More Q&A about EPB’s Fiber to the Home.

After reading Phragmunkee’s Q&A, I still had some questions left over for EPB.

Q. What bandwidth tiers are going to be offered?

A. We have not finalized our product sets or tiers at this time. We do expect to have multiple bandwidth offerings, ranging from 6 Mbps up to 20, 30 or even 50 Mbps, depending on demand. All customers will have dedicated bandwidth which means that it isn’t shared with other customers, and the customer who is paying for the connection is always getting the speed they subscribe to.

Q. Is bandwidth going to be symmetrical upstream/downstream?

A. Upload and download speeds will be symmetrical.

Q. Is a basic subscriber (like most subscribers) going to be NAT’d behind one EPB router, or are we going to be given a static or persistant dynamic IP address? Some of us may wish to port forward some things through our personal routers so we can utilize the resources of our connection for server roles (Email, Web, VoIP, Game, SQL, etc.).

A. The system will use a combination of public and private IP addresses in our network core. Static or persistent IPs will be available but we may require a separate service. We are in vendor negotiations now and this may be dependent on the vendor we end up choosing.

Q. Will our p2p bandwidth be throttled or even cut off (like Comcast’s “Sandvine”) or will non-abusive p2p/torrent (legal distribution) traffic be allowed by default?

A. We believe our customers know the importance of respecting others and policies that ensure fairness. For that reason, we will likely determine a usage policy that will be very favorable to the average to slightly-heavy user. Users who exceed these caps may be required to pay for additional usage.

Q. How does EPB feel about Net Neutrality? If EPB doesn’t have an official stance, how about the board of directors? Does EPB stand on the side of their potential customers (net-neutral) or their investors(whatever it takes to make more money)?

A. Our current ISP network is operated on a network neutrality basis. All ISP traffic is given best effort priority. As long as we operate a non-congested network, best effort for all users allows us to meet the bandwidths being purchased by the customer. It is not our intention to allow network congestion that would lead to prioritizing use for any user.

Q. Did EPB take notes from our Tennessee Valley neighbors in Dalton, GA (Dalton Utilities) on their “OptiLink” Service?

A. We have visited many FTTH providers and have tried to incorporate best practices learned from each.