Competition, and something more, drives Comcast upgrade in Huntsville

15 February 2017 by Steve Blum
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Chalk up another win for broadband competition. Comcast announced that it was expanding its next generation – DOCSIS 3.1 – cable modem footprint to Huntsville, Alabama, and would be offering gigabit-level service to at least some customers. Details on service locations, roll out schedule and prices were lacking, though.

What clearly isn’t lacking is a competitive threat. Huntsville’s publicly owned electric utility is in the process of building a fiber to the home network that will be operated by Google Fiber and offer gigabit service at about half the price that Comcast charges in the four cities where it’s already offering it.… More

Welcome to Webpass City, California

27 October 2016 by Steve Blum

We won. Why shouldn’t you believe it?

Google finally ‘fessed up to ditching its fiber construction business. In a blog post worthy of Baghdad Bob, the (now) former head of Google Fiber and related businesses – Craig Barratt – promised to “stay ahead of the curve — pushing the boundaries of technology, business, and policy — to remain a leader in delivering superfast Internet“. As he also announced his resignation.

By the time you read this, Google Fiber’s website might have changed, I’m sorry, pivoted again, but as it stands Californian cities are either transitioning from potential fiber city limbo to incumbent monopoly hell, or have been blessed as “Webpass cities”.… More

Salt Lake City may be debut of Google Fiber 2.0

26 August 2016 by Steve Blum

Critical mass.

Google has launched what might be its last fiber project. Or maybe it’s the first deployment of Google Fiber 2.0. Residents and small businesses in the densely populated central area of Salt Lake City can now sign up for service, if they are in reach of the fiber plant that’s been installed.

As it typical, Google is hazy on the details of exactly where service is available, or what future expansion plans might be.… More

Silicon Valley drops off of Google Fiber roadmap

10 August 2016 by Steve Blum
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Google has scrapped seemingly imminent plans to start laying fiber in Silicon Valley. According to a story yesterday in the San Jose Mercury News, Google has told officials in Palo Alto and Mountain View that the project is on hold, and the group that was to do the work has been disbanded…

The company was set to begin digging in San Jose last month, but nearly 100 employees hired to install Google Fiber were pulled into an office and told the project was being delayed, according to workers.


More delays for Google Fiber hopefuls

22 July 2016 by Steve Blum
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Limited potential.

Google is putting the brakes on its fiber builds. That seems to be the word out of Portland. According to a story in the Oregonian, contractors involved in the project – or at least who think they’re involved – say that construction won’t begin for several months, if ever. Google Fiber hasn’t actually said that Portland is one of its chosen few markets, but the general expectation was that an announcement to that effect would come in the fall.… More

Google Fiber finds a balancing point between home and business FTTP

17 July 2016 by Steve Blum

Google Fiber is rolling out service plans for small businesses, with prices ranging from $70 a month for symmetrical 100 Mbps service to $250 a month for a symmetrical gigabit, all with no data caps. The price for a gig is considerably more than Google’s standard $70 a month residential rate, but it also allows for more bandwidth-intensive uses. Up to a point.

For example, the acceptable use policy for Google’s residential service clearly prohibits running an online business via the connection…

You agree not to use or allow third parties to use the Services provided to you for any of the following purposes…

To operate servers for commercial purposes.


San Jose cuts a fiber deal but Google won't say yes yet

27 May 2016 by Steve Blum
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Click for the big picture.

San Jose is all for it, but Google Fiber remains coy about whether it’s going to build a fiber to the home system there, or elsewhere in the south Bay Area. On Tuesday, the San Jose city council voted unanimously to approve a construction plan and five fiber hut site leases on city land, for a prospective Google Fiber buildout.

Jenna Wandres, the Google representative at the meeting, said that they plan to build out to virtually the city, with the only possible exceptions physically hard to reach locations in the hills.… More

Google Fiber tries cheaper service tier in Kansas City

12 April 2016 by Steve Blum
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Google Fiber is pulling its 5 Mbps data plan off the market in Kansas City. It’s often mischaracterised as free, but it wasn’t quite that. The deal was that people living in a soon-to-be blessed fiberhood could pay a $300 installation fee and get 5 Mbps service for seven years. Speculation is that Google Fiber is trying to pump up revenue by steering low end subs to a $50 a month, 100 Mbps plan with free installation.… More

Austin and KC owe Californians a thank you card for paying their Internet bill

31 March 2016 by Steve Blum
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The gift that keeps on giving.

The fiber to the premise analysis done by the City and County of San Francisco summed up the likely competitive response to a municipal build in two words: Google Fiber. Incumbents in the markets Google targeted responded with upgrades and lower prices…

The incumbent providers’ responses to Google Fiber’s expansion in other cities may foreshadow their responses to a municipal network in San Francisco. After Google Fiber came to Kansas City, incumbent providers Comcast and Time Warner upgraded their networks to double residential speeds, which lowered the dollar per megabit cost of bandwidth for their customers.


Hints of respectability for Google Fiber's sub count

20 March 2016 by Steve Blum

Some tantalising numbers have been published that could be interpreted as bad news for Google Fiber’s subscriber count. Or it might foretell market success. It depends on how you look at it.

MoffetNathanson Research took a bearish look at the latest filings with the U.S. copyright office, which collects pay TV data, and found that Google has 53,000 video subscribers in the three markets where it’s doing business – Kansas City, Provo and Austin – which indicates it grew by only 23,000 subs in 2015.… More