Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Next Big Fiber Showdown: Austin

timothy posted about a year ago | from the att-dsl-sure-leaves-me-unimpressed dept.

AT&T 230

Nerval's Lobster writes "Google might have big plans to wire America with high-speed broadband, but at least one carrier isn't willing to let Google Fiber have a free run: AT&T has announced that it will deploy a '100 percent fiber' network in Austin, Texas, capable of delivering speeds of up to 1GB per second. That location is auspicious, given how Google's already decided to make Austin the next city to receive Google Fiber. Whereas Google plans on connecting Austin households to its network in mid-2014, however, AT&T promises to start deploying its own high-speed solution in December. But there's a few significant catches. First, AT&T's service will initially roll out to 'tens of thousands of customer locations throughout Austin' (according to a press release), which is a mere fraction of the city's 842,592 residents; second, AT&T has offered no roadmap for expanding beyond that initial base; and third, despite promises that the service will roll out in December, the carrier has yet to choose the initial neighborhoods for its expansion. Could this be a case of a carrier freaking out about a new company's potential to disrupt its longtime business?"

cancel ×

230 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

competition (5, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#45004199)

Funny what a little competition can do. Now if only this stuff could happen in other areas.

Re:competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004227)

+1

Re:competition (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004499)

How much do I need to pay google just to SAY they're going to operate in my area, since that is apparently all it takes to advance beyond circa 2004 internet technology?

Re:competition (1)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#45004579)

I should be so lucky as to have 2004-era technology. I'm in the heart of the Silicon Valley, and can't get anything faster than basic 1998-era ADSL. If the HOA would let me put up a fifty foot tower, I could probably point a parabolic Wi-Fi antenna towards the Apple or Google campus and get faster service.

Re:competition (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year ago | (#45005057)

Fuck 'em do it any way. Most HOAs a filled with busy bodies who like to think they are important but cave under any real pressure. Then again I am lucky and moved into an neighborhood that doesn't have one but one street over where the new development is does and they like to send complaints to people in my neighborhood and no one cares.

Re:competition (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005493)

Fuck homeowners' associations and the paper they're written on. You have got to be a fool to join one and have your property rights restricted.

I love where I live - the neighbors and I set off fireworks all the time, I can shoot an AR-15 or shotgun (not an "AR-15 shotgun" BTW) in my backyard without anyone blinking an eye or freaking out with a "ZOMG TER'RIST!" phone call to the police. I have one nutcase neighbor who sets bonfire CONSTANTLY, and his yard has gone to shit, but you know what? It's his property to do with as he pleases, and it's that sort of lack of nannystatism that drew me to NH.

As I understand it one newcomer called on another neighbor for exactly that. The police apparently said "So? It's their backyard and it's their constitutional right, unless they're shooting you." That took place before I moved to the neighborhood so it's just hearsay, but I do believe it because when Massholes move up here they often bring their moonbat baggage with them and try to force it on us. GTFO! Go back to Moonbatachusetts if you want a nanny state, pussy!

Anyway, FUCK homeowner associations. Anyone who joins one deserves what they get when the HOA decides satellite dishes are bad, your American flag is offensive, HAM antennae are bad, you parked your sportscar in the driveway, you own "too many cars" or you simply painted the house the wrong shade of grey or green, or no, you cannot install a pool because your irresponsible asshole neighbor fears his kid might hop your fence, trespass and drown in the pool (which IMHO would be a service to humanity). A fool who willingly cedes his rights deserves everything bad he reaps from it down the road.

AT&T is a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004265)

Any competition will make them fail harder than a 22 stone Hoor.

Re:competition (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004267)

Shutup with your stupid competition stuff. Teh government should be making the fibers for me and it should be FREE because education and stuff herp derp.

Re:competition (3, Insightful)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#45004285)

it isnt free if you have to pay more taxes for it.

I'll see your HERP and raise you DERP. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004719)

it isn't free if you have to pay a communications surcharge fee for it for a decade and get nothing to show for it.

Re:competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004393)

It's already been paid for by the taxpayer, only instead of building out infrastructure as promised, it was pocketed, snorted, stuffed down g-strings, and lord only knows what else.

Re:competition (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about a year ago | (#45005501)

Does anyone know how much has been dumped into the USF? And what it's been spent on? I have a sneaking suspicion it would be more than enough to build a nationwide fiber network.

Re:competition (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about a year ago | (#45004777)

Why should I pay to spied on? It should be FREE...

Re:competition (3, Insightful)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about a year ago | (#45005435)

The telecom industry is already subsidized (see Universal Service Fund) and it doesn't really work. On the other hand, shared infrastructure, something the government could invest in, apparently has great benefits in fostering competition in Korea [cnn.com] , for example. The basic idea is that instead of letting ISPs build their own proprietary network, we build open, shared internet infrastructure and let ISPs share the infrastructure and compete for customers. This is sort of obliquely analagous to the breakup of AT&T in 1984. The government mandated that AT&T resell its network to long distance resellers and the prices of long distance plummeted over the next 10 years.

Re:competition (3, Informative)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#45004299)

att wont be able to compete. google is charging the same price for gb internet as att charges everyone for 20mbit. rolling out fiber and then charging 100$ more wont do anything to compete with google. that being said, maybe eventually att will wisen up and start offering fiber in other cities at a competitive rate (before google gets there), but i doubt that seriously, since att milks their customers for money.

Re:competition (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#45004477)

Carriers always lower prices when a competitor moves into an area. That's standard operating procedure, if you don't undercut them right from the start they might gain a foothold in the area. Prices will of course shoot back up once the competitor leaves or goes under. Competition is rough on incumbent carriers, which is why they're so nice to each other in general and avoid competing as much as possible.

Re:competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004529)

Prices will of course shoot back up once the competitor leaves or goes under.

So, AT&T just has to wait for Google to go under. They have nothing to worry about.

Re:competition (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#45004877)

Just their Fiber division. Google is more than willing to let products go if they're not performing.

Re:competition (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004941)

That's crazy talk, since when would Google just start shutting down services?

Re:competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005069)

Lol since just about forever.

Re:competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005133)

That was the joke, champ.

Re:competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005395)

Fiber doesn't need to make money. Fiber just needs to not lose a ton and bring fast internet to the majority of Americans so Google can roll out all their streaming video and internet of things services that they're planning, which is where they're planning on making money. If Fiber makes money, that's just gravy.

If it succeeds in getting AT&T to offer affordable fiber broadband to the entire country, it will be a huge success.

Re:competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004653)

This is exactly why i think the current way of doing things should be illegal.
Comcast: So, I see you are putting in more houses
City Gov: That I am.
Comcast: How about I put in some of this here coaxial cable as you are putting in other utilities, and make sure I don't get any real competition, in exchange I'll cut you in on my customer gauging?
City Gov: You've got a deal, lets make it 5 years.

I would think an approach more like the national labs would work better. Lets make the government own the network hardware, and make companies compete for the maintenance in exchange for some profit from the operation of the network. Further, lets make the government ensure that prices don't fluctuate or get absurd by forcing the company to agree to service costs up-front, for at least 2 years.

Re:competition (1, Informative)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year ago | (#45004385)

Free market competition in almost all cases, except for absolutely needed government actions, always results in intense competition and ultimately the lowest cost that a good provider can supply and maintain. Government has no interest in providing the best at the lowest cost if they run a service.

Any time the government gets involved they warp the competition one way or another with politcal ends and increase the overhead cost. Cable TV should have always been open to multiple providers so people could order what they want from whatever carrier or carriers.

Re:competition (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004489)

Having multiple sets of fiber maintained is more expensive than a single set though. I know trash service provided by private companies is far less efficient, much more labor and much more fuel as trucks from multiple companies travel down the same road. If government laid the fiber and treated like a roadway (covering just the last mile) it'd have less cost than google and AT&T competing, then they could compete on the other many miles, with many other companies, because now right-of-ways aren't an issue.

Re:competition (1)

hermitdev (2792385) | about a year ago | (#45005073)

I just a government rip up a road, repave only to turn around 2 weeks later and rip up the asphalt they laid to pour cement the next day. Yeah, I want *that* organization as the maintainer of my internet infrastructure. On the flip side, if that does become my internet infrastructure provider, I may look into to government contracts...

Re:competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005163)

I doubt the validity of your observational skills, and therefore your claims, since you cannot seem to write more than about 10 words down without making a grammatical error.

Re:competition (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#45005297)

I know I for one have never seen a private company fuck up and redo their work.

I wasn't trying to claim (I am GP) that government is more efficient though, simply that there are cases where the inefficiency of government doesn't outweigh the cost of having competition.

Re:competition (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | about a year ago | (#45004457)

Something funny is right, but the people who are doing it are the only one who know the plan. I was wondering about what the heck is going on in web hosting and was going to post an article about that. I just got a new host for $10 a year and I see GoDaddy is doing a $1.99 special and is this companies consolidating by running others into the ground? There is a game of monopoly going on and I just hope I don't land on Boardwalk.
As far as the build out of bandwidth , there is much more going on there than meets the eye as it serves two purposes and one is bad and the other one is not good.

Re:competition (4, Insightful)

Djyrn (3011821) | about a year ago | (#45004513)

Google wins either way. Best case scenario is if 1GB starts to roll out everywhere ahead of Google Fiber. That way they don't have to muck about with the infrastructure, and they still get people using their services at the higher rate.

Re:competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004599)

Google wins either way. Best case scenario is if 1GB starts to roll out everywhere ahead of Google Fiber. That way they don't have to muck about with the infrastructure, and they still get people using their services at the higher rate.

Assuming, of course, that they (the not-Google providers) don't do anything to fuck up the connections, such as impose caps on all those gigabit connections as soon as they see there's nobody around to stop them. Or claiming it's gigabit only if nobody else is using the connection ever (i.e. overselling their bandwidth, as is their standard operating procedure).

Natural monopoly (3, Informative)

Strange Attractor (18957) | about a year ago | (#45004581)

Digging duplicate trenches to lay parallel fiber is wasteful. That's why utilities are "natural monopolies". Getting economic efficiency in such situations usually requires regulation or community ownership.

And who cares? (4, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#45004999)

Digging duplicate trenches to lay parallel fiber is wasteful. That's why utilities are "natural monopolies". Getting economic efficiency in such situations usually requires regulation or community ownership.

In the magical land of the oompa-loompas, where Willie Wonka is a benevolent dictator and everything is done for the betterment of their society, this would be important.

Any real issue has arguments both for and against. It's like a mathematical function with many variables, and you have to choose the combination of variables that gives the function the highest value.

In this case the highest value is utility for society, and the variables are the amount of weight you assign to each argument.

Specifically in this case, we assign little weight to "being wasteful because we're digging two trenches" because even though that argument is valid, the utility to society is much lower if we let that consideration drive our choice.

Yeah, I'd *like* to not have to waste effort to have good things, but that's not the world we live in.

Having fiber is more valuable than the expense of digging an extra trench.

Re:And who cares? (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about a year ago | (#45005547)

It's not just wasteful, it's generally subsidized by the community (ie. traffic delays).

Re:competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004597)

Yes. Funny. The same thing happened in my small little town in Centurylink territory. For years Centurylink/Qwest and the local cable company sat on upgrades. A local CLEC comes in and fibers up the entire town and Voila! Centurylink and CableCo upgrade their stuff. It's amazing what happens when there is a little competition to these duopolies.

Re:competition (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45004765)

It's not competition. Likely, AT&T is just doing a token deployment to either justify some attempt to bribe their way into a local monopoly or some sort of legal challenge. AT&T, like most broadband ISP's, isn't interested in competition. They just want to grab the monopoly before someone else does.

Re:competition (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a year ago | (#45005549)

I just wish AT&T would offer me something higher than 6 mbps down and .5 mbps up where I am. I don't even need speeds fifty to a hundred times faster. I'd settle for ten times faster and I'd pay twice as much as I am now happily.

Please, any paid AT&T folks in PR who are reading this, pass this along. Don't just pamper the Austinites. Give us some love everywhere else too!

great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004233)

One community is over served with fiber options. Everyone else gets squat.

Re:great idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005051)

This is Austin... ironic that fiber can be dropped so quickly when there hasn't been a major road improvement (183) since 1995, other than Perry's tollways. Well, MoPac going from a congested highway to a congested tollway where the price to sit in the parking lot goes up with the cars on the road isn't really what one calls an improvement.

Grande had fiber to the home first in Austin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004247)

At my last house, I lived in a neighborhood that had access to Grande. Their fiber to the home service was awesome. My new neighborhood doesn't have Grande as an option. Time Warner just jacked up my bill after a year of service from them :(

Re:Grande had fiber to the home first in Austin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004831)

Here's a tip that a lot of people don't realize. You can actually negotiate a price with your cableco. If they jack your prices up after your initial offer expires, just call them and threaten to go with another provider (like AT&T or Dish or whoever). They're hem and haw about it, and try initially to say they don't have anything, make some low-ball offers, etc. But usually if you keep them on the phone long enough (and I'm talking 30 minutes or more sometimes), they'll eventually offer you you original sign-up deal for another year or two.

300Mbps for $?$?$ (3, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#45004253)

Initial speed will be 300Mbps, of unknown cost, probably with the current 250GB monthly cap, available in few unspecified areas... oh boy.

Re:300Mbps for $?$?$ (3, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#45004291)

I forgot the link showing the initial rollout [theverge.com] will only be 300Mbps.

Re:300Mbps for $?$?$ (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#45004485)

300 Mbps isn't dogmeat! You "only" need 20-45 Mbps to stream 4k video.

Re:300Mbps for $?$?$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004665)

I had Charter's 30Mbit service. Youtube took forever on 1080p.

Re:300Mbps for $?$?$ (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#45004703)

300Mbit is something you can get with ordinary Docsis 3.0 (400/100Mbit), no need for fiber.

Re:300Mbps for $?$?$ (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#45005025)

If you had fiber to the curb and that 300 Mbit coax was shared between just a small handful of homes, it would still be very nice. If Comcast did that for $40/month in response to full fiber-to-the-home for $65/mo, for example, I would probably go cheap.

I am really curious what gigabit Internet means, in practice. At worst it could be like living on a 6-lane freeway that extends only the length of your driveway to a dirt road. Moreover the TOS restrictions against using it to run a "server" (whatever that means) really suck. My son would love to run a minecraft server. Actually I am anti Internet-consolidation in general, and would love to see super-simple solutions for people to host their own Facebook replacement, and youtube replacement, and self-hosted email and calendaring, and so forth. These huge centralized commercial databases just hold too many cards. Fiber to the home seems to open the possibility of decentralizing the Internet again.

Re:300Mbps for $?$?$ (1)

Pope (17780) | about a year ago | (#45004963)

300 Mbps isn't dogmeat! You "only" need 20-45 Mbps to stream 4k video.

And there's *so much* 4k video available, :rolleyes:

Re:300Mbps for $?$?$ (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#45005363)

Why would content be produced when there is no way to deliver it to most people? I think it's pretty obvious that Internet streaming will lead the way in 4k video distribution. Heck, I'm not a huge fan but I would really love to watch a football game on a 60", 60 fps 4K OLED display. People will pay good money for that.

I'm even hopeful that something like OnLive (i.e. playing games rendered remotely) might become finally feasible.

Re:300Mbps for $?$?$ (1)

TheSync (5291) | about a year ago | (#45005545)

20 Mbps 4K with H.264 encoding may have a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels, but it will not have 3840x2160 pixels worth of detail, unless nothing is moving on the screen.

I can honestly tell you that the best live H.264 encoders in the world right now need 100 Mbps to deliver 3840x2160 60p content that looks good.

24p movies get equivalent quality at 10-20% cut in bandwidth, but it is going to take HEVC to achieve good 4K in 40-50 Mbps.

Of course that won't stop anyone from watching really crappy quality 4K movies streaming online, but when people start watching 4K sports they will want more bits.

Re:300Mbps for $?$?$ (0)

kamapuaa (555446) | about a year ago | (#45004995)

Jesus Christ, it'll take almost 30 seconds to download a bootleg video! Why even bother?

Strategy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004257)

Diabolically genius!

Wire the most affluent neighborhoods (a few 10s of thousands) from which Google would getting the greatest profit margins in terms of profile building and actual fiber revenue, spoil the proposition for the entire city.

Re:Strategy (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#45005087)

Diabolically genius!

Wire the most affluent neighborhoods (a few 10s of thousands) from which Google would getting the greatest profit margins in terms of profile building and actual fiber revenue, spoil the proposition for the entire city.

OTOH, the more affluent areas also require more plant -- fiber and other hardware needed on a per-foot basis -- per user. Not that I've worked out what it costs or have a handle on revenue per user vs. household AGI -- any guess there would be PIDOOMA . . . I do know that google started their buildout in KC in denser, more urban areas. But among those areas, they only hooked up neighborhoods where a certain percentage of residents put down a deposit -- $300 payable in installments.

ATT has supposedly been "upgrading" their network in KC with more fiber to the home in more neighborhoods. But their offering is pretty much the same speed, same price as Time-Warner's cable service -- they just promise better download speeds than TWC during peak neighborhood demand periods. Not that that would be bad, TWC does bog down something awful in the evenings. Both ATT and TWC have representatives going door-to-door trying to sign up new customers and glad-hand existing ones, even in areas that google hasn't announced any fiber plans.

1 GB (0)

petteyg359 (1847514) | about a year ago | (#45004271)

I seriously doubt they're planning on offering 1 GB per second service, as there are just about zero consumer-grade 8 Gb (let alone 10 Gb) modems, NICs, or routers. FFs, this is supposed to be a "tech" site, how the crap can you fail to use proper unit abbreviations?

Re:1 GB (1)

disposable60 (735022) | about a year ago | (#45004337)

By the time you stream 4 or 5 simultaneous HD DVR streams plus a like number of active HD TVs, you're at a fair fraction of that 1GB. True, that's sproadic, but ATT is counting on nobody consuming anywhere near that capacity on an ongoing basis.

Whoosh! (1)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#45004433)

You'll be at a fair fraction of 1Gb, not 1GB.

GPs point.

>

Your head.

Re:Whoosh! (1)

disposable60 (735022) | about a year ago | (#45004475)

You're right - I forgot to include the upstream bandwidth for the surveillance gear this comes with :)

Re:1 GB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004453)

Not really.
ATSC OTA is ~19Mb stream with MPEG2 compression. Switch to h.264 and you can cut that by a factor of four easily without dropping quality.
5 HD streams is around 25Mb/s, or around 2 orders of magnitude less than 1Gb.

Re:1 GB (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#45004799)

30Mbits per mux = 5-8 TV channels
you can have 160 TV streams on 1Gbit, thats a lot more than your "4 or 5"

Re:1 GB (1)

disposable60 (735022) | about a year ago | (#45005035)

160 TV streams - is that TV, HD, 3-DHD 4kHD or 3D4kHD?

Re:1 GB (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#45005355)

that is normal TV with a mix of SD and HD
one DVB-T mux can handle ~5 HD channels or up to 8-10 SD ones.

Re:1 GB (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about a year ago | (#45005029)

Netflix or hulu streaming on a couple TVs, Xbox Live, tablet and a couple android cellphones playing games and checking facebook, a pc, a laptop, fairly normal in my busy household all on 50mbps. {5 out of 8 devices are usually doing something} Sure sometimes I think I should upgrade to 100mbps since it is now available but I haven't had enough problems w/bandwidth to make me spend that extra $$.

Why (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#45004293)

What is AT&T's plan here?

CEO: "Gentlemen, google's competitive service challenges our freedom, our very way of life, our absurd profits. No longer will we be able to abuse customers and laugh as they threaten to leave us for better competitors, because there WILL BE a better option"
All: "GASP!"
CEO: "We have only one option. Stop them in Austin Texas. Throw everything we've got there. Be better than google."
Member of the audience: "But Sir, how can we keep getting monopoly-level profits for doing very little if we do that?"
CEO : (closes eyes) "We... can't."
All: "NNOOOO!!"
CEO: "But fear not! If we stop them in Austin Texas, they will give up expanding elsewhere! ... Probably? They'll just assume we're going to do it anywhere they announce next and will all hang themselves, at which point we can quadruple the costs for the austin fiber and everywhere else."
All: "AMAZING!!!"

Re:Why (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#45004517)

AT&T's plan is millions of people paying $100/mo wireless plans for their iPhones. I say the party now most threatened by high-speed fixed infrastructure is Comcast, not AT&T.

Re:Why (1)

FSWKU (551325) | about a year ago | (#45004619)

I say the party now most threatened by high-speed fixed infrastructure is Comcast, not AT&T.

Actually, it's Time Warner in Austin...which is far, FAR worse than Comcast, sadly.

Re:Why (2)

internerdj (1319281) | about a year ago | (#45005053)

I've never had Time Warner but I've got to say I can't even imagine how that is possible.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005309)

I've had both and I thought that TW was a bit better, but only by a slim margin.

But perhaps it was just a 2006 vs. 2012 thing rather than a company vs. company thing.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005451)

I lived in Colorado/Wyoming and had Comcast up there. I've also lived in Texas and had to get Time Warner. They're a lot of the same BS. I hate Time Warner because they're my only internet option outside of satellite, and they *require* that I get cable with their internet service. I don't watch cable. Between Hulu and Netflix(a whopping $24 ish each month), I get everything I need. The absolute *second* that someone else moves into the neighborhood with internet I'm going to change. My bill each month is $80, which is $50 internet and $30 cable. My internet connection is either 14 Mbps or 8 Mpbs...either way it's nothing short of highway robbery.

Re:Why (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45004905)

What is AT&T's plan here?

I bet they're just trying to make a grab for the Austin monopoly before Google gets it. Then once they get it, it will be the same old shitty AT&T service they offer everywhere, with just a few token fiber deployments in a few neighborhoods. Austin gets screwed out of Google Fiber, a few city councilmen walk away with nice bribes, and the consumer gets fucked.

Sounds like Project PRONTO all over again. (1)

TheHawke (237817) | about a year ago | (#45004359)

Remember that disaster in a can? This was during the Big Deal when DSL was the trend maker. The problem with DSL or any ISP service over telecom copper needs to be operating at or on spec. Most of the locations where Pronto was slated to roll out on had crap copper. So guess where the money went? Almost all of it got sunk into infrastructure improvement and service roll out to high income, high density areas, leaving the blue collars and rural folks high and dry.

Take a guess where the FTH is going to be rolled out to. You guessed right, the moneybags districts.

Re:Sounds like Project PRONTO all over again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004661)

Isn't that how it should be? Build the infrastructure where it'll most likely be used to recoup your investment. A company isn't a charity, and that's why we have/had subsidized phone development through the government to low population dense areas of the U.S.

Re:Sounds like Project PRONTO all over again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005107)

The man speaks the truth. I did tech support for Bell Atlantic DSL in the opening days of broadband. What a disaster. I knew some customers on a first name basis because certain C/Os in New York couldn't handle the traffic or were so old you couldn't handshake a stable connection. I routinely answered the phone to someone just screaming any obscenity that came to their mind.

Re:Sounds like Project PRONTO all over again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005109)

This just in, people with more money can buy better quality things/services!

They haven't decided because Google hasn't... (4, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#45004367)

They haven't decided where to install because Google hasn't. It will be predatory installation. That means they will install the system only where Google does and will only offer competitive prices to those who can get Google service. They do this to anyone that tries to overbuild.

Re:They haven't decided because Google hasn't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004441)

They haven't decided where to install because Google hasn't. It will be predatory installation. That means they will install the system only where Google does and will only offer competitive prices to those who can get Google service. They do this to anyone that tries to overbuild.

Luckily Google doesn't have the resources to defeat this strategy... oh, wait...

As planned? (2)

Dega704 (1454673) | about a year ago | (#45004389)

This sort of thing was Google's intent all along; not directly competing with ISPs, but doing just enough to light a fire under their seats and demonstrate how full of it they are about the cost of network infrastructure.

Re:As planned? (3, Interesting)

Luciano Moretti (2887109) | about a year ago | (#45004607)

The other interesting thing here is that, at least in my city, there is a "comparable performance clause" in the agreement between the city and AT&T/Time Warner for the Phone/Cable monopoly.

It basically states that if another area gets quantifiable better speeds/options, they need to justify why it's economically infeasable to provide the same level of service in my community or they risk losing their license to a competitor who can. There are some limitations (like the deployment being in the same state) and it would mean that the city counsel would have to fight it and likely a legal battle afterward, but it is a route where a door could be opened to requiring big players to upgrade service to levels equivalent to Google if they try to fight in select areas instead of their whole service area.

As a long-time Austin resident... (1)

drdread66 (1063396) | about a year ago | (#45004483)

I have a few observations to make.

1) "So what" that AT&T is only going to roll out this service to "tens of thousands of customer locations throughout Austin". Google is not promising to do anything more, with a plan to deploy it to select neighborhoods based on expressed interests from residents in those neighborhoods. The real question is whether AT&T tries to roll out AT&T fiber to the same neighborhoods or if they pick other neighborhoods. I would prefer the latter just so there's more high-speed coverage around the town.

2) I am currently a RoadRunner customer. RoadRunner sucks horribly, but AT&T's service sucked so much worse the last time I used it that I fired them as soon as I could. I'm not sure I would trust AT&T to make G-bit service work, given that they couldn't make dial-up or DSL work right in the past.

3) BRING IT ON! Competition is a good thing on all fronts. I also expect (hope?) to see other communications outfits (most notably Grande) try to get in the same game, which would be *great*.

I can't help but think of AT&T's announcement as a good thing...

ARGH! (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about a year ago | (#45004487)

Why does Austin get everything before Portland? By the time I get my fiber, all those f'ing hipsters will be saying, "I had fiber before it was cool."

We do have Verizon FIOS out here in the metro area, but it's way the heck out west by Beavertron, presumably because of Intel. East of the Willy, the choices are Qwest (CenturyLink?) DSL which is slow as F, or Comcast, which is fast and reliable, but with a little more competition, I'm sure they could afford to drop the price by a few bucks.

Oh, and speaking of Qwest/CL's DSL, they keep sending me mailers suggesting that I could get up to 20 Mbps on their enhanced DSL. Once a year, I take the bait and call them, and every single time, the max they can offer me is a virtually trogloditic 1.5 Mbps. You'd think that, if their mailing system is database-driven, and their bandwidth availability lookup is database driven, they could do some cross-referencing and only bother sending out mailers to people who either can get great bandwidth or who don't have any other options...

OK, end rant.

Re: ARGH! (1)

colinnwn (677715) | about a year ago | (#45005021)

As opposed to those hipsters in Portland? It's like watching 2 hens fight for a coc. But don't feel too bad, Austin is so wealthy douche now they couldn't be hipster if Andy Warhol came back from the dead and slapped them.

Re:ARGH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005081)

You would think...

But then you'd be wrong. It's easier for them to simply send out a snail mail blast to everyone instead of going to all the trouble with doing a lookup of availability first.

Fiber?! I'l say! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004519)

..AT&T has announced that it will deploy a '100 percent fiber' network in Austin, Texas, capable of delivering speeds of up to 1GB per second.

There must be a LOT of fiber because when I saw AT&T doing that, I SHIT!

Maybe it'll be like Dallas (3, Insightful)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#45004527)

In AT&T's Dallas HQ parking garage, you can get four bars in every elevator as it's critcally important all their execs be in constant contact.

But for their customers? Ha! This will be just more cobbled-together Uverse hybrid garbage.

I sortof doubt that AT&T will deliver (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about a year ago | (#45004537)

It would be hard to believe that their long track record of cost-cutting employee moves and incompetence will be reversed in few months. When I was at college, we could not believe the dregs they send in for network work.

Will they have better TV bitrates and more streams (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#45004561)

Will they have better TV bit rates and more streams in the same areas as well?

Good luck to them (5, Interesting)

Mabonus (185893) | about a year ago | (#45004601)

I really enjoyed calling up to cancel after Google connected our house.

"Why are you cancelling?"
"I found a better service."
"Can I ask what?"
"Sure, I found 1,0000 Mbps for $70/mo"
"Well. I can offer you 14Mbps for $40/mo"

They followed up with a letter just yesterday saying how they were surprised I canceled since they have such a great service and offering a $300 gift card for re-upping. As far as I can tell they have no strategy for dealing with competing fiber rollouts and Austin doesn't sound like one either.

at&t guy came by my house the other day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004633)

When I saw AT&T on his shirt, and he came into my open garage, I was practically frothing at the mouth, but held my tongue, so I am afraid I wasn't listening to exactly what he said, but it sounds like my neighborhood already has fiber rollout coming in the next month or so. This is in the milwood neighborhood in Austin. I wish I had known about this ahead of time, so I could have asked good questions, because he seemed like a nice guy. Just hate his employer.

Re:at&t guy came by my house the other day (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about a year ago | (#45005147)

We are getting the Uverse rollout in my neighborhood. You'd think I might know from some advertising email or a mail flyer, but not with AT&T. We found out after several hours on the phone with support about our resulting internet outage, the unnecessary purchase of a new dsl modem, and a in-house visit they threatened to charge us for.

Re:at&t guy came by my house the other day (1)

bored (40072) | about a year ago | (#45005401)

And the 250GB month cap...

They have been coming to my house (in Austin) since the uverse upgrade a couple years ago. I asked them "can i have it without TV" and the answer was no. Now its possible, but TW is giving me 30/5 for less than their 20/1 service.

A rather cute little girl knocked on my door the other day, but as soon as I saw the AT&T shirt, I told her I wasn't interested, when she was persistent I basically told her where to put it and closed the door in her face.

Anyway, it took TW 5 years to roll out DOCIS 3 after everyone else did it, its still only a single channel upstream though. I suspect TW's plan in Austin is to ignore google until they actually start to see a significant impact in their business. Which may never happen if google just wires up a couple neighborhoods.

I think its TW's model, do the absolute minimum, charge the maximum and only upgrade/lower prices if another competitor has a better offering in the same area. Which is basically AT&T at the moment since its impossible to choose Grande if you have TW because of the monopoly rules in Austin.

Anyway, AT&T's model seems to be charge whatever they want for garbage service, advertise like the dickens, and pull in suckers.

OTOH, grande is suddenly advertising a 100/5 service in Austin (up from 15/1 or some crap) I can only assume to get some good will before google hits.

If the NSA is going to spy on us, why pay for it? (0)

Squidlips (1206004) | about a year ago | (#45004759)

Why the hell should I have to pay to be spied on? This "service" should be free? How about some price competition? I pay $50+ a month for slow service with Comcast.

die in a fire at&t (3, Interesting)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year ago | (#45004803)

They had their chance to take care of me as a paying Customer. At this point, no matter what at&t or time warner do at this point I will dump them the first opportunity to get Google Fiber.

Fuck AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004811)

Even if AT&T rolls out their Fiber, they've been fucking me over for years that I will still gladly switch over to Google Fiber just to get away from AT&T. Fuck them.

Won't matter if they don't upgrade their peering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004901)

ATT has terrible congestion on their peering points in and around Texas and has for quite some time.

Upping the throughput within their network is only going to make that worse. Yet another provider promising to give customers X Mbps when such a realized speed will never be possible.

while big companies duke it out ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45004967)

... in big cities and other major markets (austin is, of course, a huge tech town) ... people that live in smaller cities, towns, rural areas, or other less significant markets are left with shitty service provided by, if they're "lucky", two wireline providers. where we are, we are "fortunate enough" to have the two traditional wireline providers (cable and telco), but they aren't among the largest companies and seem to have a handshake agreement to not compete against one another as rates are higher.. in some cases, much higher.. than neighboring markets that are served by a top-four cable or telco.

AT&T is retarded. (1)

kellin (28417) | about a year ago | (#45005289)

Wow. Yet another example of AT&T rolling out a half-assed hastily thrown together technology upgrade. Go Google!

No, but seriously.. when AT&T first started rolling out U-verse to some test neighborhoods, the one I lived in at the time was given a free month to check it out. We had Dish Network at the time. To say the feature set for U-verse was laughable is an understatement. Oh sure, you could get a box for every tv, but only one had a DVR on it.. the rest were stuck with "live tv only". Who does that? The system also felt a little sluggish compared to Dish Network, and I was used to actually useful "information" in the info section of each tv program.

FUD, Microsoft-Style (1)

ewhac (5844) | about a year ago | (#45005319)

A press release is not a fiber rollout. I seriously doubt they have any genuine plans for an actual fiber roll-out, except possibly to the most lucrative neighborhoods.

Also, this mealy-mouthed "up to 1Gb" sets off my bullshit meter, and leads me to suspect that AT&T are going to try and do this on the cheap. OTOH, GFiber starts at 1Gb, and there's plenty of upside built in to their backbone.

What I would be very careful of is the agreements AT&T manages to strong-arm out of Austin in "exchange" for promsing to think about maybe deploying fiber someday. I could easily see AT&T wresting an agreement that grants AT&T exclusive access for 50 years to municipal poles for deploying new information services (as an "incentive," of course). Oh, and the agreement will have no or an extremely vague performance clause. Once they get that agreement, they can shut out all competitors and then do nothing, or as close to nothing as they can get away with.

GB/sec veruss Gbps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005467)

Big 'B' is bytes. Little 'b' is bits.

But I doubt they are putting up 8Gbps fiber (10Gbps really because typically it is 8b/10b encoded)

Do all the bitches. And evil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45005485)

That location is auspicious, given how Google's already decided to make the NSA the next to receive all Internet traffic from the citizens of Austin.

Fixed that for you.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>