Internet causes traffic problems

— 9:47 PM on November 28, 1999

And I thought it just experienced them. Here's an interesting AP story about how messed up Washington, D.C. roads are because of telecom companies. A large number of companies are ripping up roads to lay fiber-optic cable for high-speed data access. Unfortunately, the amount of cable being laid is so high that it's causing major traffic problems, from heavy slowdowns to a higher number of car repairs from having to navigate the torn up streets.

Washington isn't the only city to have this problem, but according to the article, it's worse there because their policy for allowing fiber runs is extremely lenient compared to other cities. Some cities charge fees to let companies lay fiber, require them to repave entire roads rather than just patch them, or even require them to lay fiber not only for the company but for a competitor and the government, as well. Washington D.C. does none of these things, so there has been a glut of permit requests and residents aren't too thrilled with the result. It's an interesting reminder of the "real world" effects of the quest for higher bandwidth.

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