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Suppose you're some sort of crazy nerd fellow and you live in an area that's absolutely covered in fiber optics and network facilities. What kind of cost / infrastructure would be needed to hook in somewhere and get you're internet connection directly from a local datacenter?

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closed as off topic by Sam Jan 19 '12 at 11:32

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I envy you. Anybody in my area is considered extremely fortunate if they can get something besides dialup – DWilliams Jul 7 '10 at 17:44
up vote 3 down vote accepted

What you're looking for is called "dry" fiber, and the likelihood that someone will sell it to you is pretty much nil. Evem of you did get it, you'd need to crossconnect it inside the data center into some form of uplink/peering, which ain't cheap (a few hundred dollars a month for the crossconnect alone isn't at all atypical). Basically, you'd be better off doing almost any other connection method through a traditional ISP; the only time going this way might make sense is if you need insane speeds, or if you are pooling multiple neighbors' connections together (at which point you're an ISP yourself).

Now, going the "wet" route--that is, using fiber already provisioned with IP and the like--is comparatively-cheap (again, for reasonable speeds; for ultra-fast connections, the dry fiber option might be better). For that, just ask a few of the telcos in your area; they'll happily sell you an OC-192 if you want to pay the astronomical fees for it, but that covers the cost of quite literally ripping a hole in the ground and dragging the cable to you.

As a last option, as Borealid mentioned, there are services like FiOS that literally do bring the fiber to your door. But this doesn't seem to be what you're looking for; you want a piece of fiber you can physically plug into a router, and for that, the two options above are what you're looking at.

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Rubbish. You can get anything if you're willing to pay handsomely for it. – Tom O'Connor Jul 7 '10 at 20:31
Okay, I suppose that's worth mentioning as an option, as well--you can go whole-hog, and literally get a dry fiber run installed. Hell, if we want to exist outside all bounds of reasonableness, you could acquire the franchise(s) necessary to use public rights-of-way, and rent/purchase the appropriate equipment, and do it yourself. But I think, realistically, the options above are what you're looking at; nobody's going to run a brand-new ring, or even a straight shot, unless they're getting paid handsomely, and I didn't get the impression that the OQ is entirely immune to cost. – BMDan Jul 8 '10 at 12:38

You need to talk to a local ISP and get a quote on a high-end connection. They can tell you how much it'll cost to get set up.

Lot of times your regular "consumer" ISPs have high end data plans available, in which case the cost would probably be minimal. Cable and DSL use pretty much the same equipment for home/business connections. I have a satellite office that gets it's internet from a local cable company (Cox) and we get 15/3 for about what a T1 would cost (though it's less reliable).

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If you didn't know the carrier and had no discount structure in place then I'd suggest that simply running shielded good high performance (OM3) bare fibre from their switches to your home would cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, perhaps as much as $50,000-$75,000. Then you'd have to pay for the SFP/SFP+ (or Xenpak/X2), which are at least $1,000 each end for medium range transceivers, plus a fraction of a switch line card, say $2,000. You'd also need an SFP/SFP+ capable switch/router at your end, say $2,000-$5,000 or more. Then we get into the heavy cost, the actual carrier and support costs, which would be well into five figure per year. There would also be engineering and project management costs too.

So to recap, I'd suggest between $25,000 and $150,000-$250,000 depending on carrier, location, service level and speed.

Fast downloads though...

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I have a bunch of twenty-five-foot TOSLink cables and the connectors to make them into one super-long cable; will that work, instead? – BMDan Jul 8 '10 at 12:41
Haha - very good – Chopper3 Jul 8 '10 at 13:16


Move either to someplace with Verizon FIOS service, or close to someplace where you can just throw it over the fence. Some guy's grandmother had 40Gbps three years ago that way.

Just how fat a pipe do you need? Point to point wireless can offer good service up to 15Mbps, and of course there are various "normal" wired options.

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P2P wireless can easily do hundreds of megabits per second; I've hit (link) speeds of 108 Mbps with off-the-shelf gear costing about $200 on each end. Need even more speed? Just channel-bond. Still not fast enough? There's some awesome light-based stuff floating around ("Free Space Optics" being your search term); never used it myself, but I'm told it's amazing. – BMDan Jul 8 '10 at 12:46
I upvoted for the 40gbps solution, and to give another example of swedish goodness : 1Gb/s internet for 525 SEK/mo. That's about 75USD... – petrus Nov 23 '10 at 22:56

Fiber to the home would require laying a fiber optic cable, direct to you, over the "last mile". This is what Verizon does with its FiOS service. This is not cheap. You need permits to dig, you need to hire a construction team, you need to have them bring out the big orange spools of plastic. This is not something you would ever, ever do on your own.

Now, a normal leased line might be worth looking into. But, if you're in an area with that much outlay already, you can probably get 50Mbps cable; try it out first and see if it's inadequate before you spring for crazy upgrades.

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FIOS dynamic IP - Up to 50 Mbps / 20 Mbps $154.99

I have 25/15 at home and love it.

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FiOS dyanamic i wouldn't quailfy as business class ... but thier 50/20 w/ 13 statics for biz is only like 230$/mo soooo.... – Zypher Jul 8 '10 at 5:17

You get a job at one of these places, and do your downloads at work. Seriously. Like the other posters said, if your town is lit up like this, you can probably get a seriously high-speed consumer-grade connection from your cableco or telco. Unless you're in Boston, where the mayor and Verizon got into a pissing contest and there is no FiOS.

This is assuming you're in the US - your profile says Seattle WA.

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