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How Google Fiber Could Do Some National Good, Or At Least Scare the Carriers

Soulskill posted 1 year,12 days | from the get-off-your-duffs-and-invest-in-awesome-internet dept.

The Internet 163

Nerval's Lobster writes "Within hours of Google announcing that Austin, Texas would be the next lucky recipient of its Google Fiber initiative, AT&T released a statement indicating that it was willing to build a high-speed broadband network in the city, too. 'AT&T announced that in conjunction with its previously announced Project VIP expansion of broadband access, it is prepared to build an advanced fiber optic infrastructure in Austin, Texas, capable of delivering speeds up to 1 gigabit per second,' read the statement. But there's a not-so-slight catch: AT&T wants whatever conditions Google received from the city of Austin. Google itself has provided precious little guidance about its future plans. 'We are still in the very early stages of it,' Google CEO Larry Page told media and analysts during the company's Jan. 22 earnings call, according to a transcript. 'Obviously, we are going to a small number of people and so, but we are excited about the possibilities.' But if Google Fiber keeps expanding, it could compel AT&T and other infrastructure providers to boost their broadband service and offer it on more reasonable terms — nothing like some competition to make things a little better for the collective customer base. In that sense, even if Google Fiber doesn't expand into a national program (and imagine the costs of that), its existence will still do some larger good."

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163 comments

Same is not good enough (5, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,12 days | (#43416961)

AT&T's statement sounds like they are setting up a law suit to prevent Google from supplying what they have so far refused to supply. I can see their lawyers saying "We did not get the EXACT same deal, so it's unfair and must be stopped. Our client can't go forward with investments until the matter is settled." Once it's "settled" there is no reason to invest.

Re:Same is not good enough (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417147)

AT&T as the example but all CableCo's have their own massively nice 'deals'. I.e. Monopoly over the area of service.

And with that massive incentive to build and provide service...they haven't. Funny how places are jumping at the chance to be given actual service.

Re:Same is not good enough (2, Interesting)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417185)

One thing to keep in mind though is that so far, Google is going wherever the regulatory hurdles are the smallest and cheapest. That means it is possible that if we lowered these burdens, we could see better broadband deployments.

Verizon apparently stopped expanding mainly because the local regulations were too burdensome to make it profitable, so they changed their focus to other ventures.

Re:Same is not good enough (5, Informative)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417249)

Actually Verizon stopped expanding because they made a deal with ComCast to not encroach on each others territory.

Google "Verizon Comcast mutual deal" for a plethora of links about it. Just as many of those links show people were worried it would mean less incentive for them to increase their service areas...guess what happened?

Re:Same is not good enough (2)

DewDude (537374) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418317)

Are you sure you're not talking about the wireless deal? That was between Verizon Wireless and Comcast; along with other cable companies. My understanding of that situation was that in exchange for the wireless spectrum; basically prevents Verizon Wireless from only offering Fios in the oh-so-coveted "Homerun" packages. This went down because some cable companies decided they wanted the homerun packages so badly; they were going to start their own wireless carriers. The problem is; they know nothing about the wireless business. So, they reached an agreement with Verizon to hand the bandwidth to them; and in exchange they would be able to cross-sell each other's services. The "to not encroach" bit was likely misunderstood by the fact Verizon Wireless was forbidden to play favorites with Fios. If a customer came in and wanted a homerun bundle with Comcast; they'd have to do it.

I'd also like to point out that I specifically mention Verizon Wireless; because it's legally a separate entity. Yes; Verizon communications owns 65% of it; Vodafone owns the other 45%. So, in reality; this deal has nothing to do with FiOS expansion. It's Verizon Wireless' deal, not Verizon Communications. Just because VZW has to resell Comcast service in no way means VZC has to stop putting FiOS in each other's territory. The deal was purely to prevent VZW from going "We'll only bundle with FiOS". People were worried it'd mean less incentive/competition because they probably didn't fully understand the deal; and the context it was made in. If anything; it means VZC will have to compete harder to convince people to switch from Comcast without having that VZW bundle wedge.

Verizon stopping it's fiber expansion was simply a matter of money. It was costing them a ton; and adoption was a tad slower than they'd expected. My understanding is they were no longer expanding in to *new* markets; but would finish building out markets that already had service. I still see crews laying fiber in my county; and I've seen them running fiber to some really remote places; simply because the nearby town happens to have FiOS.

Re:Same is not good enough (5, Informative)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418433)

Consumer advocates are concerned the massive co-marketing and spectrum deal between Verizon and cable companies includes so-called gentlemen's agreements that FiOS will never be expanded into additional markets

From here [dslreports.com]

Re: Pain is not good enough (0)

noshellswill (598066) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417311)

You mean  AT&T scum doesn't like GOOGLE taking a leather strap to their a**whole and a bamboo cane to their knuckles --- while slaved customer profits trickle away ?  You know, the BofA attitude!  Oh the  blood & pain.... oh da po' po'  MaBell pooooz,

Re:Same is not good enough (3, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417521)

Not like this is the first time that's ever happened [freeutopia.org]...

Truth is, the carriers/cablecos go out of their flippin' way to sue if there's even the faintest glimmer of competition, from nearly every source.

Personally, I'd vote in (as officeholder-for-life) the first politician who put in a law requiring at least two competitors for each type of ISP access (2 cable, 2 DSL, 2 fiber, 2 wireless, 2 whatever-they-think-up-next), with no monopolies.

Re:Same is not good enough (2)

davros74 (194914) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417895)

Yeah, because that really worked out well for the cellular companies.

You need to turn the clock back about 30 years. The way you get corporations with natural monopolies to act in the best interest of the public rather than themselves is through REGULATION.

Yeah, yeah, socialism, blah blah. But natural capitalism does NOT work in these kinds of markets that require massive infrastructure with high barriers and costs of entry for new businesses. Free market does not work here. Companies have no incentive to build out better infrastructure. They have lots of interest to control pricing and making sure other companies cannot enter their market.

Re:Same is not good enough (2, Informative)

patchmaster (463431) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418113)

The free market works fine. The problem is you don't have a free market. There are three or more levels of government with multiple agencies, each with their own agenda, all creating barriers to entry (i.e. regulations). If it was just a matter of paying for right of way and building the infrastructure you'd see loads of competition. Admittedly, the cost of entry is high with systems like land lines, cell phones, and wired internet, but you would see it happening a lot more without all the regulations and control by various levels of government.

Initially, the competition would be for the areas most likely to provide a profit. Economically depressed areas would get slighted. But that's the free market. You take your product to the customers who are most likely to buy. Insisting that everyone have access to the same level of service for the same price may be considered fair by many, but it's not a free market.

My understanding is Google is being very selective about where they roll out service in KC. Make a deposit to demonstrate your willingness to pay for our service. When enough people in your neighborhood join in, we'll provide you with service. KC wanted this badly enough to keep their regulatory instincts in check and allow Google to develop the service with free market forces.

Cell phones haven't gotten any better 30 years? (1)

raymorris (2726007) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418417)

Yeah, because that really worked out well for the cellular companies. You need to turn the cock back about 30 years.

Hmm, cell phones went from suitcase sized devices in the trunk that cost $3 / minute to a fully capable computer in your pocket with unlimited everything for $35 / month. You say that's the result of deregulation?

Stop and ponder that for a minute. You might have just taught yourself something.

Re:Cell phones haven't gotten any better 30 years? (2)

hjf (703092) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418467)

"unlimited everything" is not true, and the service is NOT available everywhere except "most cities and towns" (there are plenty of spots with no coverage even in freeways), and in a lot of cities you get a lot of dropped calls since, well, "for most people, it works. so the problem is not us, it's you".

AT&Ts model (4, Funny)

spagthorpe (111133) | 1 year,12 days | (#43416963)

1Gbps speed for the first 2GB, then $10 per GB after. Or maybe they'll just throttle you down to 6Mbps for the rest of the month.

Re:AT&Ts model (2)

Imagix (695350) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417359)

What's bad about this statement is that it makes it sound like 6Mbps is horrible..... 56kbps on the other hand....

Re:AT&Ts model (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417421)

6Mbps is barely tolerable in this day and age, 60 is a little more palatable and more up to my standards.

Re:AT&Ts model (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43418625)

AT&T's VDSL lines are capable of delivering 32 Mbps on average (64 is common).
The maximum speed AT&T sells is 24 Mbps because they want to sell their internet TV service using the rest.
Anonymous Uverse Tech.

Re:AT&Ts model (1)

kesuki (321456) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417599)

56kbps was half way decent when i last used it. i wanted faster but with hardware compression of headers and full content text would send at 114kbps and computers then were mainly shipping text. with online drm and online updates and streaming media though things have changed. to stream you need a bit more bandwith but 6Mbps is fine really you only need 3Mbps to stream standard definition. hdtv takes more but giving one individual user 1gbps is a nightmare if they get struck with a virus that is 0day.

Re:AT&Ts model (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417477)

1Gbps speed for the first 2GB, then [...] maybe they'll just throttle you down to 6Mbps for the rest of the month.

What's sad is that this would be an improvement over the service I currently receive from ATT.

What's even more sad is that this is the highest tier service they offer at my address.

Re:AT&Ts model (2)

tc2k11 (2024600) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418077)

hahahah. I'm in Australia with Telstra fibre. 100Mbit down / 5Mbit up with 100GB cap (counted both directions). Go over that cap? get shaped to 128kbits. yep. it feels like the internet stopped.

no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditions (5, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | 1 year,12 days | (#43416965)

we already paid AT&T and other telcos for national broadband back the 90s; they don't deserve nor do they get the same deal google does. they need to provide what we paid them to do (the thieves used the money to buy up competitors)

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (5, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417291)

we already paid AT&T and other telcos for national broadband back the 90s; they don't deserve nor do they get the same deal google does. they need to provide what we paid them to do (the thieves used the money to buy up competitors)

The problem is not laying down fiber or building infrastructure: The problem is that nobody else can because of contractual agreements. And who's fault is this? Not the federal government. In fact, not even the state government. The primary malfactor here is municipalities. Take away their ability to ink exclusive contracts, and this whole issue would dry up in a few years. There's agreements still in force from the 90s saying they'd deliver "broadband internet" of 1mbit/s as long as they have exclusive rights to lay cable and stuff for 20 years.

Even in cases where the agreements aren't exclusive (larger cities, mostly, who have more negotiating power), there is still so much red tape, and so many different layers of bureauacracy to get through before any actual work can be done, that companies smaller than Google have no hope of ever breaking into the market. This is an artificially-created monopoly created not by the telecos, but by municipalities.

You want broadband internet? Crush city hall and hand control over to the state or federal government. Take these small-time politicians out of the mix.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (0)

Dishevel (1105119) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417479)

You want broadband internet? Crush city hall and hand control over to the state or federal government. Take these small-time politicians out of the mix.

You started strong then went Full Retard.
You never go full retard.

He's right (4, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417863)

And that's the problem. He's right and it goes against every dumb thing you were taught in grade school. You're taught American Exceptionalism and how scary the commies and their governments were. But fact is that small governments get picked apart by corporations. Divide and conquer. Remember that picture of the snake cut to bits? Seriously, there's a reason we have a Federal gov't, and the power your average multi-national wields today would make the British empire run for the hills.

Re:He's right (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43418151)

The problem is not going to be solved by giving it to the Feds.
Let me be clear here.
They Do Not Solve Problems
There is no longer a need for exclusive agreements from local or federal governments.
Let the people decide with their pocketbooks.

Re:He's right (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418177)

And that's the problem. He's right and it goes against every dumb thing you were taught in grade school. You're taught American Exceptionalism and how scary the commies and their governments were. But fact is that small governments get picked apart by corporations. Divide and conquer. Remember that picture of the snake cut to bits? Seriously, there's a reason we have a Federal gov't, and the power your average multi-national wields today would make the British empire run for the hills.

American Exceptionalism? I'm sure that nobody's national anthem starts off with "We're Number Two." Lay off on the culture-bash. I don't assume that the British are a bunch of incompetent sods just because that's what most of your sitcoms and popular media is based off of, notably Top Gear. I take it for what it is: Entertainment. Likewise, take what you see on our popular media with the same large grain of salt.

But fact is that small governments get picked apart by corporations. Divide and conquer. Remember that picture of the snake cut to bits? Seriously, there's a reason we have a Federal gov't, and the power your average multi-national wields today would make the British empire run for the hills.

You're kidding, right? They sell to you guys too. And our multi-national corporations are more skittish about EU and UK law than US law... which has about as much teeth in it as a room full of octogenarians. EU and UK law actually respects you, as the individual. It doesn't say you're a "consumer", but a "citizen", and UK citizenship is something taken seriously in your country. It means something. Over here, the only thing it means is that the conservatives can't bitch you don't pay taxes.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43418229)

He's trying to generalize a principle, but he's pulling out the wrong aspect to generalize. "Small town politicians screw it up; we need larger scale politicians." That's a misunderstanding of the problem... it's a bit like saying "All these small radishes taste terrible; I think we need large radishes. Obviously, small things taste bad.'

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43418577)

Well at least he didn't mention condo boards or HOA's. Could've boosted his credibility a smidge.
Funniest of all he probably keeps his wireless locked in the fridge so his neighbors can't share.
Remember the good old days when students and universities built their own internet infrastructure?
Neither do I.
Oh yeah, you were talking about the Feds. Haha, funny, they're too busy printing money that oughta keep'm busy for another couple years.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (-1, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417585)

You want broadband internet? Crush city hall and hand control over to the state or federal government. Take these small-time politicians out of the mix.

Right, put Moonbeam in charge of delivering the internet to Californians and see how that turns out. Great fuckin' idea, there.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (0)

demonlapin (527802) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418721)

No shit. Fuck the downmods.

If drinkypoo and I agree on an idea, it must be the right choice.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417611)

Do you honestly believe that the state and the feds are any less corrupt? After all, they all got ahead through machine politics on the local level, eventually taking the show on the road. You can't win any other way. The telcos would prefer one stop shopping in DC, and in truth Washington is protecting their national monopolies. I mean, who owns the backbone? How many tier 1 providers are there?

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (3, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417725)

Absent some meaningful campaign finance reform, I don't expect state and federal politicians to stand up to the telcos any more than local ones do -- in fact, I'd honestly expect less. When municipalities try to set up their own (cheaper, faster, self-funded) broadband networks, the telcos go to the state government and try to get them shut down, because apparently the fact that they aren't trying to make a profit gives them a big advantage against for profit companies, which, interestingly, is the precise opposite of the usual argument given in favor of free market capitalism.

That being said, if Google manages to push this out into the news and people start exerting sufficient pressure on their state lawmakers, it's possible that something positive might come of it. It's amazing how much flooding congressional offices with calls and letters and accomplish.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417801)

You're about a fucking retard. The amount of red tape, corruption and hand wringing only goes up exponentially the higher up the government ladder you go.
 
Medusa said you're a fucking retard and a stone cold dumb ass beyotch.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (0)

roman_mir (125474) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417913)

You want broadband internet? Crush city hall and hand control over to the state or federal government

- ha ha, I think this qualifies for mega crazy, do the same thing as before on a grander scale and expect different results.

I would suggest doing the opposite of what is known not to work and this means allowing people to exercise their property rights instead giving it up to any level of sata.... government bureaucrat.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (2)

stonewolf (234392) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417987)

I live just out side of Austin (groan... there goes my property value...) and I've been watching this mess for a long time. Austin started to build a network like this one back in the '90s. Then the telcos used their pet politicos to get a law pass in Texas that makes it illegal for a City to build its own network. That was the end of high speed Internet hopes for cities in Texas. Then, AT&T. Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast got pissed off because the cities were requiring them to build out what passed for high speed Internet through out entire cities if they wanted to build it at all. So..... they went to their pet politicos (the folks we refer as the people in the owners box at the legislature) and got the law changed so that only the state gets to tell them where they can or can't build their networks, so AT&T is putting in fiber to the curb in new developments with million dollar homes and in working class neighborhoods you are lucky to get minimal DSL.

Now Google is rolling out gigabit Internet to with in half a mile of my home, but not to my home. I could just cry. This is going to kill Round Rock. And, believe me, ever since Dell moved here Austin has been gunning for Round Rock.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (4, Insightful)

ewhac (5844) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418041)

The problem is not laying down fiber or building infrastructure: The problem is that nobody else can because of contractual agreements. [ ... ]

Well, yes, that's part of it, but there are other hurdles as well.

For example, one of the reasons Kansas City got picked is that the municipality owns the poles. More precisely, as I recall, KCK owns all their poles, and KCMO owns many (most?) of the poles, with the rest owned by AT&T.

Another "problem" is local environmental regulations. I put "problem" in quotes because avoiding unnecessary environmental damage is a laudable goal. However, accomplishing this goal is usually a huge pain in the butt -- EIS reports take months to compile, and then can be challenged by essentially anyone for any reason. Where and how are you going to trench? Are there any legacy pollutants in the dirt? How will you handle that? What happens if you discover a culturally significant site while digging (e.g. Native American burial ground)? Will you need to disturb the protected osprey nest sitting on the seventh pole along the 400 block of Horton Street? What kind of fiber bundle are you pulling? Will it leach toxic materials in the heat/rain/snow? How much noise to you intend to make while doing this? Will the city have to re-route traffic around downtown while you're trenching?

So, yeah, it can be a huge pain in the neck even without factoring in whiny incumbent competitors.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (1)

tooyoung (853621) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417481)

Even if they provide equal or better, they've lost me. When you have absolute control and abuse your customers, why would they even entertain sticking with you when the playing field becomes level? You've already proven your customer service at that point.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (1)

stonewolf (234392) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417915)

Yep, I was working for SBC (now known as AT&T) during the time you are talking about. SBC used the money to buy AT&T after buying everything else they could find that was worth buying, and that was cheap enough to buy.

Re:no, telcos 20+ years old don't get same conditi (1)

malbosher (795323) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418271)

that"s heresy one must not speak false of our corporate elders. good point, but i'm sure some corporate sycophant will try to rationalize your point..

Proof that capitalism doesn't work (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43416969)

What Google is doing is ruining the profit margins for AT&T by introducing a little something called "competition". This is, in many ways, a bad thing.

Show some respect for your elders and stop rocking the boat, Google. Know your place and stay there.

Re:Proof that capitalism doesn't work (1)

stonewolf (234392) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418015)

Ruining it? You must be joking.... Or, merely naive? Forcing AT&T to increase performance while decreasing price might, must might, reduce their profit margin from nearly infinite to something you can compute with long double precision. Remember AT&T used to make over 1200% profit on caller-id. And that was computed using the special accounting rules that only AT&T and the baby bells get to use.

Whoosh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43418087)

Your sarcasm detector might be in need of repair.

Why are private companies building communications? (1)

mozumder (178398) | 1 year,12 days | (#43416979)

"National good" and private companies cannot be put together in the same sentence.

If you want "national good", you do it directly through government and a socialist service. You don't do it indirectly through a private company.

America needs to ban private IP networks if they want to do "national good". There is nothing good about private ownership of public communications systems. It is a government function.

Public communications is so critical that the US Constitution itself requires government to build a mail system for communications. This needs to be updated for modern communications systems.

Again, profit and public good are mutually exclusive, since any public interest comes at the expense of private interest.

We Americans have to fight the incorrect theories of private-interest people and their incorrect Reagonomics theories.

Re:Why are private companies building communicatio (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417033)

America needs to ban private IP networks if they want to do "national good"

You're actually a hardcore libertarian trying desperately to make socialists look bad through strawman arguments. We get that. But in the interest of keeping the appearance up, please explain why you (pretend to) believe the public and private networks are mutually exclusive.

Re: Why are private companies building communicati (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417057)

Right, because I want the Federal Government to have an even more direct say about what i should be browsing and how.

Re: Why are private companies building communicati (1)

amiga3D (567632) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418345)

This isn't something for the Feds. This is the kind of thing State governments are supposed to regulate, much like they do electric power service.

Re:Why are private companies building communicatio (2)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417189)

"National good" and private companies cannot be put together in the same sentence.

Yes they can. It was/is GOOD that phone/cable co's built out their networks to provide service to *everyone*. That is in the 'National Good'.

It's only possible with strict government oversight though since a corporations motives are almost exclusively monetarily based.

They've rested on their laurels too long now without that strict oversight and it's time to stir up the pot again...

Re:Why are private companies building communicatio (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417315)

Or go back to the Bell System. It worked, and it provided universal, affordable service. And while we're at it, bring back Bell Labs - put the "R" back in American "R&D".

Re:Why are private companies building communicatio (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417395)

'Affordable'? Seriously, do some research. It was ridiculously expensive for what was offered. And you got to enjoy fees for damn near anything. It wasn't at all the panacea you're fantasizing about.

ROTFL you actually said Reagan. US made the net (0)

raymorris (2726007) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418609)

Which country do you think CREATED the internet? It is precisely the "incorrect American theories" you want to get rid of that created the internet in the first place!

Reaganomics, you say. Reaganomics boils down to "cut taxes and increase R&D.
1981 Reagan's first budget expands DARPA funding
1982 DARPA uses Reagan funding to develop Internet Protocol (IP)
1984 After turning the Carter recession into a boom, Reagan is re-elected in a landslide
1987 Ordinary consumers have internet service in their house
1988 The best president since Kennedy finishes up his two terms

Re:ROTFL you actually said Reagan. US made the net (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43418819)

Excellent troll my friend. May Reaganomics trickle down all over our faces!

I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43416993)

... welcome our new fiber overlords!

What about silicon valley? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417011)

I like to see 1GB speed before 2050.

No special conditions (2)

Klaxton (609696) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417031)

The city of Austin already stated that Google got no special considerations or incentives to offer the service. I hope everyone leaves AT&T and Time Warner in droves. Unfortunately the installation extends only to the city limits, I live just outside. Would snap it up in a flash.

Re:No special conditions (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417087)

People that don't live inside Austin don't deserve to have Google services. They wouldn't know what to do with high speed internet if they had it.

They are that disgusting and stupid.

Re:No special conditions (1, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417247)

You know what happens when someone from Austin moves to Dallas? the average IQ in both places goes up.

You know what happens when someone leaves Austin for anyplace other then Texas? the average IQ of both places goes down.

Re:No special conditions (1)

daninaustin (985354) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417619)

Same here. The development i live in is across the street from the city limits. The only thing available here is Time Warner cable, but it's been pretty good and i get 45meg down and 5 meg upload.

Google should setup a section to measure interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417041)

Google should setup a section to measure interest in other states / cities with information on how citizens can be Google Fiber "Ambassadors" for areas in which Google hasn't announced any plans to move into.. something like this page [google.com] for those in the area, but for the rest of us would love to spread the word and garner support to lay the groundwork for Google to move in.

"Equal Terms" (5, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417043)

City: "Ok, no franchise contract anymore"
AT&T: "Umm, ok, maybe not so equal terms."

Re:"Equal Terms" (3, Informative)

QuantumRiff (120817) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417251)

In my state, they "supported" a lot of legislators, and franchising of telecom is now handled by the state. Less candidates to "support" that way, I guess.

Re:"Equal Terms" (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417253)

City: "Ok, no franchise contract anymore"

We need this on a national level.
The patchwork of local regulations and subsidies has not worked out for the USA.
Even in a big city, you might end up in a building with only 1 choice for tv &/or internet.

And if we can't get the private companies to compete, we should lay the infrastructure ourselves.
Leave it under the control of a federally chartered corporation and lease access without preferential treatment.

Fuck Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417063)

Medusa wi,ll fuck you up, nigga.
 
Don't mess with Medusa

Not a real "threat" (2)

sqrt(2) (786011) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417069)

Since most people can't move to where Google Fiber is being deployed they have to wait for it to come to their current location. This might not ever happen. So the ISPs in that area only have to react IF Google announces a move into their market. They don't have to do anything before because they have an absolutely trapped and captive customer base. People can't shop around for ISPs because that would involve changing residence, and few people have the means to relocate on such a whim as internet speeds.

So unless Google announces a country wide deployment, and means it, the ISPs are just going to keep sitting on their hands, claiming customers don't want faster speeds [bgr.com], or that it would simply cost too much to deliver it to them.

Practicality of moving (2)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417257)

most people can't move to where Google Fiber is being deployed

It appears sglewis100 disagrees with this premise [slashdot.org]. I'd like to see some arguments either way about choosing where to live based on availability of telecommunications service. For example, It might be easier for people who are already looking for a job to make this a consideration when deciding where to apply.

Re:Practicality of moving (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417493)

I'd like to see some arguments either way about choosing where to live based on availability of telecommunications service.

You won't get an argument, not here anyway. Everyone here checks to see what their internet options are before they move. The problem is, we can't all just up and start a new life a thousand miles away where Google has fiber. Or FIOS, etc. We're anchored to our jobs, our families, our friends. So our options are geographically limited to about a hundred miles in any direction from where we live now. If it's outside that bubble (and for many, it's smaller), it can't be considered because of more important things in life.

To say there's no demand though... that's just horse-pucky. The only people that don't want faster internet are the people who don't really use it anyway, and have no idea what kind of benefits it would offer (for example, no more advertising when watching your favorite TV shows).

Re:Not a real "threat" (1)

KingMotley (944240) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418055)

*IF* google built a fiber network in one of the nicer Chicago suburbs, I'd move as fast as I could. I wouldn't even sell my current house, I'd just find a nice house in the suburb and put an offer down the same week.

They have to decide 10 years BEFORE Goog comes in (1)

raymorris (2726007) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418673)

It takes a giant, ancient company like AT&T 5-10 years to make big strategic decisions, hiring consulting firms to analyze this and that, then another five years to actually build out fiber in a big city. So they have to decide this year to start getting off their asses if they don't want Google to potentially slaughter them several years from now.

GoogleFiber = Advertising (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417123)

I do hope people understand, this is a rather inexpensive way to gain mind-share and brand what people think Google "could do" vs. what they will do. Build out a city or two using long ago subsidized infrastructure, add some updated equipment, get kick backs from the city, put a couple of thousand on the internet all for under 200 million - That's cheap branding. Bet they get more branding impact from these installations than all companies do from putting their company name on all the sports fields in America. Well played Sir Google.

Re:GoogleFiber = Advertising (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417219)

Nothing is stopping AT&T/Verizon/Comcast from providing the same service everywhere right now.

If Google is willing to do it in exchange for advertising revenue...this is bad, how exactly?

Re:GoogleFiber = Advertising (5, Insightful)

ewhac (5844) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417289)

Build out a city or two using long ago subsidized infrastructure, add some updated equipment, get kick backs from the city, put a couple of thousand on the internet all for under 200 million [ ... ]

That might be a legitimate assertion to level against AT&T with its pathetic Uverse kluge, but emphatically not so with Google Fiber.

For GFiber, there is no existing subsidized infrastructure. Google trenched and pulled new fiber all over KCK and KCMO. And it's not a fiber-copper hybrid kluge. It's new glass all the way to the side of your house. It's also 1Gbit symmetric . Google also built new NOCs for the traffic and a satellite farm. And while AT&T's press release mumbles, "up to 1 Gbit," that's GFiber's starting point.

total nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417159)

I've read that Google received no "special" treatment for bringing fiber to Austin. AT&T calls foul because now they have competition, these people are total asshats. Why weren't you working on gigabit access before Google FIber showed up? Oh right, that fantastic oligopoly market, screwing over the consumer at every step.

The carriers are trying to scare Google (4, Interesting)

roystgnr (4015) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417197)

Seriously, what else could *possibly* motivate AT&T to announce "Austin" rather than one of the hundred other similar markets they could be moving into? Are they looking forward to making half as much revenue as they would if they entered a city with no gigabit competition? Are they proud that they'll be increasing the maximum speed available to Austinites by 0% rather than increasing the maximum speed available in another city by 9900%?

Of course not. They're showing Google, "moving in on our turf won't be profitable, because we'll try to undercut you every time you make a move, so you might as well give up and leave us with our oligopoly."

It'll be fascinating to see what Google's response (both in terms of words and actions) will be. Does "don't be evil" include "don't concede to evil"?

Re:The carriers are trying to scare Google (5, Insightful)

BBTaeKwonDo (1540945) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417501)

Came here to say the same thing. I'll add that AT&T is probably planning to use dumping [wikipedia.org], one of the classic anti-competitive behaviors.

In classic dumping, the incumbent (AT&T) offers the service at price calculated to drive the competition out of business. Given Google's $60 billion in current accounts (as of GOOG's last 10-K), I don't think this plan will work. If Google were structured normally and started losing money, the shareholders would start pressuring management to pull the plug on the broadband ventures. However, given GOOG's two-class ownership structure, shareholder pressure is minimized. So Larry Page can keep this up just as long as he pleases (as long as GOOG continues to make money in its other ventures).

Re:The carriers are trying to scare Google (5, Insightful)

ultracompetent (2852717) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417779)

I don't think Google cares if AT&T undercuts them. They are not doing this to become a profitable ISP, they are doing this to shake up the last mile provider so that they can upgrade internet services to their customers and market new google products and better gather data for their ultimate customers; advertisers. If Google fiber takes off and goes national, Google wins. If Google wakes up the ISPs and forces them to compete with better broadband nationally. Google wins and will shut down fiber .. That's the end game .. faster internet, better google service. Doesn't matter who delivers it....

Re:The carriers are trying to scare Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417991)

The real question is how many people will be willing to forgo $70 1Gb Google Fiber for possibly $30 10Mb AT&T DSL. I know incumbents make a lot of money by overcharging on bandwidth, but $30 is approaching infrastructure costs, especially for maintaining old copper.

Re:The carriers are trying to scare Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43419097)

If they don't want to pay $70/month they could go for Google's $0/month option at 5Mbps/1Mbps.

Re:The carriers are trying to scare Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417975)

moving in on our turf won't be profitable, because we'll try to undercut you every time you make a move

AT&T's management is too incompetent to effectively compete with Google on thin margins because AT&T is used to 1000% margins. AT&T would quickly go negative trying to compete.

Re:The carriers are trying to scare Google (1)

amiga3D (567632) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418409)

Frankly given a choice between a Google network and an AT&T network at the same exact speed and I'd take Google so fast those fuckers at AT&T's heads would spin. I can't think of a more universally hated company than AT&T except maybe Monsanto. Almost no one uses AT&T by choice. They've been loathed by their customers for decades, long before the internet or cell networks. There was a skit by Lily Tomlin on SNL one night that summed it up, she called them "the phone company." They've been despised by their customers since 1885.

Re:The carriers are trying to scare Google (1)

jezwel (2451108) | 1 year,12 days | (#43419157)

I can't think of a more universally hated company than AT&T except maybe Monsanto.

Ha! You must've missed that Electronic Arts was named the most hated company in America for the second year in a row. Both AT&T and Monsanto were included in that poll, though I cannot find the graphic right now that gave us the showdown.

As an Australian, I'm just hoping that enough people vote for the political party at our federal election that is currently deploying fiber to the home for 93% of our premises . One highly regulated provider wholesaling to any number of retailers using a new ubiquitous all fiber network (well, plus 4% wireless and 3% satellite).

Broadband competition in Austin (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417221)

I live in one of the older neighborhoods in north-central austin, and I cannot even get reliable DSL from AT&T at home. Some of the newer neighborhoods in west and northwest austin do have the choice of AT&T uverse, but not mine, even though the AT&T fiber runs down the railroad easement at the end of my street. I have exactly 1 choice - Time Warner, and while the performance of my TWC service is very good when traffic stays within the TWC austin network, the downlink bandwidth going to the internet averages 800KB/sec at my house.

I am very much looking forward to some competition. If Google fiber really delivers even 1/4 of 1 GBit/sec speeds all the way to the internet I will gladly pay $70/month for that service.

Re:Broadband competition in Austin (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43419191)

I have AT&T uverse in the nortwest Austin, and it sucks balls. I hear from the neighbors that TW is even worse, so I guess I'm not switching, but at best of times I get about half the promised speed, and about a tenth in the evening when everybody is online.

I've been waiting for a youtube video to load for the past 10 minutes.

I don't know if Google will come this far up, but I really hope so.

Screw high speed, I want stable (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417275)

I'll care more about what AT&T wants and needs when they manage to make an Internet connection that stays on steadily for more than six hours at a time. Around here, both AT&T and Charter are notorious for cutting off when the wind gets too stiff.

The first hint of competition is all it took. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417323)

The first hint of competition, and they are ready to roll out gigabit connections. Imagine what would happen if we had competition throughout the rest of north america.

Yeah, here's what happens. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417457)

In Tennessee, the Electric Powerboard of Chattanooga, who has been running lines and setting up utility poles across its area for the better part of a century (they sold their power generation capabilities to the TVA, and became a customer of that larger agency), decided to get into the Internet business.

They managed to do so, despite the entrenched networks trying to sue to prevent it.

Said networks still passed a law banning any other municipal entity from doing the same thing.

Oh well, at least I could get a Gig.

Too Bad Google Didn't get a Deal (1)

Kagato (116051) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417713)

According to the city of Austin the only "deal" google got was priority permit handling. So yeah, man up AT&T.

Reality vs Fantasy (4, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417871)

I suspect that the vast majority of the carriers are only vaguely nervous about this, in that they have deluded themselves with pat on the back surveys that somehow manage to show that their customers have few complaints and are generally either loyal or not motivated to switch. The reality is that you would be hard pressed to find an area in North America that wouldn't leap onto a service like Google fiber if their local rates remained as they are.

No doubt there are a few in the cable/telco industry who are quaking in their boots not just because they realize the clear and present danger to their profits but that they know their own companies are bloated and that where a new upstart will be lean and profitable at much lower prices the old companies will have to cut to the bone to remain profitable.

My guess is that the big old companies are thinking that google can't be everywhere that quickly and that places like Kansas are just quirky experiments that Google will abandon. They might even have done calculations that show that what Google is doing is impossible.

A great example of this would be when Germany was allowing the free market to compete for long distance. The incumbent telco basically swore that long distance would go from the present $1 per minute to at least $2 or more per minute. Within 18 months it was down to around $0.05 per minute. I am not sure that the incumbent was actually lying; really wrong but from his position sitting on his old school business model was just so distorted that he lived in a whole other universe.

If Google Fiber comes to my town I am all over that in a second.

Re:Reality vs Fantasy (1)

ewhac (5844) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417933)

A great example of this would be when Germany was allowing the free market to compete for long distance. The incumbent telco basically swore that long distance would go from the present $1 per minute to at least $2 or more per minute. Within 18 months it was down to around $0.05 per minute.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the incumbent telco in Germany used to be government itself (through the post office)?

Trust Us: Get Google Fiber (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417917)

We at Google, "Do No Evil." So trust us with even more information about you and yours that you pay us to learn.

This link is an advertorial/promotion piece, not real journalism.

Google is not a content provider (3, Interesting)

Hamsterdan (815291) | 1 year,12 days | (#43417927)

But the ISPs are. They have no incentive to offer speed or unlimited usage. More and more people are cutting the cord for TV and phone lines. Bring me a nice fast and unlimited (or higher than the ridiculous 60GB limit in Montreal), and I'll manage with OTA and online streaming. I just to live long enough to see *real* competition in Canada

Re:Google is not a content provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43417955)

Montreal != Canada

Re:Google is not a content provider (1)

amiga3D (567632) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418425)

I don't have a problem with paying for usage. I just wonder why they charge so fucking much per gigabyte. Is 1000% profit really necessary?

Finally (1)

dacullen (1666965) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418473)

We start to see the mythical benefits of "deregulation". With real competition, a real free market, consumers win. Too many industries that claim they are operating in a free market are really extracting maximum profits from a "fixed" free market.

The most likely outcome... (2)

jonwil (467024) | 1 year,12 days | (#43418689)

The most likely outcome is that AT&T, Comcast etc will take some of their money (including potentially money they were given by the government supposedly to build high-speed broadband) and use it to lobby federal, state and local governments to get Google stopped.

competition is great (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43419165)

I think the competition is great! Ashland, Oregon setup a fiber network back in the early 2000's, maybe late 90's. At the time, it was the fastest game in town. Then, @Home came in... and was pissed off.. but at least in Ashland they have competition. You have two competitive carriers offering TV via cable (AFN TV and Charter) and 2 cable companies offering internet, AFN Internet and Charter.

It's been great. They both bounce off each other and that's created higher speeds and lower prices in Ashland.

The AFN is owned by the city of course -- but hey, competition is helpful.. especially when in most areas you don't have two cable TV or cable internet providers. Or phone companies.

I think more municipalities should either get on the Google bandwagon as they can and/or consider their own. It seems odd to me also that Microsoft and Intel and such can be sued for monopoly yet, in most cities nationwide.. the cable/internet/phone company is a monopoly. A state/federal sanctioned monopoly. It's crap.

Guest (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,12 days | (#43419379)

Never mind 1Gbps, where the F*** is 100mbps standard in cable companies at least !?
Many states only have 15mbps and 30mbps boost for $65+/month. Dedicated 100mbps,
would be more then enought to make better infrustructure all over the country.

But I would love to see Google Fiber all over the US, this would be huge internet boost for all.

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