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!

Google Fiber Launches In Provo — and Here's What It Feels Like

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the white-whites-more-vibrant-colors dept.

The Internet 338

Velcroman1 writes "I've seen the future. It's called gigabit Internet by Google Fiber, and it just launched in my hometown of Provo, Utah, the second of three scheduled cities to get speeds that are 100 times faster than the rest of America. 'What good is really fast Internet if the content stays the same?' you may ask yourself. I certainly did, before testing the service. Besides, my "high speed" Internet from Comcast seemed fast enough, enabling my household to stream HD videos, load web pages quickly, and connect multiple devices as needed, largely without hiccup. I was wrong. Using gigabit Internet, even in its infancy, opened my eyes to speed and reminded me of why I love the Internet."

cancel ×

338 comments

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

Content? (-1, Flamebait)

Enigma2175 (179646) | about 7 months ago | (#46062859)

So are there the actual impressions of the submitter or just another contentless story?

Until you experience the speed ... (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 7 months ago | (#46062941)

... I was a researcher in a very advance research facility. At that time we had a (supposedly) "big pipe" to the Net, a 100Mbps line. (That was several decades ago)

I was feeling kinda "proud" that I get to "play" with the "high speed link" to the world, that I, somehow, is on a higher pedestal than the rest of the peons ... until I visited South Korea.

In a friend's home, yes, private house, I experienced for the first time, what raw speed meant.

The 1Gbps speed just blew my fucking mind away, and imagine, they got that in their home, and I, a researcher, only get to play a supposedly "big 100Mbps pipe".

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063021)

I have a 100Mps fiber optics connection, it's more or less the standard where I live, and can't see any need for 1Gps. Besides, why "stream" things as Google advertises? Streaming is stupid technology, download instead and 100Mps will be fast enough.

Now 1Gps download and upload with no restriction on use, including commercial one, that could be something useful...

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063105)

Why "stream" things as Google advertises?

Because

Streaming is stupid technology

For the consumer. For a provider, it's a godsend. Grant access to your material in some obfuscatory wrapper and call it an "app", and now you control all access, assuming you scramble the encryption keys once a week and bake them deep enough into the wrapper when you update. If your connection speed is fast enough that an end user can't tell the difference between it and their hard drive, there goes a good half? three quarters? of the incentive for bored nerds to liberate your content.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (3, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | about 7 months ago | (#46063157)

Why "stream" things as Google advertises?

Because

Streaming is stupid technology

For the consumer. For a provider, it's a godsend. Grant access to your material in some obfuscatory wrapper and call it an "app", and now you control all access, assuming you scramble the encryption keys once a week and bake them deep enough into the wrapper when you update.

It can be good consumers too -- I don't want to wait to download an entire movie before watching it, I want to click "play" and have it start playing immediately. And I don't necessarily want to store every movie or video clip I watch anyway - there are lots of things I watch only once and never want to see again. Streaming certainly can be bad for consumers, but it has its good points.

If your connection speed is fast enough that an end user can't tell the difference between it and their hard drive, there goes a good half? three quarters? of the incentive for bored nerds to liberate your content.

What does connection speed have to do with pirating content? I don't think anyone pirates a movie because it loads too slow from Netflix, given that bittorrenting a movie can take all night.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

Cramer (69040) | about 7 months ago | (#46063373)

For anything I ever plan to watch more than once, streaming is inefficient. It's easy enough to do it the way Tivo (amazon, blockbuster, etc.), and DTV/DISH video-on-demand is handled... download to the DVR, in sequence, from the beginning; you can begin watching it immediately, but that depends on the various networks being able to keep up -- in my experience, the CDN is usually too slow, 'tho I know it doesn't have to be. (*cough*netflix*cough*)

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#46063641)

But how many things are ever watched more than once?

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (5, Insightful)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 7 months ago | (#46063687)

Four words: Small children and Disney.

You have no idea.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 7 months ago | (#46063785)

But how many things are ever watched more than once?

Come to my house and see how my daughter loves to watch the same romance movies over and over.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063453)

What does connection speed have to do with pirating content? I don't think anyone pirates a movie because it loads too slow from Netflix, given that bittorrenting a movie can take all night.

I'm on slow DSL. I can either Netflix at so-so 480p quality and really slow down the internet for everyone else in the house, or plan ahead and bittorrent the 720p quality mp4 when the download won't impact anything. Technically the bittorent is pirating, even though I could have watched it on Netflix.

For new movies though, I just RedBox the Blu-Ray.

I don't see need for 1Gps either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063671)

Considering that many web sites are smaller than a few hundred KB, and with tabbed browsing, I don't see how getting above 1 mb/s is so necessary. Maybe the vocal people like to use Netflix out the wazoo. I don't want to pay for a snazy 1Gbs home connection.

I would like lower prices, AT&T....

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063041)

Sure, but do you really want to live in a country where there are on average 1200 people per square mile, vs the USA where there is on average 84 people per square mile? http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0934666.html my source.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (4, Informative)

uniquename72 (1169497) | about 7 months ago | (#46063109)

Your question implies a false equivalency -- one that's pushed by the telecoms in the U.S.

While it's true that the US has much few people per square mile, that's because most people live in cities. There's absolutely no reason that our major cities (at least) can't match the internet speeds of any other similarly sized place in the world.

New Yor City has 27,532 people per square mile. Vegas isn't even that dense and has nearly 4300 people per square mile.

Slow connection speeds in US cities have nothing at all to do with population density.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 7 months ago | (#46063265)

New Yor City has 27,532 people per square mile.

FWIW, Seoul and Hong Kong are probably the two cities with the cheapest high-speed internet. I recall seeing something on the order of 1gbps for the rough equivalent of $25/month in those cities in news articles past.

Seoul's population density is 45,000 per sq mile [asleepatheavensgate.com]
Hong Kong is 67,000 per sq mile [wikipedia.org]

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (2)

Cramer (69040) | about 7 months ago | (#46063473)

This is also a red-herring. Go ask Verizon how "easy" it is/was to get fiber everywhere in NYC. Red tape out the wazzo from the city itself. And then an independent fight with every major property owner. And then the city has to put it's nose in there again. (damned extensive grounding requirements for a f'ing glass fiber connectivity device.)

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (3, Interesting)

ReverendLoki (663861) | about 7 months ago | (#46063561)

This is why Google is rolling out to KC, Provo and Austin. I know in KC, the city agreed to streamline and cut a deal on government costs on rolling out the hardware - less giving "big business" a break, and more taking the course of action that's best for it's citizens, really. I believe Provo and Austin have done similar, and if I recall, Provo even had a small, existing fiber rollout in place to start from.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#46063657)

This is also a red-herring. Go ask Verizon how "easy" it is/was to get fiber everywhere in NYC. Red tape out the wazzo from the city itself. And then an independent fight with every major property owner. And then the city has to put it's nose in there again. (damned extensive grounding requirements for a f'ing glass fiber connectivity device.)

Why wouldn't you ground it?

Is the fiber not armored? Does it not have a metal shield?
It could be rather unpleasant dicking around with your unplugged router and getting 110 zap because you bone headed neighbor decided it was ok to run his fiber thru his toaster of something.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (2)

green1 (322787) | about 7 months ago | (#46063773)

Depends what they are using. The fibre used by our local telecom has no metal shield, there's no reason for it. The metal shield on copper is to limit RF interference. glass doesn't have that problem.
(and before you say the metal is to protect from physical damage, actually look at the cables used by telcos. the metal is paper thin and wouldn't protect against anything, it's the plastic sheath that offers the physical protection, not the metal.)

Re: Until you experience the speed ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063791)

I take it you have no experience with fiber. No it does not have metal shielding and there is no reason to ground it.

Re: Until you experience the speed ... (1)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#46063815)

All the fiber I've dealt with (and yes, son, I've dealt with a lot of it) is armored, for direct burial.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 7 months ago | (#46063117)

Sure, but do you really want to live in a country where there are on average 1200 people per square mile, vs the USA where there is on average 84 people per square mile? http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/... [infoplease.com] my source.

People keep blaming lackluster USA broadband options on density, but when I lived in a USA city with a density of 17,000 people per square mile, my broadband choices were Comcast with up to 15mbit (12mbit was more typical, except for when it was worse or down), or AT&T DSL (not U-Verse) which could offer "up to" 1.5mbit due to my distance from the central office. When you look at my entire metropolitan area [wikipedia.org] , it encompasses 7000 square miles (about half the size of The Netherlands) and has a density of 1000 people per square mile.

So yeah, if I lived in a field in the middle of Nebraska, I probably shouldn't complain when I have limited options, but if I live in a city, why do my poor broadband choices get blamed on population density?

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

JDAustin (468180) | about 7 months ago | (#46063291)

Where in the SF Bay area do you live? I ask because I had crappy DSL (and it doesn't matter who your ISP was, speed is the same; I had DSLExtreme for years) cause I lived 10k+ feet from the office and switched to Comcast and I get 50mbit+ now.

BTW, I'm in CV.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 7 months ago | (#46063361)

Where in the SF Bay area do you live? I ask because I had crappy DSL (and it doesn't matter who your ISP was, speed is the same; I had DSLExtreme for years) cause I lived 10k+ feet from the office and switched to Comcast and I get 50mbit+ now.

BTW, I'm in CV.

That was when I lived in the Sunset district of SF -- I've moved out of the city since then and now have Sonic.Net [sonic.net] Fusion DSL. 15mbit (5500 feet from the CO) plus a free phone line for $39/month (taxes + equipment rental make it closer to $55) -- great deal, great service. I still have a Comcast 50Mbit connection, but will drop that as soon as my 12 month term is up -- when it works, it works well, but once or twice a week, packet loss and latency go through the roof, and the line becomes unusable for 30 - 60 minutes at a time. Calls to support have not been helpful, by the time I go through their standard script (reboot the computer, renew DHCP, power cycle the modem, etc), the problem either resolves itself or not, but even when it doesn't all they say is that they can send a technician to look at my wiring, but if there's no problem, I'll have to pay.

I got the Sonic connection to use as a backup to Comcast, but for the past few months, I've flipped around with Sonic as the primary and Comcast as the backup and the Sonic connection has been great.

Re: Until you experience the speed ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063787)

Regarding your cable issues...

Make sure your modem is connected to a direct run from the pole - no splitters or any signal-loss inducing gadgets in between.

Quality cabling - make sure the cable you're using can support the necessary bandwidth. A free visit from your local cable tech to test the cabling may be necessary if you don't have the hardware laying around.

DOCSIS 3.0 compliant hardware is crucial. I've found a lot of DOCSIS 2 hardware causes the precise problems you've described and those problems vanished when newer hardware was installed.

Also, before you do any of the above, write a script to measure latency/bandwidth so you have stats to show the tech. Running them on a device connected via wired Ethernet is recommended as that eliminates any possible wireless spectrum issues. That's a whole different can of worms.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063445)

Why is it harder or more expensive to drag a sliver of glass 4-5 (or 40-50) miles up a country road than a twisted pair? Over longer distances (the boonies), optical is currently cheaper for high-bandwidth connections, even over the mythic last mile. Again in the boonies, fiber has much lower maintenance requirements, is impervious to EMI, shorts, corrosion, moisture and so on. At the point of use, fiber can be split into Cat 6 or Cat 5e, for nominal GB-ethernet under 100m - think automated farm.

I call BS on the pop. density issue, the fiber is already in place over huge swaths of the US - drive any interstate, or state highway to observe the ubiquitous Fiber-Optic warning posts along the way. I noticed this on a drive from Cleveland to Texas, and again Texas to Colorado - talk about low population density!

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 7 months ago | (#46063807)

EMI, shorts, corrosion, moisture and so on.

Hmm not exactly. You still run copper alongside fiber - you need it mainly to power the repeaters, but on some fiber runs you also want it to encase the fiber line in a copper shielding to protect it while still being a little bit flexible. And copper does carry all of those drawbacks no matter what (though EMI is much easier to correct for.) In addition to that, in urban settings, you're more likely to run into people digging holes in seemingly arbitrary spots to say...put up a mailbox, fence post, etc. Digging tools and already laid fiber lines don't mix.

Of course, you can run these along power lines, but you still want the repeaters to be off of the grid, or at least have access to their own grid in case the main one falls (communication is pretty important during disasters.)

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063571)

Yeah, i live in an area with i would wager 10 or 20 per square mile. i have a 13mbit connection and its expensive. some people live in cities with populations in the hundreds of thousands that are getting 10 or 20mbit. it can be done, and in a short while, my isp has agreed to lay fiber to my house, though my cost per month would probably crack 200 bucks for service and we havent negotiated bandwidth yet. but with true visionary outlooks of what the internet should be, even a country bumpkin could be set up better than some areas in cities where 10mbit or so dsl is commonplace.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (2)

xyzzymage (3415857) | about 7 months ago | (#46063741)

If you're in the Bay Area, then you had more choices than just the big two, but you have to do your homework via web searches &asking on forums like DSLReports, rather than rely on ads to know about them. Just to name the most well-known ones that I know are available all over the Bay: Sonic.net & DSLExtreme both have DSL and Fusion (if you're not too far from the central office), plus Sonic.net has fiber in a couple of cities now.

Regarding DSL, you can also have shitty speeds because of how old your neighborhood is. Even with nice new wiring inside my house, we max out at 6mbit -- we're a fairly large distance from the phone company's central office, plus the neighborhood's all-underground wiring is over 40 fucking years old. My father lives only a few miles away, but the neighborhood is only around 15 years old and is much closer to the central office, so they get 12mbit instead.

The real reason fiber isn't deployed, of course, is that people are still willing to shell out the money for the shitty overpriced service they have. The only way things are going to change is if people learn about and start switching to other providers with at least nicer pricing.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 7 months ago | (#46063159)

The population density of my county is 2455 people per square mile. I prefer the urban bits of my surroundings-- the suburban sprawl of the less dense parts sometimes does little for walkability.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

discordia666 (940470) | about 7 months ago | (#46063183)

Sure, but do you really want to live in a country where there are on average 1200 people per square mile

Yes.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

Cramer (69040) | about 7 months ago | (#46063413)

Live there? Not so much. Be an ISP there? You BET! High density makes for cheap, efficient, networking.

Put another way: would you rather provide networking to every street light along I-20, or every apartment in a single, one block, 12-story building?

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (5, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 7 months ago | (#46063145)

I brought up quite a few fresh GigE circuits in datacenters. For the first day or so, it was exclusively mine to use. Once I got bandwidth monitoring up, I got to see what the line could really do.

With plenty of sites, I couldn't pull more than 1Mb/s. Your throughput is still totally dependent on the throughput of every point from their disk to you.

My laptop couldn't saturate a GigE line. The same as the previous statement applies. If the laptop won't pass 1000Mb/s for any portion, you won't get the full speed. It could be the bus, disk, or just the software handling the connection.

To saturate the line, I'd bring up a few idle servers, and then have multiple large downloads going to multiple places. Like, downloading distro ISOs from various mirrors.

Sometimes the equipment you have in between is the bottleneck. I put GigE in at my house, because I have servers and my home LAN. The consumer router for the home LAN I was using did GigE on all ports. I couldn't pull more than 80Mb/s through it. I swapped it for a slightly better consumer router, which will pass about 400Mb/s.

Even with 400Mb/s between the two rooms, I can see the throughput suffer if a server is overloaded, or is doing something dumb.

Watching my uplink graphs, I see that I very occasionally pull 80Mb/s from the Internet. Actually last night was 85.3Mb/s. They are tiny spikes when intensive traffic hits. I believe, because of when it happens, that's a backup event from a remote site. Normal daily use is single digit Mb/s. Like, someone on the LAN as I'm writing this is playing a FPS online. Their latency is in the single digits. They're pulling a whopping 220Kb/s.

I guess if you had 5 or 6 torrent boxes running, you could saturate your GigE line. Normal use, most people won't be able to tell the difference between a 10Mb/s uplink and a 100Mb/s uplink.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 7 months ago | (#46063481)

I guess if you had 5 or 6 torrent boxes running, you could saturate your GigE line.

Don't see why you'd need more than one, though it's true you'd need to optimize the disk configuration

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063797)

Just download to a RAMdisk

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (2)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about 7 months ago | (#46063711)

Normal use, most people won't be able to tell the difference between a 10Mb/s uplink and a 100Mb/s uplink.

That's easier than you think for a normal person to see these days. Four separate people streaming four separate HD streams can run right up against the 10 megabit ceiling and wish for more.

Of course, the cable company desperately wants to strangle that use case, and force all of their subscribers over to their ultimate walled garden of digital cable and On Demand(TM) streaming. It's just that normal people are resisting. Damn those normal people anyway.

Re:Until you experience the speed ... (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 7 months ago | (#46063171)

In Best Korea we have 1000Gbps to all homes in the country. Even researchers.

Obligatory car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063879)

I learned a simple principle years ago that helps keep things like Google Fiber in perspective: A fast car is only as fast as the road conditions allow. In this case, 1 Gbps fiber service to the home is only as fast as the content delivery needs to be or is allowed to be by the content provider. My home Internet connection is provisioned for 75 Mbps down / 35 Mbps up. According to Ookla (speedtest.net), download speed averages between 87 and 90 Mbps from a server 100 miles away and is faster than that of 96% of the rest of the world and 97% of the United States.

Don't give me that "You don't know what you're missing" crap. Codecs and other delivery technologies have advanced to the point where the only things a typical consumer "needs" a 1 Gbps connection for today are synthetic benchmarks and dubious bragging rights. My family can have two simultaneous 1080p video streams from different providers, an online game, video conferencing (Skype) and a VoIP call going at the same time without ever breaking a sweat. I guess if we were running continuous off-site backups, operating a call center, or running some type of streaming video server, connection speed might become a bottleneck. But we don't. And neither do 99% of other home users.

If anything, you could have said that 1 Gbps everywhere enables better "killer apps" because content providers would not have to worry about matching the slow speeds of 99% of their user base. Even then, many Internet users are using comparatively slow wireless (WiFi/3G/4G) connections whether at home or on the move. I think most of the effort will be spent improving delivery to mobile devices, not optimizing delivery for the special few with wired Gigabit to the house.

Disclaimer: My employer built and maintains one of the highest capacity transit networks in the world. And every employee has - what, you were going to say 10 Gbps fiber to their desk? No, we have a 100 Mbps symmetrical connection to each desk because it offers more bandwidth than most employees will ever use.

Re:Content? (1)

FriendlyStatistician (2652203) | about 7 months ago | (#46063287)

The content is in the first link.

It could have been identified better, but it is there.

Re:Content? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#46063621)

Maybe click the first link in the story ?

Nah, that would never work.

Eat more (0)

Ashenkase (2008188) | about 7 months ago | (#46062867)

Fiber

Throughput? Latency? Peerings? (3, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 7 months ago | (#46062875)

What was your throughput like? If they're providing GigE, you still won't see it on a single workstation. Did you measure the uplink speed?

What was your latency like? You could have GigE, but if it's 1000ms pings, that's going to be worthless for most of this audience.

Where are they peering? What did your traceroutes look like?

There are lots of ways we can quantify how good or bad a connection is. You missed the important parts.

Re:Throughput? Latency? Peerings? (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 7 months ago | (#46063141)

If it's the Google network, than that would be one of the most peered with networks in the world you are connected to.

I think Google doesn't even buy transit. Just like a Tier 1 network.

So peering shouldn't be an issue.

Re:Throughput? Latency? Peerings? (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 7 months ago | (#46063201)

Google IS a tier 1 network. They own a significant amount of fiber on long term leases. Where they actually selling access (outside their test projects) they would be one of the larger international networks.

Re:Throughput? Latency? Peerings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063887)

Google IS a tier 1 network.

Not according to any definition I've ever seen. They still buy transit and have a default gateway.

Re:Throughput? Latency? Peerings? (3, Informative)

FriendlyStatistician (2652203) | about 7 months ago | (#46063313)

He doesn't mention latency, but he does say he clocked 915 Mb/s both up and down.

You could try reading the article.

Re:Throughput? Latency? Peerings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063805)

Hey! Sit down and shut the fuck up. This isn't about numbers and technology. This is about praising Google at every possible turn.

But... (1, Insightful)

The RoboNerd (551256) | about 7 months ago | (#46062901)

All that symmetrical bandwidth + restrictions against running servers. Woot! http://worldofends.com/ [worldofends.com]

Re:But... (4, Informative)

Aelanna (2695123) | about 7 months ago | (#46062965)

That's not entirely true, they amended their agreement to allow servers so long as they're not for commercial use. They also mentioned that they have commercial/business offerings in the pipeline that would bring back services such as static IPs, one of the few things that I will miss from Veracity.

Re:But... (2)

The RoboNerd (551256) | about 7 months ago | (#46062997)

Sounds like they actually listened then. Kudos to Google. Perhaps this will kick the other ISP's into actually competing again.

I've had Google Fiber for a while and it's awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46062953)

I live in Kansas City, KS and have had Google Fiber for a few months now. It's as incredibly awesome as you probably think it is.

Thanks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46062957)

For making those of us who don't have access to it feel hatred.

ISPs and Net Neutrality (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 7 months ago | (#46062959)

I've been perusing the Google Fiber site trying to understand how it works. Is Google going to be the ISP? Are they just working with local ISPs to implement some of this?

And if I get Google fiber who is in charge of making sure I can't get all the content of the web at equal speeds?

Re:ISPs and Net Neutrality (5, Informative)

Aelanna (2695123) | about 7 months ago | (#46063007)

At least in the case of Provo, Google Fiber is the ISP. All of the former iProvo customers on Veracity have been given notice to transfer their service by signing up for new Google Fiber accounts (which can be regular Google accounts) before Veracity dumps them completely.

Re:ISPs and Net Neutrality (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 7 months ago | (#46063051)

Google’s ultimate plans are unclear, however. The company spent years buying unused fiber optic cables around the country ahead of announcing the service, but hasn’t said whether it will roll it out nationwide.

Does that answer your question? They offer fiber to the door, and it's on the same network Google uses for its own services. They're already a backbone ISP in potentia; it's just taking time for them to light it all up. Meanwhile, they are lighting up targets where they can get competitive peering agreements with the rest of the internet. Once they have enough of those, they'll be able to light up the rest of the fiber and just route around opponents to net neutrality.*

*providing Google services for free**

**Free being "paid for once already, but we didn't get to double dip"

Carrier Has Arrived (5, Insightful)

Guppy (12314) | about 7 months ago | (#46063065)

Funny you should mention Net Neutrality, because this is what it's all about. And an example of how farsighted Google is compared to their opposition, always a step ahead in their strategic planning. If Net Neutrality continues to get rolled back, expect Internet companies to get squeezed hard by the big ISPs (I predict Netflix will be the most vulnerable example of this). "Nice Market you got there. Would be a shame if anything happened to it."

Google is anticipating such a development, and demonstrating to those providers that they are not quite untouchable as they think. They don't need to roll out Google Fiber everywhere (though that would be awesome), just do it enough times to demonstrate to ISPs that they can do it anywhere.

Re:ISPs and Net Neutrality (1)

fermion (181285) | about 7 months ago | (#46063223)

My real concern is that Google is in the advertiser business, and when someone ventures outside their core, one has to ask hy. Obviously customers connecting directly to Google servers makes data collection easier. Every website, every email, every chat, every call, logged categorized and even saved for the NSA or whatever other customer is willing to pay for it.

I run about 20gb/s. I have have higher connections elsewhere, and frankly I don't see a big difference most of the time as most web sites can only deliver data so fast, and most websites have to get data from many different location, including ad locations. I have said this before, but when a web page hangs there is a good chance it is google analytics.

Now, it is predictable that fox news would push everyone to sign up for a service where the government can more easily spy on all of us. But I am willing to wait for a service where I am paying a company to serve me, not where I am the product being sold.

Re:ISPs and Net Neutrality (1)

Gadget27 (1931378) | about 7 months ago | (#46063529)

Plenty of people out there are already using Google Search, Chrome, GMail, Hangouts, Google+, YouTube, Google DNS, Android and more. I can't imagine what additional information you'd risk exposing by using their Internet service as well. I suspect maybe they would be collecting data regarding your TV viewing habits as a result of this. After some thought, I think that I would welcome that collection of data if it were put to use. I have a hard time believing the accuracy of Nielsen ratings based on their results, or has taste in this country declined that precipitously? At the end of the day, I think its in Google's own interest that more people have fast as possible internet. The more bandwidth available, the more its users consume its products. In this case, its a win-win scenario.

Re:ISPs and Net Neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063619)

You clearly don't understand online advertising, nor Google's vision as a business. It hasn't changed since they started and being an ISP is a compliment to that core vision (and it is not advertising alone). Google has always wanted to be the interface to information. Advertising supports the vast majority of this. But being an ISP is a "moat" to their castle -- their core vision. Similarly, Google has no reason to sell or give away personal information, nor would they want the NSA to have that. They sell ad *targeting*. Selling personal information is giving away key to the castle. You should learn how online advertising works.

You are correct though that Fox News sucks. So, maybe there is hope.

Now, go forth, and read:
https://fiber.google.com/legal... [google.com]

Re:ISPs and Net Neutrality (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 7 months ago | (#46063725)

I would not run google as an ISP.

I try to avoid google; the last thing I'd want is to have them at the other endpoint of my link!

bandwidth be damned; privacy is worth more to me than that.

TL; DR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46062971)

http://www.nelson-haha.com/ [nelson-haha.com]

(pointing towards all of our pathetic measured-in-mbps internet connections)

Re:TL; DR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063311)

I have dial-up, you insensitive clod!

(Well, not really, since I moved. But I had one more recently than you might think - the year was 201X. Pretty constant connection speed of 5.6 kBps for pocket change per year, and if you stick to content-oriented sites like Wikipedia and give up the idea of videos, it's quite usable.)

Really? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 7 months ago | (#46062977)

Even when I use the gigabit connection at work, I don't notice a huge difference between that and the 50mbit connection at home unless I'm doing a big download (but even so, I rarely get gigabit speeds unless I'm connecting to one of the servers on the other end of our gigabit pipe -- the internet and server on the other end tend to limit the speed).

Pages don't seem to load any faster (which I assume is due to rendering time and time to wait on slow ad networks to spit out their javascript to let the page finish loading), and videos don't seem to load any faster, since the time to buffer enough of the video to start playing isn't that significant, even at a paltry 50mbit).

And this quote:

Then try panning to another area of the painting. It drags, doesn’t it? It may even slow your browser across other tabs—it did on mine.

So somehow downloading data faster means that your browser won't slow down over multiple tabs? I'm on a 10mbit connection now, and my browser pans smoothly, but I have to wait a second or two for the hi-res image to load.

I'd be happy to have gigabit at home if it were affordable, but I don't see it being a miraculous change. And I bet a lot of people wouldn't notice any difference at all between a 10mbit broadband connection and a 1000mbit connection.

Re:Really? (2)

demonbug (309515) | about 7 months ago | (#46063139)

I don't see a whole lot of use for the gigabit speed right now, you're right. The biggest thing I see is the symmetrical connection, and significantly lower prices than competitors at similar speeds. 1000/1000 may not be all that useful in the vast majority of cases unless you have a lot of people sharing the bandwidth, but 100/100 for the same price as the 15/1.5 I'm limited to now would be huge. Online backup would be nearly transparent (it took about 3 weeks on my connection, and that was only backing up the "important" stuff - plus actually utilizing the 1.5 upstream brings the downstream bandwidth to a crawl on my Uverse connection, making it an exceedingly tedious process - can't stream netflix or even just browse the web without hiccups), it would no longer be a pain to upload videos or high-res photos to share with family and friends, etc.

I'd probably go with the gigabit service if it was available where I live, but I think the real impact of Google Fiber is the pricing pressure it puts on slower connections that are eminently usable right now (even if Google is currently cherry-picking places they can do things cheaply).

Re:Really? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 7 months ago | (#46063353)

I have gigabit to my desk at work, though the pipe outside the company is maybe a gigabit per 100 of us. Besides the Linux-ISO-in-seconds thing, the best benefit is the complete lack of latency on random data hogs like Google maps panning, or how quickly I get the HD feed on streaming Netflix (at the company gym onto my iPad). Or really the ability to do all of the above simultaneously with the guy next to you, and not really notice anything. That just doesn't happen at home right now on a 40 MBPS AT&T fiber-to-that-box-a-block-away plan.

We're in line for Google fiber at home in the next year and I'll sign up right away, and dump AT&T at last and for good.

Localhost (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 7 months ago | (#46062987)

as a website maker (I hesitate to use the term developer on slashdot since javascript and php get a lot of hate), I load tons of pages from my own computer -- both my own coded pages and prepackaged stuff like Prestashop ecommerce software and Joomla. And loading pages from localhost is even faster than Google Gigabit fiber internet.

And guess what, it's nice but not life-changing. For example, doing ecommerce admin on a live customer website on the internet via DSL, vs. doing the same thing on my test localhost site. It's faster and less laggy but nothing I would kill for.

The difference between dialup internet and decent cable/DSL was way bigger.

You're still using 8 megabits? (4, Funny)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 7 months ago | (#46062993)

You don't own a Google Fiber modem yet!? You HAVE seen the speeds right? Only Google Fiber has the gigabit speeds I require for BLAST PROCESSING! Google does what Comcan't!

Chattanooga Too (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 7 months ago | (#46062999)

Chattanooga has symmetric 1gbps internet available to the entire city and suburbs for the same price as google fiber (but no "zero-cost" option for low speed). And, as a plus, it isn't google, it is the local electricity co-op.

https://epbfi.com/internet/ [epbfi.com]

Re:Chattanooga Too (3, Funny)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#46063083)

But but but ... who's mining your browsing data then?

Re:Chattanooga Too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063493)

Well, since they're a TVA provider, and that's a federal corporation, that's the NSA....who would be doing it anyway.

Re:Chattanooga Too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063227)

Sounds like socialism to me.

Re:Chattanooga Too (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 7 months ago | (#46063325)

You say that like it's a bad thing...

Re:Chattanooga Too (1)

swillden (191260) | about 7 months ago | (#46063639)

Chattanooga has symmetric 1gbps internet available to the entire city and suburbs for the same price as google fiber (but no "zero-cost" option for low speed). And, as a plus, it isn't google, it is the local electricity co-op.

Was the rollout spurred on by the news of Google Fiber? If so, then Google will call that a win for them.

Re:Chattanooga Too (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 7 months ago | (#46063691)

No, they were deploying well ahead of google. They were upgrading their electricity command-and-control system to fiber and realized they could also be an ISP for only marginally more money since they were running fiber on all the electric poles anyway.

There pricing is directly inspired by google, the gig price used to be around $300/month until about 6 months ago. But they are probably making more money with the lower price level because practically no one paid for 1 gig anyway. Bringing the price down has made it a much smaller leap to go from 100mbps at ~$55 to 1gbps at $70 so, I expect a lot more people have decided to pay the extra $15/month for the top-tier now,

Re:Chattanooga Too (1)

swillden (191260) | about 7 months ago | (#46063795)

Cool. I'd love to see more of this. And I think Google would still count this as a win, given the pricing changes and the fact that they led to wider adoption.

not fast enough for this tiger (1, Funny)

epine (68316) | about 7 months ago | (#46063119)

Besides, my "high speed" Internet from Comcast seemed fast enough, enabling my household to stream HD videos, load web pages quickly, and connect multiple devices as needed, largely without hiccup. I was wrong.

Is there a special Olympics for underestimating one's needy narcissism?

There are first world problems, and then there are 90210 problems, and then there is the unreliable gardener who once over-trimmed the bonsai tree beside the Arowana pond in the sunken garden of your private Luxembourg vacation villa, and then there's this.

I didn't think I needed a seventh naked women with especially plump breasts dropping peeled grapes into my mouth, but I was wrong. — Caligula

I get it. The Concorde is sexy. If I sunk my backside into a Bugatti Veyron the first words out of my mouth would be "I could get used to this real quick."

Need? Not so much.

Re:not fast enough for this tiger (3, Insightful)

ewhac (5844) | about 7 months ago | (#46063217)

15 years ago, nobody "needed" broadband. Dialup was, "good enough."

Today, try doing anything other than text-only email over 56Kb dialup.

Broadband uptake enabled a new class of Internet sites and services. Google is betting that history will repeat itself by kicking speeds up by two orders of magnitude. It also has the beneficial side-effect of lighting a fire under AT&T's slothful ass.

Also keep in mind that GFiber offerings are symmetric. That means you get to upload your photos and videos at 1Gb/sec as well, and not through the 768Kb straw that DSL and cable providers decided was "good enough" for consumer-class Internet.

Re:not fast enough for this tiger (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 7 months ago | (#46063377)

Let this be the beginning of the end of centralized social networks like facebook and g+.
The biggest value they provided was photo hosting. Now you can do it at home on your own personal server. Its just going to take some smart decentralized (p2p?) software to handle it.

Re:not fast enough for this tiger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063477)

Not that it matters, but the whole "dialup was good enough" meme isn't very realistic. I remember back to 300 baud. We always thought it was slow. No one thought it was good enough. It was just the only damned thing available outside of major college campuses or some government offices.

Re:not fast enough for this tiger (2)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 7 months ago | (#46063659)

15 years ago, nobody "needed" broadband. Dialup was, "good enough."

That really isn't true. Dialup was all we had but it certainly was slow as all fuck and EVERYBODY hated it. I had plenty of friends at the time that invested thousands of dollars to have ISDN to their house because dialup sucked that much.

Re:not fast enough for this tiger (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#46063323)

Yeah, I know what you mean, I'm jealous too.

Utah County/NSA/Google Coincidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063149)

Maybe my tin foil hat is too tight but it seems curious to me that Provo in Utah County is the first city to get this service from Google when just a little way up I-15, at the point of the mountain, is the largest NSA facility in the country. Just sounds like a match made in heaven.

Re:Utah County/NSA/Google Coincidence? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 7 months ago | (#46063193)

Maybe my tin foil hat is too tight but it seems curious to me that Provo in Utah County is the first city to get this service from Google when just a little way up I-15, at the point of the mountain, is the largest NSA facility in the country. Just sounds like a match made in heaven.

Google is a front for the NSA. Can't believe there are people who still don't know this.

Re:Utah County/NSA/Google Coincidence? (1)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 7 months ago | (#46063331)

Maybe my tin foil hat is too tight but it seems curious to me that Provo in Utah County is the first city to get this service from Google when just a little way up I-15, at the point of the mountain, is the largest NSA facility in the country. Just sounds like a match made in heaven.

Google is a front for the NSA. Can't believe there are people who still don't know this.

Google Pwnz the NSA, or was it vice versa... Can't believe there are people who still don't know that one of those is true.

third or fourth, not first (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 7 months ago | (#46063479)

> but it seems curious to me that Provo in Utah County is the first city to get this service from Google

Does it seem less curious when you realize Provo is NOT the city? Kansas City, Kansas got it, then Kansas City, Missouri. Before either of those, a neighbourhood in California. So there were two and a half other cities before Provo.

Thank for informing us about Google fiber (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 7 months ago | (#46063167)

But we already know about it. Could you have maybe written up an nice little review of you experiences, such as what is suggested in this post:

http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4709907&cid=46062875

I'm sure you could flesh it out more with your families in home experience, in regards to the various bandwidth related applications and device we use these days. It's great that it reminded you love the internet, but a little content on why could have helped. Google Fiber is a month or two away from me. When I get it, can I post the same article with Kansas City related news links and get on the front page too?

No local RSN's and the old Veracity had root (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 7 months ago | (#46063175)

https://static.googleuserconte... [googleusercontent.com]

for 84601 you should get

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/... [directv.com]

also they seem to be missing the BIG TEN overflow channels.

Veracity seemed to least have root sports.

http://residential.veracitynet... [veracitynetworks.com]

What google feels like? (4, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 7 months ago | (#46063337)

Google Fiber Launches In Provo — and Here's What It Feels Like

Why all the hate for Google?

Here in New Hampshire we have to choose between Fairpoint or Comcast.

Would you like to know what *that* feels like?

Re:What google feels like? (4, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | about 7 months ago | (#46063355)

Gigabit Fiber - Like being sucked off by an angel.

Choice between Fairpoint and Comcast - Like having sex with a porcupine.

Is that pretty close?

Sounds like this article was written by Google (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063345)

First of all Google Internet was not 100 times faster in Provo. Provo has had fiber that could go 1Gbps for almost 10 years now and everything he said he could was being done 10 years ago. The biggest difference is that Google now owns the $40M fiber network that they paid $1 for instead of Provo City. What makes it even better is the citizens still have to pay for the $40M bond that built the network. But wait, there's more. What they didn't tell you is Google is kicking all commercial customers off their network and now government agencies and schools have to pay for the network instead of getting it for free.

To sum it up, Provo gave up millions of dollars a year in revenue for the opportunity to have Google come to town and charge them for the same Internet that they already had for free while simultaneously offending all business owners by kicking them off the network and sticking them with the bill.

Home Servers (0)

hackus (159037) | about 7 months ago | (#46063383)

This use of high speed internet is a waste unless home servers are permitted.

Right now I have to fight with my ISP for even connecting to my VPN.

They want $320 dollars a month if I want a server on my home network. at 10Mbit down, 1Mbit up.
(Time Warner)

-Hack

A wild competition appeared (5, Interesting)

nmb3000 (741169) | about 7 months ago | (#46063421)

An interesting side effect of Google's fiber offering is the sudden competition it's putting in some places where it hardly existed before, and allowing us to examine the results.

I have a friend who lives in Provo (about 10 miles south of me) and will be eligible for Google Fiber when they open it up in his area this March. He has had Comcast Internet service for a couple of years now and is planning on switching to Google when he can. However, about a month ago a Comcast representative came directly to his home, unscheduled, to talk about a "new and improved" service level he was now eligible for.

This Comcast rep told my friend that, effective immediately (all he had to do was call Comcast), he could change his current ISP service to a package that offered 250 Mbps down / 150 Mbps up, no bandwidth cap, for $25 / month. To compare, he was currently getting 25 Mbps down and paying $75 / month. A couple of weeks ago he made the switch and has been very happy with the order of magnitude speed increase and 66% price drop.

I understand the concept behind competition and the magical invisible hand, but this sort of behavior sickens me. If Comcast can drop their prices and increase their service offerings so quickly in response to new competition, it just goes to show how badly they are screwing over most of their other customers. And, of course, when I called them to inquire about this amazing new Internet service they were offering, I was told it was a "not available" in my area and that different "geographical regions" have different prices.

There's a real argument here for municipal/state owned and funded fiber networks being leased out to various commercial (or otherwise) ISPs. If Google and Comcast can both offer this kind of bandwidth for these prices, the current state of affairs in most of the rest of the country is completely unjustified. I'm sick and tired of a few "elite" corporations getting an effective monopoly on Internet service offerings in vast areas, able to charge anything they please because people have no other option.

Re:A wild competition appeared (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063843)

Ever stop to think that Google may have forced Comcast's hand to upgrade their backbone and other infrastructure? Maybe they really can't offer this service everywhere and it's not just them trying to rip you off.

Google is the Walmart of the Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063441)

I don't think I need to explain the analogy, especially to those who live in small town USA like I do where every commercial property except the Walmart is boarded up and for sale.

Re:Google is the Walmart of the Internet (1)

green1 (322787) | about 7 months ago | (#46063849)

Who's going to cry when the local Comcast or Time Warner is boarded up?

UTOPIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063457)

The Utopia broadband project serves a number of cities along the Wasatch Front including right next door to Provo (Orem).
They're making it sound like a 1GB fiber connection is something new and innovative that google has come up with. But folks in Orem (right next door to Provo) have had it to their homes for going on 2 years now. When Google announced their GB service Utopia dropped their price to match.
Also with Utopia you have your choice of dozens of providers, including what I consider the best ISP in the world Xmission www.xmission.com. With Google Fiber, you're stuck with Google and all the amawesomeness that entails.

Side effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063567)

No one seems to know or post about the side effects. I live in the city next to Provo and work at a company in Provo. Google Fiber does not service businesses, only residential. Many local ISPs need revenue from both business and residential, when they lose one part of the market, they have to increase prices for the other or go out of business. There are several businesses that are leaving Provo because of this. Several members of the Provo city council are regretting their decision to allow Google to take over their fiber project. They are afraid that the company I work for will be leaving Provo because it pays a lot of taxes. Anyways, I heard about this from the person in charge of building or whatever her title is, she is the one tasked with finding another office site and such. She goes to the various city council meetings and such and happened to tell me this.

lol... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46063651)

I feel bad for anyone stupid enough to make google their ISP.

But it doesn't actually SAY what it feels like (1)

Megahard (1053072) | about 7 months ago | (#46063677)

So I can only assume it's like having sex with a supermodel on a flying unicorn.

zooming speed (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 months ago | (#46063695)

So you can get your Advertisements and spam delivered even faster...

Comcast Cable (1)

koan (80826) | about 7 months ago | (#46063907)

The new dial up.

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>