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Nationwide Google Fiber Deployment Would Cost $140 Billion

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the or-a-dozen-aircraft-carriers dept.

Businesses 327

An anonymous reader writes "For a lot of U.S. internet users, Google Fiber sounds too good to be true — 1Gbps speeds for prices similar to much slower plans from current providers. Google is testing the service now in Kansas City, but what would it take for them to roll it out to the rest of the country? Well, according to a new report from Goldman Sachs, the price tag would be over $140 billion. Not even Google has that kind of cash laying around. From the report: '... if Google devoted 25% of its $4.5bn annual capex to this project, it could equip 830K homes per year, or 0.7% of US households. As such, even a 50mn household build out, which would represent less than half of all U.S. homes, could cost as much as $70bn. We note that Jason Armstrong estimates Verizon has spent roughly $15bn to date building out its FiOS fiber network covering an area of approximately 17mn homes.' Meanwhile, ISPs like Time Warner aren't sure the demand exists for 1Gbps internet, so it's unlikely they'll leap to invest in their own build-out."

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327 comments

Time for some grass roots activism (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42227041)

I guess it's time for all of us to tell our power utility that fiber is essential infrastructure. They need to standardize on the Google Method and wire our streets so that they're ready when Google comes here. Otherwise this is going to take too long.

First communities to make it a downhill run for Google win the digital economy.

Almost the whole world wants Google fiber.

And if they won't do it - maybe they'll show us how we can do it for ourselves.

Re:Time for some grass roots activism (1, Informative)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42227091)

sorry, verizon is way ahead of google

and the only way google did it in kansas city was by paying off local officials to allow them to put their fiber on the poles at lower rates than everyone else's lines. not going to work everywhere. ISP's and others are already suing kansas city for allowing this

Re:Time for some grass roots activism (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about a year ago | (#42227123)

Those assholes had plenty of time to try and do the same thing. I have no sympathy for them that someone got a better deal.

Re:Time for some grass roots activism (3, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#42227209)

the only way google did it in kansas city was by paying off local officials to allow them to put their fiber on the poles at lower rates than everyone else's lines. not going to work everywhere. ISP's and others are already suing kansas city for allowing this

Giving local officials some sort of deal seems to be a well established practice that has worked in many locales. See the cell phone industry. A cellular tower is opposed until the provider offers to put equipment to support local police and fire communications up there. I suspect that the initial opposition is just a gambit to get such freebies in some locales. I'd be surprised if such practices have not already been ruled on by the courts.

Re:Time for some grass roots activism (5, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42227219)

Property values are up. Jobs are up. KC is in the national spotlight in a good way. Every local official that got behind this is a local hero who just amplified his political opportunities. Those folks are assured reelection in perpetuity. They didn't have to be bribed to let Google hang fiber: they had to beg Google [wikipedia.org] to come hang the fiber. They were changing the honorary name of the city to "Google". They were promising the name of every first-born son...

Seeing how this is working out, Google won't lack for cities to beg them to come hang fiber for quite some time.

Over 1,000 cities competed for the opportunity to be first. And over 1,000 cities were disappointed to lose the chance.

Re:Time for some grass roots activism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227143)

If people start thinking of it as essential infrastructure, the rethuglicans will make it illegal.

Re:Time for some grass roots activism (1)

Seeteufel (1736784) | about a year ago | (#42227581)

No. I don't need that for now. In any case I would start with densely populated areas

80/20 rule? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227069)

I'm sure the 80/20 rule applies - for instance when rolling out in densely populated areas. So for less then $30 billion (still a lot of money though) 80% rollout might be achieved.

$140B = $50 / person (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#42227087)

In a country of 300M people, $140B is only $50 per person. Comparing the price to Google's market cap is silly. For a big infrastructure project like this they would, of course, seek new capital to cover the cost. This is affordable.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (5, Informative)

kramulous (977841) | about a year ago | (#42227149)

It is more like $500. Still ridiculously cheap.

Only governments can do this sort of thing properly. Pity Americans don't trust their government.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227365)

Have you seen what the government spends on stuff? By the time the government was done, we'd be lucky to get it for $5,000 per person.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227393)

Only governments can do this sort of thing properly.

Governments - or companies that have something to gain from it, i.e. not telcos. Here in the Netherlands, quite a number of communities meanwhile have commercial glass fiber rolled out. Though some communities did shell out a little subsidy as an incentive, most have not.

Initially, that glass fiber was rolled out by brand new companies. Now that glass fiber has showed to be highly desired by potential customers, the former state monopolist telco has bought into it and they now own a big chunk of the national glass fiber networks.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (5, Funny)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about a year ago | (#42227443)

It is more like $500. Still ridiculously cheap.

Only governments can do this sort of thing properly. Pity Americans don't trust their government.

1Gbps fiber to the house is a waste when you consider the options:

For $140B we could exactly bail out the banks after screwing us yet again.
We could extend the war in Afghanistan another 3 years.
Or you could also extend the "war on drugs" another 4 years!

Re:$140B = $50 / person (4, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | about a year ago | (#42227531)

Americans keep getting slapped in the face with proof after proof that their government cannot be trusted with simple things, like taking out the garbage. Why would be be foolish enough to trust the government with (a) something worth lots of money - that could be stolen or corrupted and (b) something really complicated?

Most likely, a government "Internet for the people" project would be decided that it simultaneously could not present information about gay sex activities and be required to present information about gay sex activities. Obviously when something is both mandatory and prohibited this schizophrenia will seep into everything. If you could get a road map, it would have to be in the public domain from 1925 or earlier. If it were possible to display information about religious events, it would do so only for an obscure sect of aboriginal head hunters that worship the two dollar bills they found in 1880 - only this would pass the censorship filters. Of course it would have to be both government funded and ad supported with an annual lottery to determine what company was to receive the hundreds of billions in ad revenue. Of course when the only winner every year was found to be owned by the Speaker of the House or the Senate Majority Leader hearings would be held and the same company selected the following year.

Trust us, no American with any sense wants the government involved in delivery of Internet services in any way, shape or form.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227699)

I'm sure this pervasive attitude among Americans causes lots of competent people to flock to the high-status jobs in the government.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (2, Insightful)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | about a year ago | (#42227573)

No, no, no. It's more like $5000 for me, and my unemployed neighbor gets a $500 check.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227709)

Much like the roads, which are say $3500 for you, and a massive check for large freight carriers.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#42227705)

It is more like $500. Still ridiculously cheap.

They could ask the households to cover the cost. To signup for the service, and have fiber built to you, you agree to sign a contract to pay $500, which you can finance over 2 years at 10% interest; coming to $25 a month for 2 years, then free for life.

Possibly a $2 to $5 / month optional insurance charge to cover any damage caused by backhoes or other disasters. And a $1/month port fee to keep the fiber lit.

Considering the average price of DSL per household is about $50 a month or $600 a year... fiber begins to look darn cheap.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42227767)

They actually do this. Pay $25 a month for the first year or $300 once, and you get fiber to the home and 5Mbps service for free for six years. Retain the option to step up to gigabit later.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227713)

Pity Americans *can't* trust their government.

Fixed that for you.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227733)

Pity Americans have good reason to not trust their government.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227167)

Lost a digit there- it'd be $500. Even though I'd love the service, it'd take a long time to make my household $2k happier than with dsl

Re:$140B = $50 / person (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42227169)

which is why internet is expensive

people hype how cheap google fiber is but the point is if you're like verizon or Comcast and have to borrow money and pay 5% - 8% or so PER YEAR interest on the debt your service is going to be more expensive

$140 billion at 5% a year almost $8 billion a year in interest costs. and then you have to make enough profit to pay back the bonds after they mature. internet service has this bad trend of always dropping in price

Re:$140B = $50 / person (2)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42227357)

The rate they're charging for TV is $140 per month, or $1600 a year. If it costs $500 each, I think you can see where the first few pay for the next few and so on. Google knows about ramping scale. If they pay $1B to do 2,000,000 homes the first quarter, the second quarter those homes pay for the next 2,000,000 homes. The third quarter those 4,000,000 homes pay for the next 4,000,000. The second year those 8,000,000 homes become 64,000,000 homes without any further investment. Year three they wire the rest of the 112,000,000 homes in the US and they can start working on the rest of the world.

Simples. The numbers aren't quite exactly this, but this is how it works. Cable companies keep about 50% of the money you give them instead of improving their product. Google can wire homes cheaper than them, deliver better service, and put that money to work in growth - wrestling away their customers. When they run out of room for growth, they're positioned to start raking in even more insane stacks of cash.

The only problem is that every server on the Internet is going to need a huge upgrade, or it's going to be utterly crushed.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227487)

What portion of people would pay $100+ a month for such service though? What portion of the costs is to get the connection down the to the street level versus house level? As only the latter is what you could save by not hooking up non-subscribes.

The last place I lived, I paid only $40 per month for combination of cable and internet. I know there are more expensive cable packages, but also a lot of people don't have those (some of my neighbors were on an even cheaper plan than I was). At the time I would have been willing to switch to someone that was more reliable with more uptime, even if it was slower and/or cost more, but probably not for $100+ a month. Where I live now, I pay $30 a month for internet, and the service is fast enough I can stream different videos to two computers and be downloading updates in the background without noticing much of a problem. I don't think I would be that interested in pay more for a faster connection for the time being.

I'm not trying to say there is no demand or use for 1 Gbit/s connections, just that the exact amount of that demand is important to quantify, and that can depend a lot on what other options are available in some locations.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42227519)

In that top post I suggested that providing the fiber to the street is an infrastructure problem of the public utility, not Google. Really, it is. Some power utilities already run fiber to every home when they string the first wire - and have done so for over a decade.

But regardless I think Google's got the whole thing figured out financially or they would not be rolling out to Kansas City. They did have a pilot in Princeton after all, to determine what the costs would be.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42227523)

the $140 for TV is only because of the sweet deal in KC which was a tiny deployment

borrowing money and paying all other other costs of running the service it will be just as expensive as Time Warner or Verizon

the equipment they give the customers is worth $500 or so. figure $30 a month paid out to the content owners for licensing. lots of other costs

Re:$140B = $50 / person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227175)

$140B divided by 300M is $500 per person, not $50.

And Verizon will never do it. (2)

danaris (525051) | about a year ago | (#42227203)

In a country of 300M people, $140B is only $50 per person. Comparing the price to Google's market cap is silly. For a big infrastructure project like this they would, of course, seek new capital to cover the cost. This is affordable.

I think this can't be stressed enough.

If the numbers in this report are anywhere near accurate, it ought to be easily possible to get a national fiber network. (Financially possible; saying nothing about politically here.)

Furthermore, it highlights just how dishonest and greedy Verizon is being in their decision to stop rolling out fiber. The primary reason they are doing it is to push more people onto 4G wireless—which they can charge much more for, and which is much less regulated than any wireline service. (I can't speak to what AT&T is doing, since to my knowledge, they don't have any wireline deployment in my general area.)

This sounds like the perfect target for some kind of grassroots push. If we can get some of the tech giants, like Google and Apple, on board, it ought to be possible to counterbalance the ISP lobby.

Dan Aris

Re:And Verizon will never do it. (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | about a year ago | (#42227371)

Furthermore, it highlights just how dishonest and greedy Verizon is being in their decision to stop rolling out fiber. The primary reason they are doing it is to push more people onto 4G wireless—

I don't think that's the case. I'm loathe to defend Verizon, but from what I understand they stopped rollout because they had this amazing fiber network with no subscribers (relatively speaking), and they were getting low on cash. They even sold part of the fiber network to Frontier. Also, Verizon Wireless is not the same company as Verizon Telecom. VWZ is a company which is owned 50/50 (roughly, I think) between Verizon Telecom and Vodafone.

$500 per person, $1,000 per household (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#42227229)

$140,000,000,000 / 300,000,000 people = $467/person. But if you go by households you're going to have to pay at least $1,000 each.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (1)

Jimbookis (517778) | about a year ago | (#42227491)

The $140B figure seems low. Numbers like $40B are being bandied about here for a similar project already underway here in Australia (the NBN [nbnco.com.au] ) an we only have about 1/15th the population of the USA.

Re:$140B = $50 / person (1)

godrik (1287354) | about a year ago | (#42227565)

as said before it is more $1000 per household, still cheap. The main question is how to operate and upkeep that network, how much will that cost be? Also Who will control the network. Somewhat having 100% of the network infrastructure controlled by google does not sounds like a good thing.

How about Apple Fiber? (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about a year ago | (#42227099)

Apple's got the cash. What would it take for them to get in on the game?

Re:How about Apple Fiber? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227163)

It would take a walled garden. Can they make a competing product? iFiber?

Nightmare (2)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#42227253)

Apple Fiber would be a fucking nightmare. Imagine: all of the Internet that Apple allowed you to see!

Re:Nightmare (4, Funny)

Flipao (903929) | about a year ago | (#42227333)

It'd be the death of porn as we know it :(

Re:Nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227429)

The only porn allowed would be unboxing videos.

Re:Nightmare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227501)

The only porn allowed would be unboxing videos.

What's bad about that?

Re:How about Apple Fiber? (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#42227263)

If Apple did the equivalent of Google Fiber you would only be allowed to use it with Apple devices.

Apple could pay for it ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#42227111)

Well, according to a new report from Goldman Sachs, the price tag would be over $140 billion. Not even Google has that kind of cash laying around.

Apple could, they have $120 billion in cash. Maybe that is what they are saving up for ... becoming a national ISP. :-)

Re:Apple could pay for it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227185)

Actually Apple don't, at least not in the US, they have it stashed in tax havens around the world to avoid paying tax, to bring that money back in the country would make them libel for huge tax bills they have been so studiously avoiding.

Re:Apple could pay for it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227309)

Actually Apple don't, at least not in the US, they have it stashed in tax havens around the world to avoid paying tax, to bring that money back in the country would make them libel for huge tax bills they have been so studiously avoiding.

Apple can pay a US based contractor in the tax haven. The contractor now has a tax haven too or the contractor repatriates the money and pays the same taxes as if they had been paid locally.

Not a problem. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#42227511)

If Apple promised to use it to build a nationwide fiber network, I'm sure congress would pass a bill to allow them to repatriate it tax-free.

Re:Apple could pay for it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227187)

Well, according to a new report from Goldman Sachs, the price tag would be over $140 billion. Not even Google has that kind of cash laying around.

Apple could, they have $120 billion in cash. Maybe that is what they are saving up for ... becoming a national ISP. :-)

What would their name be?

Apple On-Line?

Oh.. wait... :/

Gov Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227117)

At $14B/yr the US Government could easily handle that. And should.

Doubt it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227133)

GS is invested in gov regulated businesses, Google is disrupting them, laying fiber is or should be cheap, this looks like another bluff and misdirection.

Days of War (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227151)

Going by $720M / day, that's less than 200 days of the war in Iraq.

Re:Days of War (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#42227199)

Going by $720M / day, that's less than 200 days of the war in Iraq.

Yes, but the Iraq war benefits the bankers, globalists, and components of the military-industrial-media complex. Nationwide gigabit fiber would chiefly benefit the citizenry and small businesses. So, the Legislators simply can't vote for such a thing!

Re:Days of War (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42227299)

I wish I had a mod point.

Our current government is so screwed up, allied with corporate interests to the point there is little difference between corporate and government interests, that doing something for the common good is almost unthinkable.

Plus, if you really want stimulus, getting fibre out to rural areas is one of the best projects you can think of. You can't have a business without good network access anymore.

Of course, we've got the worst of the worst of our population making it to all our leadership positions. They are incapable of understanding these facts anre they are incapable of listening to people that are smarter than they are.

Re:Days of War (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42227345)

(I guess to clairfy that I draw a major distinction between "corporate" and small business. I care about the latter as that is the group that is really benefiting the country. I don't have a BS definition like "small business means under 2000 employees" either)

Economic Stimulus (1)

bromoseltzer (23292) | about a year ago | (#42227643)

Yes, but the Iraq war benefits the bankers, globalists, and components of the military-industrial-media complex. Nationwide gigabit fiber would chiefly benefit the citizenry and small businesses. So, the Legislators simply can't vote for such a thing!

There's no bad way to spend $140 B (or more). A lot goes into the pockets of workers who dig trenches and string fiber. (We really need those jobs.) Some goes to electronics manufacturers, but it all stimulates the economy -- and serves somebody's interests. The problem is if AT&T, Verizon, et. al. are locked out, especially if it's a government investment.

As economic stimulus goes, I think I'd rather have bridges that don't fall down and railways that work than 1 Gbps to my home. A mere 100 Mbs should keep me happy for the next 5 years, I'm thinking. I making do with 18 at the moment.

Re:Days of War (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#42227285)

Afghanistan has $4 TRILLION in mineral deposits. lots of rare earths too.

you can run all the fiber you want but its useless since the devices that use it need rare earth minerals to be produced

1.4 trillion spent in 10 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227159)

http://costofwar.com/ I can think of a few hundred thousand reasons in afghanistan for why we should do this now and bring the troops home or end the drug war, your choice

who can fill a 1Gbps pipe? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#42227161)

If every Slashdot user had a Gig connection - all it would do is bring the site down. Throttling the last mile is an important part of keeping the content providers alive and online.

Re:who can fill a 1Gbps pipe? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#42227547)

Do you think a slashdotter could use all their bandwith browsing Slashdot? You'd have to post a lot of comments!

I find this statement amusing... (5, Insightful)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | about a year ago | (#42227173)

..."Meanwhile, ISPs like Time Warner aren't sure the demand exists for 1Gbps internet,"

At current costs? Of course not. People would *love* to have more speed. But not if it's going to cost $100+ a month to get it like TWC/Cox/Comcast/etc. would charge for it. They create their own stagnation with greed.

Re:I find this statement amusing... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227275)

It costs 110 dollars / month now for 5Mb download 839k upload on time warner. It would cost $1000+ per month at their current pricing scam er scheme.

Re:I find this statement amusing... (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42227317)

When has Time Warner ever been correct about something relating to the Internet?

Seriously...I can't think of one time.

Re:I find this statement amusing... (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42227461)

Incumbent internet providers are still trying to sell us the notion that bandwidth is a precious resource that has to be metered and capped per user, or the greedy few will saturate their networks depriving the rest of us of our Netflix. Google's gigabit fiber is not filtered, metered or capped in any way.

This "precious bandwidth" story is either true or it's a lie. It's better for them if it's a lie.

If it's a lie: they can open up the pipes to the max and let everybody use what they will. This will help a little to fend off the Google invasion.

If it's true: they're hosed because Google will install more end-user bandwidth in Kansas City in the next six months than they have in their entire nationwide networks combined.

Perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227179)

$140B doesn't really seem that bad. I'm sure the cost to get running water, the interstates, or plenty of other public works projects would cost more than that, in today's figures.

Verizon spent $200b + on their network, so why don't we compare the cost to that figure?

Google may not have the cash (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#42227207)

But Goldman Sachs sure as hell does. Let's make them cough up some of that bailout money for something useful for a change.

Proper units (2)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | about a year ago | (#42227213)

The only way to understand the true value of that kind of speed is to use my preferred bandwidth measure: Nipples Per Second.

America's Priorities (5, Insightful)

periol (767926) | about a year ago | (#42227227)

So we can bailout Wall St. and the banks to the tune of hundreds of billions, but we can't afford to invest in infrastructure. Good to know.

Imaginary vs. Real money. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about a year ago | (#42227597)

That was imaginary money. It was just numbers moving around in computers. If you're talking about building infrastructure, you're talking about expending man-hours and equipment, that's real money.

Re:Imaginary vs. Real money. (1)

periol (767926) | about a year ago | (#42227653)

All our money is imaginary. It's all numbers moving around in computers. The difference here is that the money spent on rolling out fiber infrastructure wouldn't end up in the hands of the the 1%. Some of it would, but not enough.

Time Warner isn't sure how to price it you mean (1)

gelfling (6534) | about a year ago | (#42227231)

Should it be $1000/month or $975 with the "Triple Play".

WMD or fiber? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227247)

What did we get for spending $4,000 billion chasing imaginary WMD in the middle east? Only a fraction of that (3.5%) would have given every American a peice of the future... So sad

Price and the Military (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227249)

The milirary budjet for 2011 for the US military was: 683.7 billion

140 billion is a lot, but it's not like it'd be a recurring cost like the US military, after the construction, the subscribers would pay for the upkeep.

But I think it'll never happen, certain cable companies are happy to cash in on american income.

Couldn't instant deploy if they wanted to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227261)

They don't need to have that much cash on hand. Deploy in select markets, start raking in profit, reinvest profits to increase market share. This is basic 'How To Run A Business'.

66 weeks in Afghanistan (4, Interesting)

Rinisari (521266) | about a year ago | (#42227311)

$140 billion is 66 weeks in Afghanistan, according to costofwar.com.

rate = 3.51199622774 #per ms
fiber = 140000000000
day = rate * 1000 * 60 * 60 * 24
fiber / day
  => 461.3815805300829
week = 7 * day
fiber / week
  => 65.91165436144041

Forgetting one thing... (4, Insightful)

portwojc (201398) | about a year ago | (#42227335)

"ISPs like Time Warner aren't sure the demand exists for 1Gbps internet, so it's unlikely they'll leap to invest in their own build-out."

The (the big players) will however leap to the effort to squelch it. If Google wants to make this happen which would change the landscape they are going to just have to do it and drag everyone kicking and screaming. As well as give their lawyers something to do.

Goldman is not to be trusted... (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#42227363)

Obviously Google is not going to set out to equip every home in the USA. They will string their fiber along major corridors, connecting big cities first.

They may also buy some of the dark fiber optic cabling that is currently largely unused, which already connects to most places in the USA.

Anyway, Goldman Sachs, the company that assfucked the entire USA, should not be trusted or dealt with. Shun them.

goggle should change it name to foolgle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227381)

Google has the brains of a jackass in sinking that kind of money into something like this after Obama was re-elected. This economy, as well as our and Europe's currency, is on the ropes and such endeavors will amount to throwing money to the wind. No one will be able to afford thw web at any price.

It's about priorities. (1)

Albanach (527650) | about a year ago | (#42227415)

The cost to the United States of the Afghan and Iraq wars in 2011 was $160 billion. A further $120 billion will be incurred this year.

Don't need gigabit per home (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year ago | (#42227417)

For myself, I'd be happy with a solid 20 megabit connection. What I really want is:

  • 20 megabits upstream as well as downstream, so things like VoIP don't choke on multiple users and I can upload files to an external server without causing congestion.
  • A connection that stays 20 megabits instead of getting choked down to a fraction of that when a bunch of neighbors start using their connections heavily.

Which means gigabit or better to the local distribution point, and neighborhood infrastructure that can handle the aggregate bandwidth. Most of the problems I have aren't my individual connection's bandwidth, it's the shared local infrastructure between my home's connection point and the ISP that's insufficient for the bandwidth of all the connected subscribers. Fix that and give me symmetric bandwidth and I'll be a happy camper.

Re:Don't need gigabit per home (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about a year ago | (#42227507)

For myself, I'd be happy with a solid 20 megabit connection. What I really want is:

  • 20 megabits upstream as well as downstream, so things like VoIP don't choke on multiple users and I can upload files to an external server without causing congestion.
  • A connection that stays 20 megabits instead of getting choked down to a fraction of that when a bunch of neighbors start using their connections heavily.

Which means gigabit or better to the local distribution point, and neighborhood infrastructure that can handle the aggregate bandwidth. Most of the problems I have aren't my individual connection's bandwidth, it's the shared local infrastructure between my home's connection point and the ISP that's insufficient for the bandwidth of all the connected subscribers. Fix that and give me symmetric bandwidth and I'll be a happy camper.

Virgin started to realise (listened?) that their customers increasingly wanted this and the upstream has been steadily getting better here. A year or so ago they bumped everyone up on the upstream for free, and they consolidated their plans a little recently.

It's far from symmetrical (you can pay them for symmetrical 200/200, but be prepared to fork out), but the basic plans are pretty good now - 20/1, 60/3, 100/5 with no caps (just throttling on upstream if you exceed thresholds at peak times like the evening, but otherwise are non-monitored).

I'm on the 60/3 plan and have found that 3 Mbit upstream is more than adequate for video chatting and file uploads to the campus network etc. 7 MB downstream (and it's consistently as advertised, even at peak times) is just gravy.

I agree though, 1Gbs for the last mile right now is overkill - I can install Fallout New Vegas from scratch on steam in under 15 minutes, and I'm not even on the top plan - but pushing more ISPs into offering better upstream is the key.

Re:Don't need gigabit per home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227761)

I have FIOS with 25mbps symmetric. You are correct it works well for just about everything. But there are times when more would be great, I wish it could be a little more flexible. I think lower latency is a big benefit to going gigabit right to the home, your VoIP calls will benefit from that.

aren't sure the demand exists for 1Gb internet (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about a year ago | (#42227457)

I certainly wouldn't pay extra for it nor would anyone I know. I'd much rather pay less for the 1.5Mb I'm getting. If I had more money I'd pay a little more than I am now for 10Mb but I have no use for anything faster.

Re:aren't sure the demand exists for 1Gb internet (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42227667)

Since it costs less than many of us are paying for cable Internet or cable and Internet, the additional cost problem isn't an issue.

Compare to Public Water and Sewer System (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227471)

It's cheaper!!!!

Trying to justify old way of business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227563)

It sounds like want to justify their current business model is valid high price low bandwidth. And to convince the public that is true too. I see raw bandwidth replacing individual services in the distant future. But the snippet above sounds like oh people would never need to talk and use data on their cell phone at the same time it just won't happen. (verizon)

Re:Trying to justify old way of business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227595)

Kansas city would be the last. Because the existing infrastructure is already passing laws that it isn't in the public best interest to have competition.

Increase the installation fee (2)

macemoneta (154740) | about a year ago | (#42227729)

At $1000 per installation, they would get about $120B for 120M households; close enough to start. I would gladly pay a $1000 start-up fee for symmetrical 1Gbps/service. From other reports, Google is charging $70/month, with an operating cost of $5/month. As the early adopters start to accumulate, the revenue stream will offset the cost for the periodically lowered installation charge to increase penetration.

Establish a nation-wide signup. Require a credit card (Google Wallet) for signup; they won't be charged, but they'll separate the wheat from the chaff. Crunch the data to find the highest population density signups and start build-out in those areas. Provide near-realtime online updates on build-out area priority. This lets those interested in an area act as promoters / ambassadors to increase signups, and raise their area's priority. Like the first cities selected, let people compete - providing free word of mouth advertising in the process.

And don't forget the other side of the equation; offer servers reasonably priced 100Gb local Google data center / site interconnects to keep the on-net customers interested and happy.

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