All internet was not created equal


As Charles leased office space in Addison (TX) for his big company move from the West Coast, his focus was “location, location, location.”  Having learned this adage in college, Charles surmised that if he was centrally located and with reasonable office space costs, it would work out.  Indeed, it was not that simple.  With a 5 year lease and a five year option, he went about buildout.  His staffer called the local incumbent/monopoly/carrier for phone and internet.  “Oops!  No internet, but we’ve already signed the lease!”

As most every company knows, Dallas-area internet is spotty, at best.  Had Charles focused on “capacity, capacity, capacity” first, he’d been in pricier real estate.  He had the necessary internet horsepower to run his tech company in California, but this was Texas.

Dallas’ legacy carriers promise all kinds of things. 100 Megabit generally means (only) download speeds.  Promised upload speeds would be 10 megabit.  If that doesn’t work, they’ll provide you 200 Megabit, but 10 Megabit of upload.  When you cry, they’ll give you 300, or their limit of 400, but still 10 or so on the upload.  Charles was devastated by lack of upload for simple cloud services he’d enjoyed as routine in California.  As he typed his complaint letter, he had to wait for the text characters to populate the screen, common on Office365 and bad internet networks.

Excepting Austin, the state of Texas is devoid of good internet.  A promised 100 by 10 megabit can be 60 x 6, or less.  Do you hold any naive thought whether the carriers play this game as common practice?  There exists no oversight and our supposed oversight is completely compromised.  So let’s talk about the actual internet you receive.

Apples to apples, if you are on a true, fiber, speed of light network, 100×100 would/should be exactly that. Your data backups stream in real time, your Office365 never hiccups or waivers.  When you speediest, you’ll see almost no “ping rate” and your jitter non-existent.  Speed tests, now compromised by the carriers, hide their results, leaving out one major piece of the puzzle.  LATENCY.  When on an old copper network from most any of these legacy providers, latency and jitter are a major issue.  VoIP phones are a constant frustration and backups fail when big latency exists.  Most speed tests don’t even show latency; this most important factor.

A problem in Addison and around the Dallas Metroplex is the “appearance of fiber to your premise.”  Your carrier says, “yes, Charlie.  We are bringing in new fiber and it will solve all your problems.”  Here you go again.  The copper network box on the corner gets a piece of fiber run from it to you.  You see the bright and shiny new fiber and are delighted with your new-found capabilities.  Alas, nothing has changed on their network except the “end” they brought into your room.  Imagine a 16 lane freeway brought to your door, but a block away, it is back to a one lane road.  Disinformation abounds.

Hopping is one of the biggest contributors to latency; that word carriers want to avoid.  If you go to WhiteHouse.Gov, a trace route on your major carrier might show 35 hops, meaning that they had no direct route to your requested site.  So, they shipped your packets the best they could.  A trace route from Dallas might run to Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Madrid, London, Dublin, Boston, New York and down to DC with several other stops along the way.  Each of these locations has a seemingly fast router, only slowing your search milliseconds.  Problem is, each hop aggregates more and more latency, plus, one bad-acting server (perhaps, Dublin) adds .8 milliseconds while most only add .222 per hop.  At the end of the trip, now at WhiteHouse.Gov, you have huge latency which could have been avoided by proper routing; something legacy networks haven’t bothered to fix, or can’t.

Proper routing means that the carrier “peers” with as many heavily-visited sites as possible so that when you hit “enter,” you are immediately on the site, quicker than the eye.  North Texas Fiber, in Dallas, is within one hop of the (almost) 300 sites Charlie is most likely to visit.

While we welcome tech companies fleeing California, let me issue the warning.  Make sure to check “connectivity” before location.  Once that lease is signed, you may be stuck.

Letter to the President

Mr. President, Please cure our Rural Broadband Dilemna.

Read On

Letter to the president

President Donald John Trump

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC  20500

Mr. President,

I know you have a lot on your plate right now.  Considering the vast number of items you must address daily, please know my appreciation of your time, hereby.  While the economy is of almost utmost importance on your priority list, if indeed the new economy is internet-based, my plea is that you focus on this most critical and political item to make sure your Red States do not remain almost completely underserved.

As you are aware, internet capacity is vital to conducting business today.  To that end, a Federal judge even ruled it a public utility, as necessary  as water and power.  The capacity to run a business increases by the day.  By 2021, the amount of capacity necessary to be competitive with other economies could be exponential.  Tech centers like South Korea are running circles around us, innovation coming from their access to greatly-superior internet capacities.  So are almost two dozen other countries.

Your FCC is not only backing down on innovation, it has changed the established definition of broadband to incorporate a lower standard.  In this way, they demostrate broadband improvement without turning a screw.  This overt act assists the monopolistic, incumbent carriers by seemingly demonstrating improved access in rural America which did not occur.  Disruptive technological innovation will happen where huge internet connectivity exists, and all Americans should have this opportunity, not just where it is politically advantageous.

In order for us to lead the world’s advancement in technology, we need all America working together, not just the two coasts.  At this moment, and for the last decade, only Blue States and those economies have benefitted from any subsidies and improvement in internet services, only to the detriment of the Red States.  A recent study done by the University of North Texas describes this deliberate slight; a way of punishing the economies of more conservative states (the only anomoly being Blue Austin, TX which is why tech companies flock there).  Your FCC leaders need to be made up of your choosing.  The current regime of Obama holdovers continues the deliberate economic abuse of rural America through throttling of vital internet capacities to fly-over states which vote red.  Their own maps are knowingly false, yet disseminated as proof of improvement in rural roadband.

The Internet of Things is upon us.  Nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotech, robotics, renewable energy, electric vehicles and other sectors of the internet age must prosper.   US startups are continuing to be at risk of failure simply because of zip code.  Liberal, Austin, TX enjoys Gigabit services from any number of major carriers.  Why is it that conservative Dallas, Houston or San Antonio have no chance of getting these services?  Since your election, our major carriers have only announced availability of these services, non-existant, as yet.  Mr. President, countries around the world are diligently working to develop these previously-described technologies to the betterment of their economic development and global standing. Yet, none are better suited to lead these sectors than the United States.

Mr. President, my plea is that you recognize what has occurred in the “fly-over” states and give each of these areas the same fighting chance as a young entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley.  With your leadership, we can jump ahead of foreign competition position long after your tenure.  Your impact on the state of the internet in this country is vital for the next generations of disruptive innovators.  Please review and make immediate changes at the FCC, guarding all Americans from the steering of robust internet and thereby, economic development only to areas which slant in the same direction of past leadership.

This is not intended to be a political statement, Mr. President.  This is simply a reality that is obscured, yet clear to those of us in the tech sector.  And in my opinion, it is a national security issue, longer term.  Please put forth all efforts, bringing all Americans to a new standard in internet capacities.  Why the US does not lead the world in available internet capacity is an absolute shame, as we indeed brought the world to the internet.  Striving for mediocrity is not an option, so please do not let the purposeful policies continue.   Internet services are shameful in rural America and conservative areas of the US.

Sincerely yours,

Bobby Vassallo

Bobby Vassallo Rants

I believe that an Einstein exists somewhere in a flyover state, suffering in auto repair shop when he/she should be sitting on a computer with huge broadband capacity, saving the world.  My rants are my own opinions; not to be political statements.  The reality is, the internet is a weapon, currently being used politically.  On the world stage, it is a hacking tool, used on us.  Other countries run circles around the US.  We only have ourselves to blame.

Please read…

Write LEtters!

Our/your lawmakers are being lobbied into silence when it comes to our major internet carriers and cable companies.  Campaign donations supercede what is best for you and me.  Click the link and see what your lawmaker received.  Disheartening.

All tech companies flock to Austin.  Why?  It is an oasis of internet capacity.  The same carriers cannot muster a gigabit of capacity in Dallas, but give you all you can eat in Austin.  Cities, build your own infrastructure, or suffer the same fate as towns not on the train tracks 200 years ago.

“Cities, be on a fiber path or suffer the consequences of towns not on the railroad path of 200 years past.”
-Bobby Vassallo


Huge broadband is the key to the future.  Have it or die.


% Companies running in the cloud now


% Companies running in the cloud by 2021


% Companies in flyover state with adequate internet to run cloud services