors?  Did they write up 
anything about the big companies that never did pay hundreds (yes hundreds, 
more than a couple) of thousands in bills?  Has anyone wrote one peep about 
the fact that the network still spends millions per year more than it's 
Nope, not a word.  Not one single word.  A little bit has made it into the 
local press but that's it.  Nothing that *I've* seen even on a regional 

But you'll see plenty about Google, Yahoo, and MS building data centers out 
here.  Whoopee.  5000 computers and I'll bet 5 technicians.  The dirty 
little secret there is that the PUD gave them $.01 (yeah, that's right ONE 
PENNY) per kwh power rate.  So the electric rate payers are putting in a 
network BELOW cost to them (MS said build it for $x or we'll just do it 
ourselves, guess fiber availability wasn't really the issue to MS was 
it?????), AND the loose money every month on the network AND the 
electricity.  Boy, is there a lot of great talk, press and excited people 
around about it though!

Look, fiber is great.  People out here have the network with the capacity 
that will have been needed in 10 to 15 years.  The problem is, it costs too 
much to do it first.  And, as that article pointed out, things change far 
too fast for government.  I know that people out here felt about the 
electric dams like I feel about the fiber project.  Well, kinda.  To me the 
dams make a ton of sense.  So does broadband!  A hybrid network would have 
been MUCH more cost effective though.  Think about what technologies do what 
things the best?

I love the way that these people talk....  We built a fiber network to 
monitor and manage our electrical systems, we're just using some excess 
capacity for the good of the community.  OK, I can live with that.  But did 
anyone see what happened to many of the transmission towers, poles etc. out 
in the mid west?  Did you guys see the pics that Matt Larson tossed out for 
folks to see?  What good is that fiber network to anyone when it's all 
mangled on the ground?  And just HOW much data is needed to manage a 
substation or 20?  Those used to be all taken care of by RF links.  Surely 
that could still be done today and they'd have LESS risk of LARGE outages 
with wireless than with fiber.  AND RF systems are cheap compared to 
stringing fiber over any distance.  Even if you already have the poles etc.

So what's the real reason for all that fiber?  I suggest that it's NOT about 
electric system monitoring.  That's just a convenient, public palatable, 

What should be done, out here or in the big cities, is a hybrid network. 
Use the best technology for the specific customers you are looking to hit. 
CATV or Sat. TV is GREAT for streaming video or audio to people.  Heck, I'll 
bet you it's cheaper to broadcast TV over open air than it is to build a 
fiber network for the same thing...  grin  Light data and voice work great 
over wireless.  Big data pipes are naturals for fiber.

The ultimate network for me would be one that seamlessly combines sat tv 
with my broadband.  But so far, none of the sat companies are interested in 
talking.  It's too bad, we could install sat tv AND wireless or fiber all at 
the same time.  Walk in the park.

The real problem here is that we have a group of late 60's early 70's 
graduates of business schools.  They seem to have all been taught that the 
public is stupid (too often that looks to be proven right, look at how 
seldom we vote out rotten legislators) and gullible.  They also seem to 
think that the only way to accomplish things is to take it all.  You only 
cooperate with those that you are forced to cooperate with.  AND you have to 
be all things to all people.  I think it's really about power and control.

There are those out there that think that they know what's good and proper 
for us than we do.  If they control our power, knowledge, entertainment, 
communications etc. we'll have to do what we're told.  Either because we 
don't know any better or because we'll not survive if we don't.

Don't laugh, look at how quickly the main stream media is loosing customers. 
They like to say that people don't read news papers anymore.  They like to 
say that people don't watch TV news as much.  That's just plain not true. 
People ARE seeking that information, they just do more and more of it 
online.  News papers could very well have online versions of their printed 
news.  In fact, many if not most, do.  And people still don't choose their 
news there.  Why is that?  Because more and more people (according to 
studies I've heard of) don't believe that they are getting the news and 
nothing but the news.  People are finding out that they've been spoon fed 
news that supports or disputes points of view that they do or don't like. 
We want reality in our news, not someone else's twisted view of it.

For every bad article I've seen about muni networks I've had to endure 100 
that are clearly just press releases tweaked to look like a news article. 
The press today seems, mostly, to be lazier than hell.  They don't research 
much anymore.  Heck, I've talked to many "reporters" over the years in this 
business.  I'm amazed at how often they write articles that miss reality 
even though I tried to take as much time as is needed to help them 
understand what reality is.  They seem to go into the article knowing what 
they want to say, not with a goal of learning something new and passing it 
along to the rest of us.  Frustrates the hell out of me!

What's all of this got to do with anything?  I guess that depends on which 
side of the fence on is on.  I don't have a problem with the EL/SF muni 
buildout.  I DO have a problem with calling it a muni network.  It's not. 
It's a PRIVATE network that covers SF.

I've been fortunate enough to talk to some of the folks that are doing a lot 
of work for big companies that are putting in some of these big multi 
million dollar mesh networks.  I'm impressed by how far the technology has 
come.  The flexibility of the networks. The management systems.  The p to p 
to mp to mesh layout makes a lot of sense.  Really, most of these new "mesh" 
systems aren't really mesh at all.  They are the same ol' ideas that the 
rest of us have been building for years with what amounts to spanning tree 
switches and multiple backhaul systems.  Oh yeah, and some really cool 
network monitoring systems put in place.  All at only 2x what the rest of us 
build almost the exact same thing for day after day.  grin

I'm going to predict, again, that most of these networks will be shut down 
or barely usable in less than 5 years.  Certainly in 10.  Elected officials 
are just not going to be able to tolerate the constant influx of funds that 
will be needed to keep them online.  It's not worked worth a hoot with food. 
Or housing (now we call government funding the projects, or the slums).  Do 
you really want your internet run by the same nice folks that brought you 
the projects?  Not me, no sirry.

Just follow the money and publicity trail folks.  Forget the CONTENT look at 
who looks good and who is making money.  Power and control.

Keep your eyes open for the product that Butch and I are creating.  I've 
begged for it for years, Butch is the guy that's finally been able to 
program it.  We'll build your public safety network for you Mr. Mayor. 
Cost?  How's a ONE employee and a few hundred $ per vehicle sound to you? 
How about if we can bring most of that network online in a few days?

You guys know me.  I'd not claim it if I couldn't do it.  Final testing and 
fine tuning will happen in the next few days.  Then it'll go out to law 
enforcement for field testing for a couple of weeks.  If this test works out 
well, we'll be ready to find a way to go into production in weeks not years.

Y'all have a great day!  I have to take care of a sick kid for a while then 
I have a couple of installs to do.  I don't know about the rest of you but 
we've taken a HUGE spike in new business in the last month.  I'm averaging 
per week what I averaged per month last year!  This growth is killing my 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dawn DiPietro" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <>
Sent: Friday, January 26, 2007 5:52 AM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Re: [WISP] New report on Muni Wifi

> Marlon,
> You cannot lump all municipal networks together which you do on a regular 
> basis. According to a recent study
> only about 50% of muni networks provide access to the public. In the same 
> report it mentions that there are
> less and less municipalities taking on this responsibility and outsourcing 
> it to companies that do this work day in and day out.
> So yes this article is accurate but not for the reasons you may think.Of 
> course I could be wrong about what you are thinking. ;-)
> Regards,
> Dawn DiPietro
> Dawn DiPietro wrote:
>> Marlon,
>> You want to know what else is funny?
>> How you just pick and choose what you want to hear.
>> Regards,
>> Dawn
>> Marlon K. Schafer wrote:
>>> MessageFunny how so few press outlets will ever talk about anything at 
>>> all negative about muni networks.  This is clearly biased, but it's 
>>> still a breath of fresh air to me!
>>> marlon
>>>  ----- Original Message -----  From: Cameron  To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Sent: 
>>> Thursday, January 25, 2007 7:28 PM
>>>  Subject: [WISP] New report on Muni Wifi
>>>  FYI
> -- 
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