Google Fiber likes Salt Lake, Utopia not so much

26 March 2015 by Steve Blum
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No room on the Google bus.

Google Fiber’s Utah expansion appears limited to Salt Lake City and, maybe, some surrounding areas. In its announcement and press event on Wednesday, the Google team talked about “metro area—Salt Lake City”, but the emphasis was on the city proper.

There’s also no prospect, at this point, for Google to step in and rescue the Utopia municipal fiber system, as it did in Provo. Six of the eleven cities in the consortium want to move ahead with a refinancing deal proposed by Macquarie Capital, but no promises have been made yet and final decisions are still months away.… More

Google Fiber expanding into Salt Lake area

25 March 2015 by Steve Blum
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Salt Lake City will be the next stop for Google Fiber. According to a post on the Google Fiber blog yesterday…

“Now, another city in the Silicon Slopes is poised to show the world what’s possible with gigabit Internet. Today, we’re ready to bring Google Fiber to one more metro area—Salt Lake City”.

…It’s a logical expansion out of its nearby Provo base. One question to be answered: does the expansion into the metro area include the Utopia systems?… More

Utopia might finally be utopia, thanks to Google

15 December 2013 by Steve Blum
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Is a Google buyout the exit strategy?

One way or the other, it looks like Google is behind an impending bailout of Utopia, Utah’s multi-city muni fiber-to-the-home system. According to a story in the Ogden Standard-Examiner (and with a h/t to the Baller Herbst List)…

…officials gave only generic detail on what’s coming as a huge opportunity involving a major company mirroring Google’s involvement with Utah County.

They’re referring to Google’s take over of the municipal FTTH system in Provo, earlier this year.… More

Google seeks friends to influence Provo landlords

14 November 2013 by Steve Blum
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By the book.

Google is laying a time honored sales technique on Provo landlords: the presumptive close. As in Kansas City, it’s requiring owners to front the installation charge for all the units in a building before it’ll start wiring it up. The big difference in Provo is that it’s only charging $30 per household, instead of $300. That was part of the deal made with Provo when it took ownership of the city’s fiber optic system earlier this year.… More

Quiet campaign for Longmont muni FTTH bonds

29 October 2013 by Steve Blum
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Cards not on the table yet.

Judging by the lack of ripples in cyberspace, the upcoming $45 million broadband bond election in Longmont, Colorado is not generating a boisterous debate. Granted, it’s difficult to gauge Rocky Mountain political temperatures from beachside in California, but signs of passion, pro or con, are few.

The city’s electric utility published a promotional piece that focuses on the upside of the proposed citywide fiber-to-the-home network and downplays the negatives. The brochure dissembles about the risk to electric ratepayers

Are my electric rates expected to increase to repay this bond?


Google says tear down local policy barriers to get faster broadband

28 October 2013 by Steve Blum
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No red tape to be seen.

“In Kansas City, my crews don’t wait for inspectors, the inspectors wait for them”, said Milo Medin, the head of Google Fiber. “We work with communities that make it easy for us. if you make it hard on us, enjoy your cable connection.”

Medin spoke last week to organisations funded by the California Emerging Technology Fund at a meeting hosted by Google in Mountain View. His message was that upgrading broadband infrastructure, improving service and lowering costs is an economic driver that should be proactively supported by policy makers and public agencies.… More

Provo proves Comcast can offer better service at a lower price when there's no other choice

6 September 2013 by Steve Blum
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Comcast’s patron saint.

You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.”
Al Capone

Comcast guards what it considers to be its turf with a ferocity that makes a Chicago gangster look like a social worker. Now, it’s putting a move on Provo.

As Utah broadband blogger Jesse Harris tells it…

I spoke with one of their sales guys who confirmed that Comcast will be offering a package of 250Mbps/50Mbps for $70 starting in September, but only in Provo.


Longmont voters will decide whether to back FTTH with their electric bills

3 August 2013 by Steve Blum
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Putting broadband bonds on the meter.

As Google Fiber takes the reins in Provo, Utah, the city council in Longmont, Colorado is heading to the ballot box to, essentially, ask voters if they want to follow the same path. At least as far as using city electric bills as collateral.

The Longmont council voted in May to move ahead with plans to build a fiber-to-the-home system, leveraging an existing – and successful – municipal dark fiber business.… More

Google Fiber's Provo deal is Internet on the instalment plan

24 July 2013 by Steve Blum
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A cashless transaction.

Google will be rolling out its fiber to the home offering in Provo, Utah next week. The company signed the deal to buy the city-owned system on Monday. Negotiated and approved by the Provo municipal council in April, the final details were ironed out and Google took possession of the system this week.

Google got the system in exchange for a token payment and a promise to finish building out the FTTH system to everyone in the city, and provide free service for seven years at something like 5 Mbps to any resident that pays a $30 installation fee.… More

Longmont keeping FTTH details out of public view for now

20 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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Taxiing towards takeoff in Longmont.

The Longmont, Colorado city council settled for a staff report and a powerpoint presentation that summarized the results of a feasibility study, before voting unanimously to take the next step toward building a municipal fiber-to-the-home system. The nitty-gritty details – business model, raw research data, quantitative analysis and the like – are being kept out of the public domain for now.

The report asked the city council to allow staff to continue moving ahead with work on the project, and in particular to give the city’s finance director permission to develop a financing plan, based on various debt options.… More