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News tagged: Google


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by Karl Bode 05:43PM Wednesday Feb 25 2015
"If you make it easy, we will come. If you make it hard, enjoy your Time Warner Cable,” Google Fiber's Milo Medin told attendees of a Comptel Competition and Innovation Summit this week. Medin was speaking on a panel about network deployment, fresh off of Google's announcement that it will be expanding Google Fiber into Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta and Raleigh/Durham.

According to Medin (who longtime readers may remember from his @Home days), cities can do a lot to improve their area's chances when it comes to next-gen broadband deployment:
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Medin cited byzantine permission processes (including a fetish for faxes) and an inability to provide accurate information about infrastructure as prime reasons that hurt some cities’ chances to attract new broadband services...Medin, who was speaking on a panel about network deployment, added that some markets in the U.S. are simply uneconomic for internet providers to enter, and that local telephone companies are reluctant to grant access to key telephone pole infrastructure.
Numerous cities have been so eager to get Google Fiber, they've signed rather sweetheart deals that, for example, allow Google to simply walk away from builds should TV subscriber uptake numbers not be met. Perks also include the right to redline and cherry pick deployment neighborhoods (though the resulting digital divide may be obscured by fun "fiberhood" rallies), something traditional ISPs have lusted after for years -- but found blocked by many traditional franchise obligations.

Of course it's not quite as simple as fixing all of your city's restrictions and suddenly finding yourself awash in $70, 1 Gbps connections. Thousands of cities have petitioned Google for service, and so far Google Fiber's still only actively functioning in a few thousand homes in Austin, Kansas City and Provo. As noted repeatedly, Google Fiber's effort is in some ways a PR experiment designed to encourage a nationwide conversation on a lack of real broadband competition and how we plan to fix it.

69 comments


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by Karl Bode 04:33PM Tuesday Feb 24 2015
Last month Google officially announced that the company would be expanding Google Fiber into Charlotte, Raleigh Durham, Atlanta, and Nashville. While it will be some time before users see actual connections in these cities, Charlotte took its first steps toward Google Fiber deployment by striking a 20 year lease with Google for the placement of 1,400 square foot "fiber huts" (at around $2 per square foot over the life of the deal) to be scattered around the city. The huts will connect some 6,000 miles of fiber optic cables Google intends to deploy in Charlotte over the next two years.

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by Karl Bode 11:35AM Tuesday Feb 17 2015
AT&T says they're finally bringing their faster 1 Gbps "GigaPower" service to portions of Kansas City. According to an AT&T press release, the company will initially offer the faster speeds in portions of Kansas City, Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe and Overland Park, with plans to ultimately expand to Independence and Shawnee.
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by Karl Bode 09:11AM Thursday Jan 29 2015
On the heels of fresh Google Fiber launch announcements in Nashville, Charlotte, Atlanta and Durham/Raleigh, Google is again reiterating their doubts that new net neutrality rules will impact broadband investment, something companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast continue to insist.

In an attempt to woo GOP lawmakers Google has actually kept their public support of net neutrality to a minimum the last few years, but talked this week to the Washington Post briefly to note they don't think the FCC's new rules will hurt them in the slightest:
quote:
"The sort of open Internet rules that the [Federal Communications Commission] is currently discussing aren't an impediment to those plans," Google said in a statement, "and they didn't impact our decision to invest in Fiber."
In fact, Google previously told the FCC they thought Title II could actually help Google Fiber deployment by streamlining their access to utility poles. In addition to net neutrality, Google's new Google Fiber launch locations are all designed to draw attention to municipal broadband issues as well, since all four locations reside in states that have some form of protectionist state law written by ISP lawyers to help keep competition at bay.

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by Karl Bode 10:16AM Wednesday Jan 28 2015
Rumors had existed for years that Google was planning to get into wireless service, though last week Google's plans to launch an MVNO became notably more solid. What we know so far: Code named "Nova," Google's MVNO will have a heavy emphasis on free Wi-Fi calling and will use both the Sprint and T-Mobile networks.
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by Karl Bode 10:07AM Tuesday Jan 27 2015
Last Friday we reported how indications are that Google was getting ready to announce new Google Fiber build locations in Charlotte and Raleigh. Now additional reports suggest that up to four new Google Fiber cities may be announced as soon as tomorrow.
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by Karl Bode 12:22PM Thursday Jan 22 2015
Senator John Thune and Representative Fred Upton are spearheading a new attempt to pass weak net neutrality rules before the FCC can vote to craft tougher, Title II based rules on February 26. The press is being incredibly polite about this effort, often painting it as an honest, bipartisan solution to net neutrality from two gentlemen that have changed their tune.
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by Karl Bode 07:47AM Wednesday Jan 21 2015
The Information states that Google is getting close to a $1 billion investment in Elon Musk's Space X -- with a specific aim of funding that project's exploration of broadband-providing micro satellites. The deal would be just the latest in a myriad of Google efforts to bring low-cost Internet (and ultimately, advertisements) to billions of unserved users in lower-income countries. A follow up report by the Wall Street Journal confirms Google's investment plans, but the project is obviously still new new for any meaningful technical specifics to emerge. Space X's plan involves micro-satellites orbiting the globe at around 750 miles.

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by Karl Bode 03:08PM Wednesday Dec 31 2014
Most people look at the ultra-fast speeds provided by Google Fiber and see opportunity. Hollywood looks at the ultra-fast speeds provided by Google and apparently only sees trouble.
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by Karl Bode 05:15PM Tuesday Dec 16 2014
In June of last year Google unveiled Google Loon, the latest in a long line of similar projects that will use hot air balloons to deliver broadband and wireless services to under-served or emergency prone areas. Project Loon will use hot air balloons 49 feet wide stationed 12 miles above the planet, well above the range of commercial aircraft.
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by Karl Bode 04:20PM Thursday Dec 04 2014
Austin's not only getting Google Fiber, they're first in line to check out some of the updated second generation set top box hardware that Google has been cooking up for some time. According to a product primer (pdf) sent to me by Google, the company has consolidated their previous network and storage boxes into one device.
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by Karl Bode 12:33PM Thursday Dec 04 2014
Back in May TDS Telecom (see our user reviews) became the latest company to throw its hat into the 1 Gbps broadband ring, offering 1 Gbps speeds for $100 a month (if bundled) to residents of Hollis, New Hampshire and London, New Hampshire. Now the company states in an announcement they're expanding the effort further to Mt. Juliet and La Vergne, Tennessee (locals tell me 100 Mbps was already available in these locations, so there's no physical fiber expansion here). Like so many other ISPs, TDS is hoping to capitalize on the excitement around 1 Gbps offerings with very selective deployment of such speeds (they've even mirrored Google's "Fiberhood" efforts with something they're calling "Fiberville").

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by Karl Bode 09:01AM Thursday Dec 04 2014
If you recall (and many don't), Google was partially responsible for the lack of network neutrality protections we see (or don't see, as the case may be) today. Google worked hard alongside AT&T and Verizon to make sure the rules had ample loopholes and didn't protect wireless.
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by Karl Bode 02:07PM Tuesday Nov 25 2014
Chattanooga's successful EPB broadband may not be the only cutting edge fiber network Tennessee residents get to enjoy. According to a report in the Tennessean, Google Fiber has applied for a franchise authority certificate in Tennessee, suggesting that Google is at least laying the framework for a possible launch in the state. Tennessee locals shouldn't get too excited; Google's working with 34 potential cities including Nashville to streamline possible fiber deployment, though only a handful of those will actually be picked for an upcoming Google Fiber launch. Google previously stated they'd announce which of these cities were picked for expansion before the end of 2014.

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by Karl Bode 11:13AM Friday Nov 21 2014
In June of last year Google unveiled Google Loon, the latest in a long line of similar projects that will use hot air balloons to deliver broadband and wireless services to under-served or emergency prone areas. Project Loon will use hot air balloons 49 feet wide stationed 12 miles above the planet, well above the range of commercial aircraft.
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by Karl Bode 04:37PM Thursday Nov 20 2014
It has been interesting to see lately how Apple and Google have effectively started competing on privacy -- both companies announcing recently that new encryption standards used on their latest OS's and devices mean they'll no longer unlock devices at the behest of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Not too surprisingly this shift has annoyed law enforcement and intelligence agencies, who've been escalating their rhetoric in opposition to the shift.
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by Karl Bode 04:12PM Tuesday Nov 11 2014
September of last year wireless operator C Spire issued a rather surprising announcement saying they were going to start deploying fixed-line broadband networks capable of 1 Gbps in several markets within their (mostly Southern) footprint. C Spire's initial focus will primarily be on Mississippi, where nine cities are currently in the running to be the first to get the speedier service.
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by Karl Bode 02:17PM Monday Nov 10 2014
Add Tesla CEO Elon Musk to the growing list of people investing in the idea of less-expensive satellite broadband technology. According to the Wall Street Journal, Musk is working closely with satellite-industry veteran and former Google employee Greg Wyler on building a network of roughly 700 satellites, each weighing less than 250 pounds.
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by Karl Bode 08:24AM Friday Oct 17 2014
A Google filing with the SEC this week indicates that Google is exploring the possibility of a variety of wireless broadband technologies across a number of spectrum frequencies, including millimeter-wave. Google's interest in wireless hasn't been much of a secret; the company acquired wireless Seattle startup Alpental Technologies back in June (founded by ex-Clearwire folks), and a report back in April indicated that Google was interested in potentially forming an MVNO as a supplement offering alongside or instead of Google Fiber. This particular filing appears to hint at shorter distance technologies for last mile, likely as an inexpensive way to service MDUs or apartment buildings.

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by Karl Bode 02:34PM Wednesday Oct 15 2014
Without much if any fanfare, Google today unveiled the company's new Nexus 6 smartphone, their new Nexus 9 tablet, and the latest incarnation of their Android operating system: 5.0 Lollipop. The Motorola-made Nexus 6 sports a 5.96-inch, 2560×1440 display, and unlike the Nexus 5, will be available for all US carriers "in November" starting at $649.
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