back to article Super Cali goes ballistic, small-cell law is bogus. School IT outsourcing is also... quite atrocious

California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a state bill that would have allowed telcos to put up loads of small-cell antennas, and thus boost phone coverage, against city officials' wishes. Brown said that the proposed law, which was written by State Senator Ben Hueso (D) and backed by the wireless industry cheerleaders at the …

  1. Fan of Mr. Obvious

    Translation...

    Come on, Jerry. Give the muni's some credit.

    I have always either worked or lived in a place void of a decent signal. I would love it if carriers could simply submit for a permit to the local municipality building committee and get a booster in place. Chances are they (carrier) would be too cheap to want to erect a new pole, so that should be of very little concern. Just hang a piece of equipment on an existing eyesore and call it a day.

    1. whoseyourdaddy

      Re: Translation...

      "I have always either worked or lived in a place void of a decent signal."

      For the record, I have Verizon. Don't drop calls but have LTE dead zones.

      My co-workers have AWE and drop calls if they stand up from their cubicles at work or are on the wrong side of my apartment building.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Translation...

      Article: "would make it a lot harder for city and county officials to regulate phone carrier access to utility poles."

      Translation: would limit the number of kickbacks, favors, and outright corruption that local gummint officials could engage in.

      1. jimdandy
        Windows

        Re: Translation...

        Oh, BB - if only you knew. Because apparently you don't. It ain't as much about the dross of current gov't that you refer to; they can make their bones and cash on other things. Much of it has to do with the actual State requirements and then local gov't requirements for safe access to multiple utility infrastructures (in this case, "poles"). If you want to ensure that there will be an increase in injuries and deaths in the Electric/Telephonic industry, then forge ahead with your ideas - and this dangerous, if not stupid proposal.

        Unless you've been a Lineman, you cannot speak from anything other than your imagination. During the influx of Cable TV monopolies (and originally that is what they were, and still are) contracted installation was done as cheap and dirty as possible. That meant stringing cable as fast as possible, without any concern for safety of the other utility workers who had to use the same poles. And much less concern for a safe and quality installation*. In our district, the installers would use the least expensive and fastest way to nail cables to the pole, frequently making it impossible for the other utilities on the same pole to safely access their equipment.

        Needless to say, their were issues. They were usually solved by making sure that safety issues were addressed by the next utility crew accessing those poles. Which didn't always make the cable company's customers happy.

        That was then. What is at issue now is truly different. All the major CTV and Telcos are trying to dodge the original promise of "fiber-to-the-home", by substituting local WiFi instead. All of those companies promised upgrades that were based on fiber speeds, and the tech then was to use actual, unshared fiber cables to the residence. That is not what's happening now.

        The one advantage that Telcos had then was that they owned/sublet the direct connection to the consumer, with no sharing of bandwidth (except at the main nodes). Cable always had to explain that their cable capacity was "shared" by the neighborhood. Now, the Telcos want to do the same thing by putting WiFi transceivers on existing utility "aerial supports" to achieve the same lousy service that cable companiy's provide. As in nobody gets anything like the promised speed/bandwidth on holidays, weekends, and during MLB play-offs.

        IN other words, it is a race to mediocrity at best when it comes to any service outside of densely populated, high-rise tenants, or million dollar estates.

        Yes, every single little governmental entity is going to want it's cut at increasing revenue. We're supposed to get improved, or at least guaranteed service from them. A little graft now and again is just the same old thing this country has dealt with since Independence. And by the way, the Euros have a much more elegant version of this. If that offends you then think about all the other "enlightened" nations on this planet.*Ever seen the pix/videos of low-end European utility service wiring, much less that of third-world countries?

        We need to get this done right, so it is safe, and will last at least 10 years before the next new tech revolution changes everything.

        But if I had to climb a pole that had a half-dozen low voltage "entertainment" cables and devices in my way, I wouldn't worry very much about their physical device security in the course of doing my job safely. Those hooks for climbing poles are mighty sharp.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Translation...

          "That meant stringing cable as fast as possible, without any concern for safety of the other utility workers who had to use the same poles."

          Not in the USA, but one company sued the city for the right to string cables along the poles.

          The problem was the city had undergrounded all utilities 30 years earlier. Those poles were _lighting_ poles and they'd refused permission to string cables because the weight would have caused those poles to buckle and fall down.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Translation...

          *Ever seen the pix/videos of low-end European utility service wiring, much less that of third-world countries?"

          I think you need to be a bit more specific than that. "Europe" is not one big country. The EU isn't a country either, nor does it encompass all of Europe. It's a bit like me pointing and laughing at the state of the USA snow plow fleet based on what I see in Florida.

  2. Notas Badoff

    Good will hunting

    Meanwhile, somewhere in the mobile phone companies, there are people wondering why everybody is so mean to them, even after all the goodwill they've built up over the years.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't help wondering how fast the Brown retirement fund is growing because this looks as if the cities a buying the best advantage to their points of view.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting one this. It's easy to knee-jerk oppose anything the telcos want that smells like deregulation for them. However if you've never had the displeasure of working with a city authority in California it's hard to understand just how absurdly obtuse they could be. We've just moved our mothership to a new building in good old Silicon Valley. Four or fives times the size of the old one. So big we can sublet a third of it out and a third of it can still sit empty and we've still got twice the square footage per head we used to have. It's wonderful.

    Except, we still don't have enough meeting rooms. Why? Because the city council, in all their glorious wisdom, caps the number of meeting rooms a building's owner may choose to put inside it. Not just square footage of office space, or number of acres set aside for commercial zoning (they of course do that too), but how many rooms we're allowed inside our own bloody building.

    Plus there's a head count tax, a parking spot tax, perverse density regulations and, of course, the bars close at two.

    Silicon Valley might like their liberalism, but their cities sure do like to regulate the shit out of everything.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "the city council, in all their glorious wisdom, caps the number of meeting rooms a building's owner may choose to put inside it."

      It just needs a bit of creativity. Powerpoint auditing suites? Project control centres? Board rooms? Something more extravagantly sesquipedalian, there being no limits to US management-speak?

      A long time ago we had to rebuild a lab. We needed a reasonable number of offices to write up reports etc. but only staff above a certain level were allowed offices. So we specified writing rooms - no problem.

    2. Kernel

      "the city council, in all their glorious wisdom, caps the number of meeting rooms a building's owner may choose to put inside it."

      So, not being a resident of California, or even the US, I'm going to extent an invitation to any and all officials of that particular city to provide me with a rational explanation of why they even care about how many meeting rooms there are.

      1. LaeMing Silver badge
        Go

        You just need to call some of them "Veganing rooms."

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      "if you've never had the displeasure of working with a city authority in California it's hard to understand just how absurdly obtuse they could be"

      Want an example?

      My phone line had a LOT of problems until the phone company decided to re-build it end to end. It's still a bit problematic for the DSL [which throttles to <384k every time the phone rings, and I have to manually reset the modem to get "somewhat under 1Mbit" again, being at the limit of wire miles, LITERALLY on "the end" of the line - neighbor's phone line goes north, mine goes south - yeah], I asked about the 'undergrounding budget' and when the lines were going to go underground.

      Well, snarkily the tech admitted that they couldn't get things done in a REASONABLE way. After all, for every 'nice neighborhood' or simply upper-middle or middle-class neighborhood [like mine] that they do, they'd have to do a POOR RUN-DOWN GHETTO neighborhood "to match".

      So it's all about THE POLITICS, and not getting the work done efficiently, nor in a timely manner.

      There is most certainly a budget for putting the wires under ground. But progress is BARELY moving, even ~20 years after I first heard about it. Remember "the tank" that went on a rampage in San Diego? I lived acoss the street from the National Guard armory at that time, the one where that guy stole the tank from. That's when I heard about the 'undergrounding' budget, as it became a matter of discussion due to all of the phone poles that got knocked over by 'the tank'.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawn_Nelson_(plumber)

      Well, they fixed the phone poles after the tank broke 'em, but undergrounding the lines? It *STILL* has not happened!

      It's amazing, clearly surprising, just how much GUMMING UP that gummint can do, when it puts it's filthy little "mind" to it. The political correctness, the vote-buying, the payola, the scams, the scandals, and ALWAYS pandering to "some group" to get votes. These people are truly APALLING, in the worst kinds of ways. But then again, we had Mayor Bob "Feelner" Filner, who went through a Harvey Weinstein experience a few years ago, basically did the SAME KIND OF THING, and finally the libs were FILLED UP with "Feelner". One of his biggest former supporters (a Demo-Rat woman, former city councilman named Donna Frye) basically went on a crusade to CRUCIFY him.

      So yeah, here we are 20 years later, and NO UNDERGROUNDING, and my phone line really SUCKS because the 1970's copper wire is slowly deteriorating to the point where it doesn't right work any more. And re-building my line helped, but my DSL speed is still 25% below what it SHOULD be, even at THIS distance from the DSLAM.

      And if they underground, they can run FIBER while they're at it, right? Or you'd like to think so... but THAT would make TOO MUCH SENSE, wouldn't it?

      1. jimdandy

        Oh, you too?

        Hey again BB; just wanted to chip in and mention that where I live, the DSL from AT* can barely reach 1.35 mbps Down and 0.35 mbps Up. That's based on an every two week test over the last couple months.

        Oh, and while they cannot deliver Uverse TV to my neighborhood (so they say) they will offer faster Internet if I sign up and pay double the current rate. But with no guarantees of any particular speed.

        I'd worry a lot more about the rapacious behavior of the private companies who only intend to spend money where there is a guaranteed return far above the ability of small neighborhoods to support it.

        When a new home development beyond my own outpost was being built (@ 2002), and it was completed (aka just below 50% occupancy so the Company could dump responsibility onto the local city services after applying for inclusion) ATT had built the fiber right on past my neighborhood (and others) to that new development. And yet they can't run fiber from those nodes up our streets to provide reasonable service...or won't.

        Can't blame the local city; all the new projects are built under LA County rules and then are somehow "enticed" to apply for inclusion to our little city. A city of 250k residents.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        After all, for every 'nice neighborhood' or simply upper-middle or middle-class neighborhood [like mine] that they do, they'd have to do a POOR RUN-DOWN GHETTO neighborhood "to match".

        There's a simple reason for that Bob. The companies would never, ever do any improvements in the less well off areas of their own backs, so they have to be forced to do it. It's part of the social contract a business has with it's neighbours and hosts, ie the people it makes it's money from. Yeah, that's right, it's a bit of Socialism!!!! Yayyy!!!!!

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          "It's part of the social contract a business has with it's neighbours and hosts"

          The USA has been actively tearing up the social contract starting in California around 1968 under governor Ronny Raygun. It went into high gear after said governor became USA president.

          For an example of where the endgame goes, look at places like Honduras - https://www.salon.com/2015/03/02/my_libertarian_vacation_nightmare_how_ayn_rand_ron_paul_their_groupies_were_all_debunked/

          It's rather telling that Ayn Rand relied on government welfare to survive. Her books were fantasist works which didn't take any account of human nature, but that doesn't stop Randian accolytes trying to put the ideas into practice.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "However if you've never had the displeasure of working with a city authority in California it's hard to understand just how absurdly obtuse they could be."

      The Land of the Free has some of the most complex, inane and bureaucratic sets of rules on the planet, with overlapping sets of government full of jobsworths who make Vogons seem pleasant to work with.

      For a country which raves about its freedoms the amazing thing is how few the citizenry actually _has_.

      Seriously, doing business in almost every other part of the world is a breeze compared to doing almost anything in the USA, but on the other hand if you're a large business there you frequently have the ability to steamroller just about everything in your path and due process/civil rights be damned.

      1. eldakka Silver badge

        The Land of the Free has some of the most complex, inane and bureaucratic sets of rules on the planet, with overlapping sets of government full of jobsworths who make Vogons seem pleasant to work with.

        It's not just the US, most "democracies" build up similar, tho perhaps not quite to the extent of the US, rules.

        Most of these rules are to ensure that it remains free. There are rules put into place to make accounting for every cent spent possible to verify that there is no (ha!) corruption. Rules to prove that you've engaged in a fair tender process. That you haven't given kickbacks or bribes. That the $300million allocated for X has been spent on X and not redirected somewhere else, and so on.

        The cost of preventing bribery, ensuring the money is spent were it's supposed to be, that it can be reported back to the parliament/public, is greater than the cost of said bribery.

        It gets to the point where 2/3rds of the money allocated to a department/project is spent in making sure it's all above-board, accounted for, fair, and so on, whereas if they let money disappear (not accounted for properly), some bribery and so on, you'd probably lose 1/3rd of that money - and have 2/3rds accomplish its actual goals, rather than only 1/3rd of that as currently.

        It's like saying we have to make the roads 100% safe, there can be no fatalities, so let's implement all these restrictions - no vehicle can travel faster than 20mph, EVER, everyone has to do advanced driver training and be tested every-year, jail-time for breaking any road rules, if someone LOOKS tired - jailtime, and so on and so forth. Imagine the nightmare that would imposed on actually getting transport done. Well, you don't have to imagine it. just look to the rules, regulations, bureauacry that is meant to accomplish that with respect to government spending.

    5. Jtom Bronze badge

      Meeting rooms? You mean 'safe spaces'? Can't have enough in California, and no government is going to object.

  5. mediabeing

    This is a citizen's arrest. Verbal abuse. Turn around and put your keyboard behind you.

  6. Shart Tank

    never mind the Super Cali headlines...

    ... just write more headlines about Steely Neelie.

    1. IglooDude
      Pint

      Re: never mind the Super Cali headlines...

      I dunno, this particular headline was worth some virtual upvotes, or a raised glass.

      1. Swiss Anton

        Re: never mind the Super Cali headlines...

        No upvote from me, this is blatant plagiarism from a story printed in the Sun

        On 8th Feb 2000 the Sun printed a story headlined "Super Caley go ballistic, Celtic are atrocious". The story refers to the time the mighty Celtic FC were on the wrong end of a giant killing 1-3 score line when they played tiny Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC in the 3rd round of the Scottish cup.

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