In June 2021, Los Altos Hills Community Fiber was mentioned in the Congressional record and specially recognized by Representative Anna Eshoo of California’s 18th Congressional district as a model community broadband project to emulate. One of the bills that she has been working to develop and support is H.R. 1631 – The Community Broadband Act of 2021.
H.R. 1631 Definition: This bill prohibits states from blocking the provision of broadband by public providers, public-private partnership providers, or cooperatively organized providers. Further, public providers and state or local entities participating in a partnership must administer applicable ordinances and rules without discrimination against competing private providers.
Anna Eshoo wanted to highlight two community broadband projects in her district and one project she selected was Los Altos Hills Community Fiber. (click on image below to see full congressional record entry)
Anna Eshoo and Senator Booker have carried this item over from the 114th congress and continue to work this legislation through Congress. They highly support community owned and operated broadband networks.
LAHCF is excited to announce the launching of our biggest fiber build project yet – The Burke Extension. This new project is about 3/4 mile along Fremont Rd between Fremont Pines Lane and Burke Rd. LAHCF will be offering both 1-gigabit up/down and 10-gigabit up/down synchronous fiber Internet connection options to subscribers that are on this route or adjacent streets or cul-de-sacs along this route. The 10 gigabit (10,000 megabits/sec) are probably some of the fastest residential Internet speeds available anywhere in the USA and the world.
To celebrate this milestone, the Burke Extension neighborhood champions, LAHCF board member and Next Level Networks helped to put some Installation signs in the ground at the corner of Old Altos and Burke and pose for a photo opp!
Show in Picture: Top Row from left: Darrell Gentry, Next Level Networks CTO and Founder, Neighborhood champions Sloan and David Rosentha, Neighborhood champion Sudnya Shroff, LAHCF President Scott Vanderlip, LAH Council Member Linda Swan, Next Level Networks CEO David Barron
Front Row – Neighborhood Champion Greg and Ginny Badros.
We are all smiling behind our masks!
Figure above shows the basic route of the Burke Extension Route
Contact LAHCF for more details and how to sign up and be connected while the backbone project is being constructed. Initial designs and costs estimates for the backbone have been completed. Finalized designs and permits for this build are in progress.
This build is being funded by a slightly different model where 3 homeowners at the end of the build will initially fund for the full backbone construction costs. They will be reimbursed later as more properties connect using the fiber backbone that they funded. This is LAHCF’s – mutual benefit corporation model, for all subscribers to contribute to the cost of the subscriber fiber network.
10 Gig Circuits in test mode – Soon to be release to LAHCF members
LAHCF is set to lead the nation in providing the highest possible Internet speeds. We have left traditional copper wired vendors of AT&T U-VERSE and even cable Comcast thick wire technology behind. In a nut shell, any type of copper wired Internet service just can not compete with a fiber (glass) technology when you have any distance involved. LAHCF is already testing the home hardware modems to provide 10 GB service to the home. We already have confirmed that our fiber to the home and our fiber optic head end equipment can easily be upgraded to support 10 Gigabit service. Our current default minimum speed is 1GB Up/Down. We plan to upgrade that basic service to 10 GB Up/down. This upgrade to 10 GB from 1 GB service only requires a slightly more expensive modem/router that will be included as part of our regular install. Our peering connections and costs into the Internet at 10 GB versus 1 GB is not significant.
If you want to do a similar test, we had to download the special okidata speed test application directly on to a windows machine that also have a 10 GB Ethernet card.
Overview: Copper Ethernet old school directly to a GB Ethernet port on the computer is the best way to connect to the LAHCF and get the full GB level of service. When most laptops and even our latest wi-fi devices were designed and installed on laptops, computers, smart phones, the designers and engineers did not assume there would be GB level internet available.
As many “thin” laptops don’t even have a Ethernet card port, they just have a USB port (which can be configured with an Ethernet adapter) which still can’t get information as quickly as a GB ethernet card can into the computer. So if purchasing any new computer, confirm it has a GB (not 100 MB) Ethernet RJ45 port adapter.
Wireless technologies are still behind and many devices you have already in your network may severely limit your GB speed to your end computers.
Industry continues to develop next generation wi-fi standards but if your wi-fi equipment on either your in house routers or your computer wi-fi is older, this will be your limiting factor. A little bit of research looking at your adapter information will tell you what wi-fi standard of 802.11b, a, g, n, ac, etc. Your speed will be reflect the slowest wi-fi radio in your connection.
LAHCF provides each member with a SmartRG routers. This is the current state of art GB router that has the lately accepted wi-fi standard. This should be used your fiber network to achieve your best wi-fi and networking speeds. Older equipment may give you less speed results.
Basic Wi-fi Available Speeds
Below is a work-in-progress table for a forthcoming FAQ re: Wi-Fi performance. BTW the 802.11ax standard is not yet finalized (probably later this year) although a few companies have begun to sell gear with guesses at conforming to the eventual standard. You’ll definitely never see anything above 500 Mbps on 802.11ac class gear (currently he fastest available). Thus if you want to approach gigabit speed you’ll need a hardwired connection:
Connecting with a USB to Ethernet adapters
Many laptops today do not come with an Ethernet port and the only way to connect is via wi-fi or purchase a USB to Ethernet Adapter.
Once again, you need to get the latest adapter (USB 3 to gigabit Ethernet) version of this adapter and connect it in to your USB 3 port (not older USB 2 port).
You can buy these adapters many places including Target or office depot or on-line:
Linksys USB3GIG USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
* There is a nearly-as-complex similar situation for USB as discussed here with the actual speeds far lower than the theoretical ones. Here is one example of real-world performance of one of the better for one USB3-class network adaptors:
The dark fiber was lite.. and connected to the Internet at a datacenter with an NextLevel ISP providing Gigabit up/down Fiber service!
Around 8:30 PM on Tuesday April 2, 2019 – The circuit and complete connectivity and ISP accounts were enabled to the initial set of homes on Fremont Pines Lane.
Initially we started doing some testing using the default RUN SPEED TEST provided by Google and it was reporting speeds much slower (200 mbps) than what we were expecting. We tried various on-line speed tests and we quickly determine that many of the DSL and internet speed tests available just don’t work correctly for when you get to Gigabit services. You also have to verify you have computer ports that can handle Gigabit speeds rather than 100 MB speeds.
We were able to get some valid speed test readings on this site:
The image screen shot below shows one reading of 944 MBPS down and 921 MB/sec up and latency of 1 ms.
This reading below was done with a wire Ethernet connection to a Dell Optiplex 9020 small desktop that is equipped with a GB Ethernet card by default.
We attempted to get speed readings with wi-fi but almost all wi-fi standards, even the latest ones, simply can’t quite do full GB ( greater than 900 MB/S) speeds and a hard wire connection was required to show the full capabilities.
** Important – If you are attempting to do a speed check, be sure to verify and try various speed test sites and hardware as some laptops, computers, or wi-fi are the component slowing down the network from getting a true LAHCF reading. Most computers Ethernet card hardware is limited to 1 GB or less unless it is very new or specially purchased for up to 10 GB.
Eventual plans for LAHCF members are to upgrade to 10 GB service (from 1 GB) once residents modems and routers 10GB devices drop in price in the next year from various vendors to below a few hundred dollars from above $500 dollars now.
Now the service is up and running, we are still tuning and working out various issues with resident rollout in terms of accounts and standard equipment.
This is a major milestone to show that YES.. a community can get true gigabit fiber internet to it’s residences when we come together collectively to make it happen.
Our first community fiber dig event happened on February 23 2019! We had a group of neighbors as well as other folks interested in a community fiber project come and help dig the trenches and lay fiber conduit for the community fiber project.