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Google Fiber Delays Broadband Award To 2011

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the hold-your-horses dept.

Google 90

coondoggie writes "The response to the invitation to become a test market for Google's planned high-speed broadband network has been overwhelming, so much so the company today said it would delay awarding the system until 2011. According to a post in its website, Google said 1,100 communities and 194,000 individuals responded to its proposal. Google had hoped to award the test program this month."

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Great (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34578988)

more time for me to spam their system with more entries!

Re:Great (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580248)

They aren't taking new entries; the cities that in the running are set.

But you can still show support for a great candidate. []

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34580902)

right, so why'd you give us a link to that shitty candidate?

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34583168)


Re:Great (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581570)

"Too many choices!!" doesn't really make sense as an explanation on why they are delaying until next year, anyways. (If there are so many valid choices, how about just putting them up on a dart-board?) So, why the delay?

Of course, delaying until 2011 might just mean delaying for a couple weeks, which is nothing. But if they haven't made an announcement by March, I'll be disappointed. Not that google owes me anything, but I'm cheering from the sidelines and would be disappointed if they pulled the plug.

idea (2)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579002)

Considering the high demand, Google Fiber should make multiple awards.

Maybe Google could get into the ISP business.

Even if conflicts of interest would prevent Google from direct involvement, I would heartily welcome Google Fiber franchising.

Re:idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34579050)

Re:idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34579078)

Google has stated that it does not want to be an ISP, rather sell connections to ISPs at wholesale rates, much like how dial up was in the 90's.

I really hope that they do jump into this and make it happen. Competition and choice in the broadband is lacking severely in the US right now.

Re:idea (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579170)

+1. I'd love to see small "retail"/"boutique" ISPs reappear, like how we had the funky ones in the 90s before broadband killed the little guys off. For example, I miss the old and other places.

Re:idea (3, Informative)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579458)

Broadband didn't kill the small and medium ISPs. Regulatory changes requested by the telecoms killed the small and medium ISPs. Ask anyone who worked at one of those ISPs, they'll tell you exactly which rule changes shut them down.

Re:idea (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579760)

The rule that said it was legal for a company to sell local dialup for a few dollars per account per month? So much cheaper that local ISPs couldnt hope to compete and had to get on board trying desperately to value-add as people stopped caring how nice your webmail portal was or how up to date your usenet cache was? Damn those regulations...

Re:idea (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579778)

*I Should have said national bulk/wholesale company (i.e. Broadwing, Ikano, etc.)

Re:idea (5, Informative)

choprboy (155926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581382)

Sorry, no your wrong. I work for an ISP and I know exactly what the GP was referring to. The removal DSL from the list of tariffed products (the list that sets price for wholesale telco products) is what killed small/medium ISPs. The national dialup pools had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Before the rule changes, any mom-n-pop ISP (which could be 20,000 subscribers) could sell DSL internet to a customer for the DSL-line tariff charge + ISP charge (the same tariff charge as the telco charged its direct customers). The only difference between ISP A, ISP B, and the telco monopoly ISP was the ISP charge and the customer services provided by each.

After the tariff change, the local telco monopoly now charges much more for the DSL line charge to a third party alone than it does for its own complete bundled service. As an example... Qwest now charges $33/mon for a bare-naked DSL line serviced by a third party ISP. Add in $20/mon for the ISP charge. Qwest's own DSL package price is $29.95, less the line cost itself.

Remember, this is just the price difference in the last-mile DSL circuit. The mom-n-pop ISP also pays the telco for dedicated high-bandwidth circuits to every CO DSLAM to pickup the aggregate circuits (typically). How does a local mom-n-pop ISP (often with far better customer service) compete when the base price of the DSL circuit (without service) is more than the incumbent monopoly package price?

Re:idea (1)

Rudolf (43885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34583566)

How does a local mom-n-pop ISP (often with far better customer service) compete when the base price of the DSL circuit (without service) is more than the incumbent monopoly package price?

Compete on service and not price. The same way that mom-n-pop stores compete against Home Depot and WalMart.

If the service is good, people will pay a premium for it.

Re:idea (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584284)

You're kidding yourself if you think a major ISP like Qwest would allow a mom and pop store to compete against them. If the mom and pop store is successful, watch Qwest raise their prices until the mom and pop store is priced out of the market, regardless of what the service is like.

Home Depot and Walmart don't charge resellers more than regular customers do. The only thing they might do is institute a limit on the quantity a single person can buy. Apples and oranges.

Re:idea (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584314)

The existing services are "good enough", as far as the public is concerned. As long as they don't have to wait more than a few seconds for a webpage, they don't care about anything else. Issues like throttling and DNS redirection don't matter to enough people that you could fund a company by serving those that do.

Re:idea (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34587508)

Sorry, no, the topic was *dial-up*. DSL != Dial-up.

DSL and other broadband mediums were never competitive at the local level, they require far too much specialization for a mom-n-pop to compete. What you thought was competition early on was just the RBOCs getting their feet wet seeing if they could extract extra revenue from reselling DSL to a middleman. Once they saw the middlemen were doing them no good, of course they cut them out of the picture. What we now know is that you can't run a telecom company on "good customer service"... If the product is good the customer service is insignificant. If the product is shit all the customer service in the world won't get a customer back online faster.

Re:idea (1)

yyttrrre (741310) | more than 3 years ago | (#34582510)

Actually I would like to hear about this. I work for a small ISP which leases its copper from the LEC and we are doing just fine. Although we only deal with business customers and also provide VOIP service.

Re:idea (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579902)

I'd love to see small "retail"/"boutique" ISPs reappear, like how we had the funky ones in the 90s before broadband killed the little guys off.

My current DSL ISP is a small, local, boutique ISP.

Re:idea (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#34582728)

Which local phone company do you have?

Re:idea (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34589504)

Which local phone company do you have?


Re:idea (1, Interesting)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580080)

I'd pay extra for a decently fast broadband that didn't fold to whatever whims the goverment/MAFIAA have that day, and practiced true net neutrality. To my knowledge, I've never had any agencies/lawyers/etc care enough about my online activities to contact me or my ISP, nor has Comcast artificially slowed down my data. It's the principle that bothers me.

It's the principle that also keeps me from using any hermetically sealed Apple products (which is all of them). It's also the principle that keeps me from playing computers games that I really want, but are hampered by online activation requirements which strip away my rights as a buyer, and relegates me into the role of a 'licensee' (Civ5, Fallout NV, Assassin's Creed, Bioshock, etc.). Apple's hypercontrolling business model, or online game activation/control, may not affect me in any meaninful way, but it's the very principles that bother me.

If I even had another option for broadband that's faster than 1.5 Mbps other than Comcast, I'd sign up in an instant. Unfortunately, I don't even have an choice.

Re:idea (3, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581370)

I would love an ISP that is essentially for sysadmins. No BS, but solid tech support (no script readers, but people who actually know UNIX.) It would have the following features:

1: Limited numbers of customers. This is not an ISP for Joe Sixpack. Perhaps a friend referral system like some Google betas, perhaps a "clue test". There are many companies who want Joe and Aunt Tillie; this ISP isn't one of them. This way, someone coming from has an E-mail address that is distinctive.

2: NNTP caching. It isn't competing with EasyNews, but USENET is something an old school ISP always had.

3: Squid proxy. Let the ISP do the caching.

4: Proxy/VPN service. It would be nice to have the ISP handle traffic for iPhones or Android devices to ward off attacks from Firesheep or other items.

5: Exchange. No, this isn't with the UNIX ways, but so many things these days depend on Exchange, (such as being able to erase mobile devices if lost/stolen.)

6: A decent mirror updated often. Ideally, RedHat, Ubuntu, Debian, *BSD, CentOS, Linux kernel patches, and other items. Bonus points for full repos as well.

7: The usual Web page support, with database access to the usual OSS ones, as well as Oracle and DB/2.

8: Backups standard. If it gets stored, it gets backed up.

9: Home directories have file access through the web, and are stored on a WAFL or other system where snapshots are easily retrieved.

10: E-mail privacy. Unless there is a court order, the mailbox contents are only accessible by the user, or admins doing their duties.

11: SLAs. All data is backed up onto encrypted media so a tape dropping off a truck doesn't mean compromise, all E-mail is stored on encrypted LUNs so someone yanking hard disks out doesn't get data. Finally, a guarantee that if the company is going to go under, there is money to cover complete destruction of all stored customer data by a certain date unless specifically asked for in writing. This way, someone doesn't pick up the liquidated assets and sell the information.

12: The banhammer. Someone has a machine that has obvious signatures of a botnet, and the user has not stated he may be running honeypots, that box gets yanked and the user is redirected to a Web page telling him to reinstall, or take full responsibility for any honeypots. Same with lots of spam out port 25, or repeated connections to port 22 for brute force password guessing. A user who can't clean up their mess doesn't belong as as subscriber.

13: Logs (mail, router, etc) are kept for a fairly short time (2-3 days to a week) then deleted unless a court order asks for them to be kept, or there is a security issue that means they need to be kept longer.

14: No advertisers, period. The ISP makes its cash from subscriber fees. This way, there is no conflict of interest.

15: Ad-dropping transparent proxies. This would be a feature that could be turned (default off), so people wouldn't have to worry about Adblock and such when viewing the Web.

16: SecurID as an option. This way, someone can check mail on not so trusted computers and be resistant to not having their account hijacked. The session can be hijacked, but no more than that.

Heck, an ISP could also go into the cloud VM business, and even offer Linux or Windows VPS hosting, which helps find more uses for the money spent.

Re:idea (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581742)

1: Limited numbers of customers.

That right there would make it extremely expensive. Though I guess if you're a sysadmin you could probably afford it.

Re:idea (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34587376)

If done right, it wouldn't be too expensive. The main thing is that the ISP is intended to serve computer professionals, and is built around doing the job, doing the job right, protecting customer data, and providing service from people with a clue to people with a clue.

Obligatory XKCD: []

Re:idea (1)

Doug Neal (195160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34587024)

These UK [] ISPs [] have quite a lot of that list covered.

Although the UK's situation, as far as broadband goes, is not perfect, the incumbent telco (BT) is at least forced by the regulator (Ofcom) to act as a wholesaler. Any ISP can provide service over BT's phone lines and backbones.

Re:idea (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580318)

Hell yes! My first ISP was a video rental store (Family Video) that already had a fat pipe and plenty of storage, so they offered "unlimited internet" for $12/mo.

And when they said unlimited, they really meant it. They'd give you free hosting, so I put up a bunch of web sites. My old Quake site was massive, I hosted demos, patches, skins, maps, etc, as well as pages and pages of command codes, jokes, Quake-related MP3s, etc., and never once had them complain about it.

I was on a 28k modem at the time, it would take hours to download a patch and upload it back to the server, and folks wrote me saying they'd wait for me to offer the patch, because the huge traffic sites like Planet Quake had their servers catching fire from all the traffic, and they could get it faster from my site.

I left them when DSL became available here in the early part of the decade. Wikipedia says [] they sold their ISP business to EarthLink

Re:idea (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 3 years ago | (#34583404)

Indeed. This is roughly the model used in the NBN (National Broadband Network) currently being built in Australia. A company ('NBNCo') is laying fiber with an aim to bring 100 Mbps-1 Gbps to 93% of the population in the next 8 years. But they are purely a wholesale-only layer 2 provider. It is up to ISPs to provide layer 3 services to the end user over the network. The idea being that it provides a level playing field for ISP competition to thrive.

Good to see Google intends to take this approach in the US too. It's sorely needed in the US (moreso than elsewhere) due to the fact that there's essentially only a choice between the local DSL monopoly or the local cable monopoly in most places ... not much ISP competition to be found.

Re:idea (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579718)

Considering the high demand, Google Fiber should make multiple awards.

Conceivably, that could be part of the reason for delay; if they have decided to scale up the resources devoted to the initial effort, from one community to more than one, there could be additional scaling-out time needed.

Re:idea (4, Funny)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580442)

Google already is an ISP. Haven't you kept up to date: [] . They have had this out there for awhile. I heard it didn't bowl anyone over. You'd think that a company like Google that is flush with cash could do better.

Re:idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34584850)

Google actually should buy a company like Verizon, and make internet completely wireless 4G or faster. That would be really opening up the future. You hook up your car to it, so you have steaming audio and video on the road (if you have service), mobile medical, checkout service. That would be something....

Thats rough (2)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579124)

Man what do you do when the fiber blocks you up? Drink more water? Maybe google needs an enema?

Another solution (2)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579126)

What if some of those 1100 communities were to just build the fiber out themselves, instead of looking for Google to do it for them?

Re:Another solution (1)

Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579272)

You mean, pay for it yourself? WTF?

Re:Another solution (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579384)

What if some of those 1100 communities were to just build the fiber out themselves, instead of looking for Google to do it for them?

Then they'd be tied up in the courts for years as they are sued by telecom companies and eventually the project would be outlawed by new laws that would be passed in the state or locality by the shills the telecom companies paid to have elected. At least that's what has been happening in many such attempts.

Re:Another solution (4, Interesting)

dunezone (899268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580586)

Or when the towns go to vote the telecom companies will run newspaper and tv ads on how it will cost the taxpayer more if the city ran network goes under.

This happened to a tri-city outside of Chicago (Geneva, St. Charles, Batavia). These three towns were voting to build a municipal network and let me tell you the week before voting the amount negative ads running against it were crazy. They basically played on the fear that if this failed the tax payer would foot the bill. It failed in vote but had every household that agreed to it bought it into it would have paid itself off in 5 years.

The best part the reason the three towns were doing it were because Comcast or any other major telecom refused to bring in broadband. Literally two weeks after the vote Comcast had delivered to 90% of the three cities.

Re:Another solution (2)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581510)

The telecoms tried that very hard in my hometown... Even had several "concerned citizens" suing the city after their own lawsuits failed. Ended up pushing back the start date by two years. In the end, though, we won... And completed the build-out ahead of schedule. :) []

Hell of a deal... Still kicking myself for moving to this hellhole right before the build started. The neighborhood my apartment used to be in was the picked as the initial test case!

Re:Another solution (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579442)

What if some of those 1100 communities were to just build the fiber out themselves, instead of looking for Google to do it for them?

And force Comcast to file 1100 new lawsuits to block them from doing it?

Re:Another solution (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579506)

And force the taxpayers to cover infrastructure which is then leased to a private monopoly which charges the taxpayers to use the infrastructure they just paid for?

Re:Another solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34580652)

In Ashland, OR, they built a community broadband network years ago. They had to be on the cutting edge.

Now, the program is losing money hand over fist; and the esteemed city council decide to tack a surcharge onto ALL POWER BILLS in the city in order to cover the shortage. It's hard to imagine a more regressive policy; collecting from all users of an essential basic utility to pay for a luxury for a minority.

City-managed networks are no panacea.

Re:Another solution (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579756)

What if some of those 1100 communities were to just build the fiber out themselves, instead of looking for Google to do it for them?

Access to capital to pay for the up front costs is probably an issue here. The success of the Google demonstration could make it easier for others to get capital to do similar things (presuming, of course, that the success of the roll-out isn't attributed to factors that independent parties can't easily replicate.)

Re:Another solution (2)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581056)

They would be stuck with maintenance costs for broadband equipment and no way to pay for them. Most local munis are broke right now and looking to pare back services. Many libraries will be lucky to survive. If some municipalities want to try it, I say go for it, but I just don't see it happening on a large scale. No one has the cash anymore.

Re:Another solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34581188)

You mean like Chattanooga TN, whose electric co-op did just that, and has already offered 1Gpbs speeds?

That's unthinkable!

But yes, they did get sued by Comcast, and AT&T, but the corporate scum lost, so now all of the residents of the area served by the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga are on their way to receiving fiber service. Or they can get AT&T's or Comcast if they want.

Yay win for everybody.


/dev/trash (182850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34582204)

The 'We the People Surround Them' crowd known as the Tea Party don't want taxes. They want no services. They want spending cut.


Overkill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34579190)

Is there much point in broadband that fast? At some point, other parts of the system (such as the local network or hard drive) become the slowest link in the system and the extra speed is wasted.

Re:Overkill? (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579306)

I think that's why this is a "TEST."

Google wants to effectively identify the bottlenecks and provide an incentive for companies to proactively address them with new solutions. Such as Netflix locating regional servers to distribute their content such that it doesn't travel over a backbone.


Re:Overkill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34579352)

SSDs, plus even the orginal SATA can cope with 1.5 gbit/s. Also you would be getting a router to handle the speed.

Re:Overkill? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579544)

Provide the resources, and someone will find a use for them. Don't provide the resources and everyone becomes artificially constrained whether or not they have a genius idea that could use them. After all, was 640K enough for everyone?

Re:Overkill? (1)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579622)

Eventually the local networks or hard drives will become fast enough to handle the throughput.

Whatever happened to pushing the boundaries of technology "because we can"?

Re:Overkill? (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34583502)

My local government has decided to spend a fortune putting fiber^wfibre everywhere. Their decision has nearly bankrupted all the local fiber providers since they aren't getting any new business and the government mandated system isn't fast enough to support the cool things you can already do on dark fiber like put half your SAN in a different postcode. Yet they are still spending money to try to find the next killer app for their crippled speed network.

Re:Overkill? (1)

strstr (539330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579964)

local physical storage could handle most of it, some could handle it and more (SSDs), but think about loading remote data directly to RAM to be ran - using storage that's over the Internet with one of these as if it were a superfast local storage, even - plus with all the uplink speed, share your content across the net at lightning speeds with all your other devices and acquantainces as if the content were local on the remote device. you could do it both ways, both cloud storage and keeping your own content locally if you chose and available whereever you go.

Demand Unmet (4, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579266)

So Google talks about rolling out fiber to the home and they get nearly 200,000 responses and 1,100 communities express interest. That pretty well sums up the network infrastructure in the US. It's too slow, too expensive, and falling behind the times. I'm sure we will not be regarded as the most technologically advanced nation within another generation. This generation has failed to invest in critical infrastructure and has let corporate interests divert the money that should be being spent on public works projects, into those corporations own back pockets.

And yet, I can't help but think, "we deserve this". I mean the people are too lazy and stupid to pay attention to what's going on, or bother to vote, or bother to research candidates before they vote. So corporate shills are elected. They hand over taxpayer dollars, but require no return on the taxpayer's investment and pass laws to make sure taxpayers have fewer, more expensive choices when purchasing services.

Maybe one of the few innovative companies with enough prestige will be able to start real reform, but I seriously doubt it. This empire is crumbling and, as usual, the average person is too arrogant (USA #1 whooo!) to even consider how far we've fallen behind already. They don't want to hear it or have to think about the hard decisions that need to be made to turn things around.

Good luck Google, but I almost think you should just test out your new technologies in Japan or Korea or Sweden or somewhere where they are actually implementing fiber to the home, for a more realistic sense of what your future customers will be using.

Re:Demand Unmet (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580702)

The FCC so needs to crack down that it just is no longer funny.
1. Cable providers should not be allowed to own networks. Comcast owning NBC! No way.
2. We need net neutrality rules. Freak I pay to connect to the internet ISP you need to connect me.
3. Local governments need to crack down on the cable companies. They grant them "franchises" They should demand certain price levels and bandwidth.
4. We have been paying a telecom tax to the tune of how much for how long and we still do not have universal, inexpensive, broadband? Maybe it is time to get a refund with interest and fines!

Re:Demand Unmet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34581246)

The FCC so needs to crack down that it just is no longer funny.

Yeah, because it was the free market that got us here, so let's add more government regulation!

The only workable solution my little pea-brain's come up with is a shared fiber infrastructure that all telecommunications providers compete on. The physical wires must be divorced from the service providers.

Re:Demand Unmet (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34582326)

The physical wires must be divorced from the service providers.

How is that not regulation?

Re:Demand Unmet (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34585958)

Because it never was a free market to start with and we can not turn back the clock.

Telcom started out as a monopoly and local ones are still granted exclusive "franchises" and have had over a century of government protected profits to build out their infrastructure not to mention actual tax money.
The same true for the cable companies.
They have a big head start. Now we need to fix it and level the playing field.
The shared fiber is a good idea but how do keep Verizon or AT&T offering super cheap plans if you get your CellPhone from them also? Or just super cheap plans to run the other ISPs out of business and then jacking up the price when they are gone???
Ahh yes regulation......

Problem - US constituencies too big (4, Interesting)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581590)

The average US constituency is massive , at around 700,000 people. This is much larger than originally envisioned when the country was founded, and guarantees that the little guy is drowned out. From [] :

The framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights intended that the total population of Congressional districts never exceed 50 to 60 thousand. Currently, the average population size of the districts is nearly 700,000 and, consequently, the principle of proportionally equitable representation has been abandoned.

Such large constituencies as we see now in the US are also much larger than in other representative democracies. The Isle of Wight is an interesting comparison [] :

With a single Member of Parliament and 132,731 permanent residents in 2001, it is also the most populous parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom.

While not widely known, the first article of the original twelve proposed for the Bill of Rights laid out the size of congressional constituencies, as an attempt to avoid that the dilution of individual votes seen in the modern US. From the US House of Representatives website [] :

Article the first

After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.

James Madison himself talked about how larger constituencies tend to favor those with land and property (i.e., the rich). He was writing about the justification for having larger constituencies and longer terms for the Senate than for the House, but his description of the basic political mechanics is sound. From page 155 [] of The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates by Ralph Ketcham:

Large districts are manifestly favorable to the election of persons of general respectability, and of probable attachment to the rights of property, over competitors depending on the personal solicitations practicable on a contracted theater.

I.e., large districts are more impersonal, favor the rich, and are less representative. This is precisely what we have in the US. I do not expect any real progress until this gross imbalance is corrected -- and frankly I suspect changing my citizenship would be much more productive for me personally.


Re:Problem - US constituencies too big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34583468)

Going back to the original idea of size is a bit odd considering the original idea was that the states would deal with all of their own problems and the Federal level would only deal with a very small subset of problems. The idea that more people in congress would be helpful is also absurd.

The Google way... (-1, Flamebait)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579274)

Remember that time Google promised to hand out 10 million dollars, based on poorly conceptualized public participation, and then ran the participation part of it, got huge press for it, and then, SO SORRY! didn't follow through at all?

That was, gosh, exactly like this.

I call bullshit on this and all future Google projects that involve a charitable act and massive public input. They get the good press, and then, SO SORRY, they hope everyone forgets about it.

Re:The Google way... (3, Insightful)

theaceoffire (1053556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579420)

Remember that time Google promised to hand out 10 million dollars, based on poorly conceptualized public participation, and then ran the participation part of it, got huge press for it, and then...

Oh that is right, they actually gave 50,000,000 dollars [] ($10 mil each for 5 projects).

So you are saying they will roll out Fiber to 5 times as many places as they promise?

Re:The Google way... (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579536)

I stand corrected, and missed the news. But, seriously, 2 years to pick five projects, along with many months of non-responsiveness in between doesn't exactly inspire confidence in their execution or attention span.

Re:The Google way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34579920)

You're right, 10 million dollars is something people spend on a whim and giving it to a deserving company isn't that important, Maybe they should have drawn it from a hat and delivered it to a guy who's idea was to use nukes on whales to improve oil supply. The thing with a 10 million dollar prize that's open to all of the general public and advertised all over the news, is it draws so much media attention that anybody with a passing thought in their head submits. I'd estimate it take at least 6 months to remove the millions of terrible ideas, then another 6 months to weed down to 100 good ideas, then of course R&D to find out which ones are actually technically possible/plausible, which would of course require experts in fields that google only has half a finger in.

Now that's not a full pardon however, the honorary idiot award goes to, the person who gives these estimated dates and dosn't anticipate getting millions of responses for something they widely advertised and almost anyone would want.

Re:The Google way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34579950)

Actually, it says something about your attention span.

2 years to go from having no ideas, getting thousands of ideas, sorting and grading, picking 16, and going from "Make educational content available online for free" to picking a partner out of all the options and funding it when it won't directly fall into a Profit center is pretty good.

Re:The Google way... (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581128)

Fair point. I'm not unfamiliar with how foundations spend out resources: Gates, Hewlett, Skoll and Omidyar foundations come to mind as similarly sized, and I've been involved with some of them on projects of this size.

My ire at Google is partially based on the naivate and ego with which they approached the whole operation. They strongly implied that their Google approach will be faster, better, smarter than the existing foundation methods, and then, after much fucking around (I'm sorry, innovation), finally realize that there are very good reasons for the way foundations do things, and that this stuff is actually kind of difficult to do correctly. At the end of the day, they end up with a solution that looks exactly like what they would have done if they'd just sat down with a handful of people who have done this before and asked for advice.

And there is no excuse whatsoever for blowing your deadline by several months and not mentioning it publicly.

Re:The Google way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34581316)

It really seems like you have a grudge against Google. It's their money to waste. Not to mention that what you are saying is the equivalent of advocating for a "business as usual" approach. Sure they might have found out the hard way that they couldn't come up with a better way, but at least they are trying. Or we could all just do exactly what we've always done because that must be the best way to do it.

Re:The Google way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34580324)

You're bitching it took 2 years to pick 5 projects?! That was down right fast by corporate standards! And non-responsive? You didn't even know they accomplished their goal...

Re:The Google way... (2)

theaceoffire (1053556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579552)

Well I feel like a retard. It was only $10,000,000 dollars spread between 5 projects.

I also found out that Slashdot is proud of the fact that you can't edit or fix your comments. Nice to know.

Re:The Google way... (1, Informative)

tibman (623933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580056)

I think it's that way so a person can't write a good post, get modded up, and then put shockimage links into it afterwards. Refunding mod points is an option but after how long? Could sockpuppets mod themselves up and a few days later edit posts to get their points back?

I actually like the no-editing thing but damn does it attract spelling/grammer nazi's.

Sorry, i know this post is O/T.

Re:The Google way... (0)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580370)

I agree; a no-edit policy provides incentive to get it right the first time, and I think that results in a higher caliber of comments overall.

But yeah, the grammar nazi in me wants to tell you that pluralized nouns don't receive apostrophes.

editing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34580472)

They should do it like Dpreview forums: after you post, you have 2 minutes to re-edit your post X-amount of time(s).

Re:editing (0)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580760)

we do have a preview button you know.

Re:editing (0)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581580)

we do have a preview button you know.

It's backwards that they force ACs to always preview before posting.
I'd rather the other way around - ACs have an easier chance of looking stupid, but logged in users get a preview.
Hell, they could actually use javascript for something useful and auto-preview everytime you pause in your typing.

Re:editing (0)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581656)

I would settle for it if they made you have to hit preview before you had to submit... Like you do (you might need to add slashdot as an exception to noscript for that, I don't remember).

Re:The Google way... (3, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579848)

Remember that time Google promised to hand out 10 million dollars, based on poorly conceptualized public participation, and then ran the participation part of it, got huge press for it, and then, SO SORRY! didn't follow through at all?

No, I remember something that's kind of like that, except for the fact that they did follow through and give out the $10 million dollars, split among several projects.

That was, gosh, exactly like this.

Yes, in that it received a huge response beyond what Google expected, it was exactly like this. Sometimes, Google doesn't realize how popular Google's ideas will be. I'm sure many other businesses wish they could have that "problem" with their initiatives.

I call bullshit on this and all future Google projects that involve a charitable act and massive public input.

This project isn't about a charitable act. This project is about seeking a place to do a demonstration project aimed at improving the market conditions for Google's products. Its looking for an opportunity to shift the market for internet connectivity by exerting pressure the same way Google has on the browser market with Chrome, and the handheld device OS market with Android.

It may be win-win with the community (or communities) selected to be part of the demonstration, but its not charitable in any sense.

Your Rights Online? (2)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34579974)

Am I missing something?

Re:Your Rights Online? (2)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580192)

I'd probably label it Hardware, but I think this Google fiber network has a backstory related to net neutrality. At about the time Google announced this program, they had just backed a push for net neutrality, which was defeated in some fashion, and the next day this program was announced. At least, that's how I remember it, but I'm probably completely wrong.

Re:Your Rights Online? (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580794)

YRO is used to label anything involving rights or the internet. Sucks, but true.

Indication (3, Interesting)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580014)

I think this is a pretty good indication that the general public would like faster access to the internet, despite the telcos' claiming that people are pretty satisfied. I for one welcome our multiplexing digital overlords, and would like to remind them that I'm not interested in cloud services until I get at least 2 9s of at least 10Mbps connectivity with overall uptime of 4 9s or so.

Re:Indication (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580482)

You need 4 9's of uptime on your home internet connection? You really can't tolerate more than 53 minutes of loss of access to your cloud computing assets in a year?

You sound more like a business user, and hopefully you're willing to pay business rates (and potentially trench in more than one circuit from opposite sides of your house) for this level of availability. In the past year, our $5000/mo DS3 hasn't even given 4 9's of availability (though in the prior year, it provided 5 9's of availability). I think most home users would be fine with 2.5 nine's. My parents have been getting around 2 nine's of reliability (3 separate 1 day outages) and they aren't annoyed enough to switch providers.

Re:Indication (1)

Willuz (1246698) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580852)

I do need 4 9's on my home internet service. My web applications are hosted on shared business servers but there are several apps that require a desktop GUI that must be run at home since it's too expensive to rent entire Windows servers. Better uptime would be great for running websites and services from home. Not to mention the bandwidth advantage of not having to worry that watching a YouTube or NetFlix video will interfere with my hosted services. Imagine all the internet start-ups that could be done for low cost from home. Innovation would expand dramatically.

Re:Indication (1)

lbates_35476 (901961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34580956)

Too expensive to rent Windows servers? You can get Amazon EC2 Windows instance for less than $100/month for 24 x 7 uptime. Pretty hard to run a Windows Server in-house for that amount of money (remember you have hardware, Windows 2008 license, cooling, electricity to consider).

Re:Indication (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581178)

Ahh, so I was right, you are a business user.

Just because you're running your business at home doesn't mean you're a home user.

You have business requirements and you should pay business rates for your reliable internet connection. Though if you really require 4 nines of reliability you should have better service diversity by buying bandwidth from multiple ISP's using completely separate circuits (that don't share a telephone pole or conduit).

Though I know few businesses that would colocate a critical business app that relies on a GUI running over a WAN connection. I suspect that you don't really have 4 nines as a *requirement* otherwise the cost of colocating a windows machine (or a vmware instance running WinXP running on your server) would be inconsequential.

I've had many people tell me they have a *requirement* for 3, 4, even 5 nines of uptime for various services until they saw the price tag. Each 9 becomes exponentially more expensive to provide.

Re:Indication (1)

Willuz (1246698) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581558)

I don't know about the original poster, but I'm not a business user. I'm active in several internet communities and provide my resources and knowledge to benefit the community at no charge. While I'm not paid people do donate hardware that I can setup at home to provide the services. An old dell P4 2.4 wouldn't exactly be useful in a corporate data center but with a good connection it works great at home.

Dynamic forum signature images (very high CPU utilization makes hosting expensive)
Forum hosting (this can be done cheaper/faster offsite so I pay for it)
Game server monitoring and management interfaces. (many game server management systems require Windows GUI applications which are VERY expensive to host)
VPN (I need to give people secure access to services)

Right now my 12Mb/3Mb cable works but not always. Fiber would allow me to provide professional level services for free to a non-commercial community. This kind of capability would have a profound affect on the internet.

Re:Indication (2)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581930)

Yes, business class availability to the home would make all of our lives easier, but don't look to Google to do that. There are a lot of telecom companies that will provide services with a variety of SLA's, but in general, you get what you pay for.

Don't expect a residential broadband provider to offer business class SLA's at a price a residential consumer is willing to pay.

Unless you have your home servers on a redundant, hot swappable UPS, a backup generator (with a service contract that includes regular run tests and a fuel delivery contract), redundant cooling if required in your climate, and fully redundant network equipment, you don't have an environment that can support 4 nines of availability. Having an internet connection won't help you when your cat throws up on your internet modem (or fiber converter, or whatever), or a car takes out the power pole feeding your house and your house goes dark for 16 hours while the power company replaces it. (of course, that same car probably took out your internet connection, good thing you have redundant connections delivered over diverse facilities)

As the previous poster said, you can host a Windows server at Amazon for $100/month. If that is too expensive for you, don't expect a 99.99% available 10mbit connection for less.

I'm not saying that you don't deserve such a reliable connection, but unless you're willing to pay for it, you're not going to get it.

Re:Indication (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581880)

I am involved in an IPSec VPN over commodity "business cable modem" service to 200 sites across the US.

In general, 1% of sites are down at any time due to the cable provider.

If you ever want to try this, get one of those auto-pinging power-cyclers for the sites, as a power cycle of the cable modem seems to solve about 10-20% of the outage events.

Hypocritical municipalities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34580052)

I still find it funny that all these municipalities were drooling all over themselves to give out right of way to Google for free when they would have charged any other company money or charged them a tax for the same.

Cities that Can't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34580800)

Both Kansas City, MO and North Kansas City, MO cannot get the fiber because Google strips off City after the name. So they are Kansas, MO and North Kansas, MO.

Also North Kansas City, MO has fiber to the home already.

Their delay will cost many people (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581362)

Right now many places have decided to leap in with a flavor or PON which is not much more than cable TV over fiber. The local bunch keeps saying it can grow in speed forever yet the largest user of it in the world (NT&T) has hit a wall and both AT&T and Verizon have both pulled back plans for future rollout. Its looking like shared isn't the way to go but no one has a good idea how to do direct point to point that isn't way too expensive to roll out.

As far as *PON being future proof, it has managed to get 40x faster in 2 decade in a lab compared to point to point which is now 20,000x faster using 4 decades of off the shelf equipment.

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