Month: December 2011 Plans Gigabit Fiber Network in San Francisco (Release)

SANTA ROSA, CA – December 14th, 2010– today announced it has filed a permit application to build a Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network in San Francisco. The application encompasses an initial pilot region of two thousand homes in the Sunset District, and describes a five-year build-out plan which would reach most San Francisco premises. This network would be served from approximately 188 outdoor utility cabinets.The all-fiber network will offer full Gigabit speed Internet access to customers in San Francisco. Voice telephone service is also included. Construction of the San Francisco fiber network will begin in 2012, pending permit approval. currently offers copper-based broadband and telephone services throughout the greater Bay Area.

“San Francisco is our fastest-growing market for copper delivered Fusion Broadband+Phone service today, so we are very excited to bring our Fiber-optic upgrade process to the city,” said Dane Jasper, CEO & Co-Founder of  “There is a huge demand in San Francisco for higher bandwidth services, and fiber is the only long-term way to meet this demand.”

The Santa Rosa-based company currently offers Fiber services in Sebastopol, Calif. Customers there can choose service with one or two included phone lines, plus ultra high-speed broadband at 100Mbps for $39.95 or 1Gbps (1000Mbps) for $69.95.

By using an all-fiber design, has limited the number of street-level cabinets required, while delivering future-proof services.

About Inc., founded in 1994, provides broadband access to consumers and wholesale ISP partners in a thirteen state region.’s flagship product is “Fusion”, which combines unlimited broadband and local and long distance home telephone service. For $39.95, every Fusion customer gets the maximum Internet speed possible at their location — up to 20Mbps — plus a traditional phone line with U.S. and Canadian calling included. For more information, visit

Get a Free Static IP from

Our Fusion Broadband+Phone service is undergoing continual ongoing improvement, with new features and greater reach as the number of customers rapidly grows.

Our last few new features have been on the voice side, so it’s time for something new on the broadband side of the product.

When we launched Fusion we wanted to keep things simple — and a bit expensive — so we only offered static IPs in one configuration: a big block of eight bridged static IPs, for $20/mo for residential customers and $40/mo for business locations*.

This allowed us to manage our IP blocks in a simplistic way, with little allocation complexity and no fragmentation. It also kept the product easy to understand and sell; if you wanted static IPs, the eight-IP block was the only option to explain.

And, from those who really needed static IPs along with the speed that Fusion delivers, we could collect a bit more money. This was back when Fusion was broadband-only, (phone service was not yet included) and pricing was up to $55 for residential, so a $20 static IP wasn’t quite as disproportionate as it is with the contemporary $39.95 product today.

Times have changed, Fusion has gotten less expensive and loaded with more features. So, our next feature is more varied IP options, including an absolutely free 1-IP static configuration for our residential Fusion customers. (Don’t know what a static IP is and why this is so exciting? See the tech briefing, “What is a static IP?” for background.)

So, the new options for static IPs for Fusion are now as follows.

Residential static IP options:

  • 1 IP: FREE!
  • 4 IP: $10/mo
  • 8 IP: $20/mo

Business static IP options*:

  • 1 IP: $10/mo
  • 4 IP: $20/mo
  • 8 IP: $40/mo

And, IPs can now be set up in real-time, using our self-service Member Tools portal. You’ll find the Fusion IP configuration tool there, under Connectivity -> Fusion. There’s no need to call, and it’s quick and easy. Your new IPs and settings are provided in the tool, and the network provisioning changes are made just a few moments later, allowing you to coordinate this activity for a time most convenient for you.

Once your new IP block is set up, you will need to configure your modem, router or PC to utilize it. If this process is unfamiliar to you, reading and asking questions in the Access Forum is a good start. Please note that our free features are generally unsupported by phone, so please, look before you leap!

I hope you find this expanded set of IP options useful. Please share this article and include a comment about what you will use your new static IP address for!

* Wondering why business IP pricing is higher than residential? Honestly, it’s what the market will bear. There is a dearth of well-priced broadband offerings that incorporate static IP for business customers. Product designed revenues are not always a direct reflection of actual costs, and some things contribute to billing at a higher level than others. That’s just the way things go.

Photo: ThinkGeek IP address doormat

What is a Static IP?

Image: NASA private intranet, circa 1993

You have probably heard people talk about IP addresses, and perhaps you nod your head knowingly, or say “uh-hu” when us techie folks mention them, hoping we will quickly move on to a more interesting topic soon. But there’s a lot to talk about: static IPs. Dynamic IPs. IPv6. IPv4. (What the heck happened to IPv5? Anyone?) We can even talk about running out of IPs!

To explain it simply, traffic on the Internet is routed using numbers, much like a telephone number. These Internet Protocol (IP) numbers give information about where the packet of information should be sent next. Much like (415)xxx-xxxx tells a phone switch in New York City to hand the call toward the San Francisco Bay Area, on the Internet a packet going to 50.x.x.x is destined for someone at

As with a phone number, the next numbers defines the destination more closely; (415)563-xxxx routes the call toward central San Francisco. And, with an IP address, 50.0.1.x tell to send the traffic toward a specific city, toward the customer.

The last segment of the telephone number and of the IP address further identify the individual destination within the local serving area – a specific destination computer in the case of the IP address; a phone that is triggered to ring in the telephone example.

Now – static IPs. A dynamic IP is temporary – it’s given to you to use for a brief period of time, but it’s subject to change. As such, you cannot practically use it for much beyond consumption online, activities where you “make” the call (click for some content), not where your own system is “called”. It’s a bit like borrowing a friend’s cell phone to make a call – you could initiate a call, but there’s no way for someone elsewhere to know the number to reach you at without some prearrangement.

A static IP gives you your very own number on the Internet, an unchanging address which you can refer to. This isn’t particularly interesting for most day to day activities online, but there are some specific situations where a static IP is essential.

One simple example is a home webcam. Want to check up on your pet while your away, or keep an eye on the street outside your home while you are at work? (Wondering if the package delivery man really does drop-kick your packages off the truck at the end of the driveway?) An inexpensive networked camera, configured behind your static IP address can make this this possible.

You might also use a static IP to configure some basic home automation, allowing you to check on your thermostat or turn off an appliance. Or, access a home PC using the built-in Remote Desktop service – there is no need to pay monthly for a service like “GoToMyPC” (which is basically just a $10 per month workaround for people who don’t have a static IP.) You might run a game server, and invite your friends to play head to head. Finally, an employer might require that you utilize a static IP as an additional layer of security for remote access by a connected worker at home.

And, with just one static IP, you can use “port forwarding”, which allows multiple devices inside the home, all accessible by specific addresses that you select and configure. Want to learn more, or have questions? Visit our Forums!

If you’re a non-technical user of the Internet and the idea of these sorts of things makes you want to go outside and pull weeds in the garden, forget I brought it up. But, if you want to do some fun Internet-connected projects, a static IP is a key component. Now you know!

Web Hogs!

I have always felt that our customers buy connections from us to use them. Abuse them. Hog up big chunks of the web. Fill up those tubes! And to just generally consume what they are buying: a big fast broadband pipe, to use however they see fit.

As more and more broadband providers have instituted caps, I have continued to say that caps are really not necessary and that even if congestion was to be a problem, consumption caps are the wrong way to address the potential problem: congestion during peak time on the network slowing everyone down.

The capping of Internet consumption is a hot topic. In the Bay Area, SF Gate’s James Temple has written about caps, and the folks at Stop The Cap have been fighting Canada’s proposed usage based billing (UBB) scheme as well as the capping by U.S. providers.

My opinion is that caps make little technical sense, and I believe that the fundamental reason for capping is to prevent disruption of the television entertainment business model that feeds the TV screens in most households.

It’s common sense — if you are selling a service bundle to a household that includes a subscription TV service, it would make business sense if there wasn’t enough broadband capacity to replace it.

As of 2008, the Nielsen Co. says that the average American household consumes just over 8 hours per day of TV. To replace this with some sort of innovative and interesting new Over-The-Top offering, it would consume roughly 480 Gigabytes per month (based upon Netflix consumption at their current top “HD” rate.)

Keep in mind that this is the normative household TV consumption, so roughly half of homes view more than this! Add in day-to-day Internet use and clearly the 150GB to 250GB caps which are typical today are an effective blockade.

Because I’ve got a contrary viewpoint on caps, when Diffraction Analysis contacted us to ask if we would participate in a study of real-world usage we decided we should put our money where our mouth was. We ponied up with anonymous, summary consumption statistics for their use in this study.

The results they’ve come out with are quite interesting. Their report, “Do data caps punish the wrong users? A bandwidth usage reality check” is available for purchase on the Diffraction site, but the study author has also provided a summary on his Fiberevolution blog.

In it, he states that:

Data caps, therefore, are a very crude and unfair tool when it comes to targeting potentially disruptive users. The correlation between real-time bandwidth usage and data downloaded over time is weak and the net cast by data caps captures users that cannot possibly be responsible for congestion. Furthermore, many users who are “as guilty” as the ones who are over cap (again, if there is such a thing as a disruptive user) are not captured by that same net.

Their conclusion is reassuring, as it affirms our gut feelings about user behaviors and consumption: while heavy consumers may tend to be a contributor to peak load, their total consumption is a poor proxy for their impact during the potentially critical peak-load periods. We believe that if any bandwidth management were required, slowing the largest consumer down to the level of the next-largest and so on, in the specific moment during congestion conditions would be a more reasonable policy.

That said, note that bandwidth management is not used in our network. We upgrade links before congestion occurs.

What are your feelings about provider caps? Let us know in the comments!

Related reading:
Do data caps punish the wrong users? – Fiberevolution
“Bandwidth hogs” join unicorns in realm of mythical creatures – Ars Technica
The ‘Bandwidth Hog’ is a Myth – DSLReports Goes International’s Fusion Broadband+Phone service is moving into the next phase of expansion:

Free international calling!

To kick off, we announced this week that our most frequently called country, Canada, will be our first free international destination for Fusion residential customers. Business Fusion customers can now call Canada for their domestic rate, just a penny a minute. See my recent article, “O Canada” (yeah, I know, it’s corny) for limitations and all of the details.

This is an exciting new capability for our Fusion broadband and home phone service, and I am really looking forward to seeing how our customers respond to this new feature.

Let us know in the comments, where would you like to be able to call free?

We will add more destinations soon, and the long-term plan is that calling to most countries will be free. Growth in our Fusion customer quantity will determine how quickly this will occur. So, tell your friends about Fusion!

"Anticipation" -- © Robert S. Donovan -- Flickr/booleansplit