Yet Another Delay in Installing Fiber Optic Communications in San Francisco: Shakedown of AT&T, Customers Continues

Well, AT&T Regional Vice President of External Affairs Marc Blakeman had his hands full yesterday at the Board of Supervisors over the whole AT&T U-Verse NIMBY shakedown issue.

Here’s what he had to say after the Board of Supervisors voted to kick the can down the road for a few weeks:

“Tonight the SF Board of Supervisors recognized and praised the unprecedented community outreach AT&T has conducted as we work collaboratively with neighborhoods to site the infrastructure necessary to bring San Franciscans choice and competition.  They provided a roadmap to getting the approval needed to begin the largest upgrade in our 130+ year history. We look forward to working with them in the weeks ahead and continuing our dialogue with community groups across the city.”

OK then. That’s that for the time being.

Now, read a blow-by blow account from Sunglint, below.

AT&T RVP MB at the BoS:

Here’s Sunglint’s statement for the record:

“As a San Francisco resident, I am concerned about the present state of our communications infrastructure. In my professional career, I interact with many software engineers all over the world. When they visit San Francisco, one of the items that invariably comes up is our woeful internet infrastructure.

How can it be, visiting engineers will ask, can the city minutes from the heart of Silicon Valley, with Google, Twitter, all of media gulch, have both poor wireless capability for mobile devices and ancient DSL? In Europe, “regular” DSL, nothing fancy and available for ~$40 a month, is capable of 18M bps downstream, and 2 M bps up. This includes free VOIP, digital television, and more. But let’s just concentrate on bandwidth capability, regardless of cost.

A San Francisco resident is hard-pressed to find such bandwidth, at any price, in San Francisco proper. There are three obvious choices for wired, residential high-speed internet in SF:

1) Verizon FIOS. This is only available in SF’s Financial District, and in select parts of Mission Bay.

2) Comcast cable. For just internet alone, this would be around $120. Some companies are pooling employees and negotiating better rates, but this is not an option for the rest of the public.

3) ATT Uverse fiber. This is not available in SF due to well-known issues. The highest-bandwidth Uverse in SF is Plain Old Copper DSL and stuck at 6Mbps maximum.

High speed internet access is vital for collaborative software development, and sadly San Francisco is not competitive with cities such as Austin and Chicago in the United States, and Paris, Berlin, Madrid, and London in Europe, or Tokyo and Bangalore in Asia.

Allowing ATT to proceed with its Uverse installation in SF would be a small step to help restore competitiveness. And a welcome sign. I would like to see the SF Board of Supervisors go much further, and allow all three network providers equal access to San Francisco property owners, with the end goal to make San Francisco a true world competitor in internet infrastructure, with all residents having access to high-bandwidth internet from multiple providers.”

And here’s the rest.

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2 Responses to “Yet Another Delay in Installing Fiber Optic Communications in San Francisco: Shakedown of AT&T, Customers Continues”

  1. Rudy says:

    First off, visiting engineers that use the network are happy and not complaining. We over speeds that UVerse can’t touch. :) That said, UVerse is a marketing ploy that basically repackages DSL (1995 all over). What this city needs is fiber to the home. Rip out the copper, replace it with fiber optics. Fiber is cheap. They sell it in 96 strand cables — much cheaper than 96 strands of copper. Check out for more info on how to support fiber in SF and leave the ATT / Comcasts behind. Oh, and check out in the mean time, they have options as well.

  2. […] SF Appeal‘s effort at reporting this. And SF Citizen‘s write up. Webpass, another option for SF residents (microwave?). San Francisco […]