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Cost of internet infrastructure for a country

Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:06 pm

The original question: "How much would it cost for Malaysia or Singapore to upgrade their internet infrastructure, so that the average end-user download speed for that country can be increased or even doubled?" Governments seem to provide cost numbers and spending specifics for all other works, projects and services: highways (miles and cost), electrical grids, housing... However, governments like Malaysia and Singapore claim that they are planning to upgrade their internet infrastructure to be "faster" and "more reliable" for their citizens and yet no price or budget is being tagged or cited--there are no details given.

This question arose from looking at figures at, which currently places South Korea with the world's fastest average. Of course, the data has been acquired from the voluntary tests ran at, making the data of a survey-nature as opposed to true research or scientific empiricism. Nonetheless, this brings up the question, how exactly is a country's internet infrastructure handled? Does it come down to the hardware used? Whether more users are connected via Dial-up, DSL, ADSL, cable, etc? Whether the ISPs within the country are using SONET connections, what kind and how much fiber optics, etc.? Does it come down to how much bandwidth is being purchased by the consumers from the Tier 3 ISPs? What about how much bandwidth is being purchased by the ISPs upstream? If a country wants to revamp their internet infrastructure do they go to somebody? Do Tier 1 networks get involved? What kind of costs are considered and how are they calculated?

The more I try to research this question, the more and more I become inundated and confused about how the internet is handled at large scales. Therefore, this question is posed to those who are familiar with the true history of the internet or the internet at the macro-scale (and I don't mean TLDs or ICAAN, or anything dealing with IPs, domains, etc.), economists, and the like.
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Captain Ned
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Re: Cost of internet infrastructure for a country

Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:25 pm

They measure connectivity on an AS (Autonomous System) basis and keep track of who the players are and how their ranks change.
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Re: Cost of internet infrastructure for a country

Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:36 pm

Apparently it will be 40 billion Oz to upgrade Australia to a Fiber to the Home (well 95% to FTTH, the rest with Sat). I have my doubts, since so far 11B is allocated to Telstra (former government Telco that was privatised badly giving it a monopoly) so the government can use/buy their pits and exchanges. ... nd_network
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Re: Cost of internet infrastructure for a country

Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:36 pm

I'm a software developer at Cisco on the CRS, the biggest, fastest router in the world. Over the years I've handled issues that have come in from most of the ISPs mentioned if you follow Captain Ned's link. If you do happen to own a CRS and have a problem with Netflow that's specific to the CRS then it's going to end up with me.

You will likely find it very hard to get figures. Whilst there is a list price published, it is no secret that there are heavy discounts offered based on purchasing large quantities of equipment and especially for becoming a network that is exclusively run on one vendor's equipment (although most of the top ISPs mandate at least two vendors). These discount levels are very commercially sensitive and even though I work at Cisco, I have no idea what our customers paid for the various bits of equipment. What I can tell you is that although there deep discounts if you start rolling out routers with high speed interfaces (40G OC-768 currently, 100GE coming soon) for your backbones it doesn't come cheap. I've handled plenty of hardware that the list price was way over what the list price was for my four bedroom brand new house. You definitely don't want to trip whilst carrying one of those across the lab :o

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