You're not one of us, California cable tells Google

15 March 2016 by Steve Blum
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Not welcome.

Google probably thought its problems getting access to utility poles in California were safely astern. After all, the California Public Utilities Commission declared that Google is a cable company and has the same right as any other cable (or telephone) company to use utility poles. Turns out, other cable operators, via their Sacramento lobbying front, are claiming that Google Fiber isn’t a member of their tribe and shouldn’t be allowed on poles that they jointly control with electric and telephone utilities.… More

Google might motivate taxpayers to back FTTH

From a city’s perspective, Google Fiber’s new business model – lease existing wholesale fiber, light it up and sell retail service to subscriber-dense buildings – is both an opportunity and a problem. The opportunity is clear: rapid deployment of fast, cheap fiber to the home (and business) service for the lucky few that can get it.

And that’s also the problem. The lucky few part anyway, particularly if municipally-owned fiber is involved. One of the fundamental tenets of city government is that municipal services are available to everyone.… More

Google adopts Santa Cruz muni fiber model in Huntsville

29 February 2016 by Steve Blum
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The City of Huntsville, Alabama is following Santa Cruz’s fiber lead: building a fiber to the home (and business) network and leasing it out to a private operator. In Huntsville’s case the private operator is Google Fiber, while in Santa Cruz the partner is a local independent Internet service provider, Cruzio.

The lead consultants on the Huntsville project – CTC Technology and Energy – applied the lessons they learned working for the City of Santa Cruz

The partnership model announcement today between Huntsville and Google Fiber is on the model of that pioneered by Westminster, Maryland in 2014 and by Santa Cruz, California last year…

This innovative, shared-risk partnership model puts the locality in the business of building infrastructure, a business it knows well after a century of building roads, bridges, and utilities.


Google Fiber radically changes its business model

26 February 2016 by Steve Blum
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Evolution happens faster than you expect.

Google Fiber is steering away from the massive capital investment required to build fiber to the home networks – even just in cherry picked fiberhoods – and going after targets of opportunity where someone else is paying for the glass. This week it’s signed a deal with Huntsville, Alabama to be the anchor service provider on a fiber to the premise system that the city will build and followed it up with an announcement that it’ll be using other people’s fiber to offer a very limited kind of service in San Francisco

By using existing fiber to connect some apartments and condos, as we’ve done before, we can bring service to residents more quickly.


Blocking improvement hurts the environment too

27 December 2015 by Steve Blum
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I don’t know if anyone has ever specifically asked, but if I had to bet I’d guess that most Californians would rate traffic congestion as a bigger problem than Internet speeds. Occasionally waiting a few seconds while Netflix buffers is annoying. Spending an hour in traffic just to travel a handful of miles is soul destroying. It’s no coincidence that three Silicon Valley companies – Google, Apple and Tesla – are at the forefront of self-driving car development.… More

Google talks fiber for LA, but so far no unicorn

9 December 2015 by Steve Blum
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More possibles in California, but so far no glass.

Los Angeles is now on Google’s list of “potential fiber cities”. LA, along with Chicago, are still a long way from officially joining the club, though. All Google will really say about the prospects of building in either city is

As we kick off our usual checklist process, we’ll work closely with city leaders to collect detailed information about each metro area. From Venice Beach to Wrigley Field, we’ll study the different factors that would affect construction—like city infrastructure and topography—and use that information to help us prepare to build a local fiber network.


More Google Fiber potential in the midwest and south

31 October 2015 by Steve Blum

Google has announced three more potential fiber cities. According to the Google Fiber blog

We’re inviting Oklahoma City, OK, Jacksonville, FL and Tampa, FL, to explore bringing Google Fiber to their communities, as we did last month with three other cities. These growing tech-hubs have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to small business growth. Their list of accolades is long—from Jacksonville’s title as a top 10 city for tech jobs, to Tampa Bay’s #2 spot on the list of best cities for young entrepreneurs, to Oklahoma City’s recognition as the #1 city to launch a business.


Gigabit for San Jose could cost Google a gigabuck

23 October 2015 by Steve Blum
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Click for the network diagrams (also included in the full report below)

The environmental review of Google’s possible fiber optic network in San Jose includes a surprisingly detailed description of the network, including diagrams of the local distribution system with breakouts by aerial and conduit routes. It’s a good primer for anyone interested in learning how a fiber to the home network is designed and built. According to the report…

Google Fiber’s FTTP infrastructure consists of four primary elements.


Google Fiber gets initial enviro okay in San Jose, could be model for California

22 October 2015 by Steve Blum
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I hope they survey me, Robin. The Batcave still has dial up.

Google Fiber is taking a harder look at San Jose. The city has prepared the initial environmental assessment, more than 400 pages long, which declares there will be no significant environmental impact if Google builds out a fiber to the home system there

The proposed Project includes the following components: The installation of approximately 2,300 miles of fiber optic cables (consisting of about 1,340 miles of below ground installation and 960 miles of aerial installation using existing utility poles); the installation of approximately ten Local Aggregation Sites either inside pre-fabricated communications shelters (fiber huts) or enclosed within existing commercial buildings; underground utility vaults and utility cabinets; and connections directly to customers.


Cox lawyers up, stalls Google Fiber

14 October 2015 by Steve Blum
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Backlash from Cox Communications is slowing down Google Fiber’s march on Arizona. Phoenix and surrounding towns are considered by Google to be “potential” fiber cities, and although no final decision has been made the company is taking the necessary steps to get permission to operate. Not just the standard deal, though. Everywhere it’s gone, Google has asked for particular terms regarding things like master leases for public property, permit processing and, in Arizona, local licenses, similar to cable television franchises in California.… More