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Reading, MA
reply to chomper87

Re: Google Fiber and oversubscribing

said by chomper87:

ISPs do assume that not everyone will be 100% bandwidth 100% of the time to External connections. They use some method to determine the appropriate amount to have for backbone links. I have no clue how they may come up with this.

Of course not, and I understand that, sorry if I didn't make that clear in other posts? --

My question is about how Google is dealing with over-subscription, which we both agree all ISPs do.

Google's connections to customers are 50-100X higher bandwidth than average residential connections today, so I'm trying to understand if they have taken a different approach to over subscription or not.

Maybe translating to a water pipe analogy--
The average user has a 1" water main. The water company(Comcast/VZ/AT&T) knows they cannot supply full pressure to all 1" water mains at the same time, but they have balanced their system such that on average everyone who will be using water at any given time will get full pressure, and during times of abnormal usage their pressures will drop--and abnormal is not defined as a typical morning when most households will be running a shower, it's defined as say a day in the spring when by coincidence most people decide to water their lawns or fill their pools...the system is overtaxed and a pressure drop is noticed, but it's not a big deal...

Now Google comes along and installs 50" water mains to everyone's home. My question is whether Google, at their pump stations (central offices), is designing their system to supply full pressure to 50" water mains on average or not.

If they ARE, then that means they must be looking at 50X the capacity at their pumping stations.

If they are not, then that means on any given average day, people will notice huge surges in pressure... one minute when no one happens to be using any water their 50" main is at full pressure, another minute when an average amount of consumption in other households is occurring the 50" main's pressure drops drastically...

I'm not saying the 2nd case is bad, or worse, just that it will be that way. In fact, I'd argue it's actually a better case. Because right now if I'm downloading a 500Mb file I will saturate my 20Mb/s connection for 25 seconds. If I had a 1000Mb/s connection the connection would be saturated for just 0.5 seconds. So with periodic bursts of data i would argue that everyone having a 1000Mb/s connection, even if the backbone is over subscribed at the same level as if everyone had 20Mb/s connections, would be a superior over all experience--even if there were periods of frustration where my 1000Mb/s connection was only averaging 20Mb/s due to an average number of users also attempting to download data.

said by chomper87:

I think it's a tremendous move by Google to spur innovation and also gives the Cable internet companies and DSL providers a wake up call. I trust Google, I don't think they invested into Google Fiber just for it to turn into a crap product in 4 years. Google has power, ability, and money to deliver the infrastructure. But again business decisions will determine this in the future, and not any technology limit. Verizon has the ability to keep expanding FiOS, they chose to instead expand 4G/LTE as it's immensely more profitable. Let's hope Google doesn't go down that same path.

I think VZ's decision to focus on 4G/LTE makes enormous sense, not just from a profit standpoint but from a usage model standpoint. There is a practical limit to the existing cellular technologies, just as there is with DSL/Cable. It's clear that "always connected" and portable are the direction that consumers and devices are taking. So VZ has taken the bull by the horns (as it did with FIOS) and has aggressively beaten all the competition to rolling their network.

I don't agree with the decision to slow/stop FIOS roll outs because I think FTTH represents the next 20+ years of home broadband, but I think the realities of operating a business caught them... they were facing high roll out costs and delays due to various reasons including town-to-town franchise battles. Wall Street and analysts could see this, did not see short term profits, and wanted a shift (it was the previous CEO who was gung ho for FIOS).

Google's decision making is entirely based on profit and their goals are to reach those profits--just like all companies--so becareful who you trust because they can turn on a dime.

The current price points for Google Fiber are $0 and $70...

If Comcast & VZ can make money selling a $70 connection then I don't see why Google cannot--Ignoring some potentially higher equipment costs, the various fixed costs for building, billing and supporting these networks do not change based on providing more bandwidth or not, really only the cost to actually supply that bandwidth does--hence the whole point of my questioning... if Google, with their 1Gb/s connections to the home, are provisioning their backbones at the same levels that Comcast and Verizon, with their avg. 10-50Mbs/ connections to the home, then I would imagine Google can make a profit just like the other guys, but I also think doing that will lead to a more varied/peaky user experience as the service is expanded. They will have to reset the mentalities of the average (i.e. non-DSLR) customer.

BTW, I believe at the moment Google Fiber's price points are some what unsustainable and are more pet-project level. They are literally giving it away for the slower service...

But I also believe that VZ FIOS's current price structures are gouging to some point. At the lower levels the speed jumps are about ~$10 more, that makes sense... but to jump to the 300Mb/s level is outrageous.

To go from base of 15/5 for $65 to 150/65 at $100 makes sense--you get 10X the speed for 1.5X the price... but to go to 300/65 it's $210, that's doubling the price and only doubling the speed! The ONT is the same between the 150/65 and 300/65 service, so what changes do they need to make to their network that justify such a high cost jump vs. the other tiers? I would have expected the 150/65 level to have a larger jump because that at least will require ONT replacement for people like me (since my ONT has a 10/100 ethernet port)... So these are the cases I'm hoping Google Fiber can help shake out--the gouging for higher bandwidth.


Reading, MA
One last thing to point out...

Google literally whipped up cities and towns into a frenzy to get their services--mayors were ceremoniously changing town names, parades were held, etc... The governments of these areas were fighting for Google love because Google made it an exclusive award to be coveted and desired.

FIOS got consumer excited, but the governments and managers of various localities were not nearly as accommodating as I imagine KC was for Google Fiber.

When Apple was rolling out their first stores it was similar... areas got excited that /they/ had an Apple store, because it was exclusive. At the time no one could give two shits if Best Buy opened, or Dell opened a branded store... because the were not exciting and exclusive.

I'm curious if Google DOES decide to become a viable national TV/internet provider, I'm sure the first roll outs will be equally exciting, but by city #28 or so I think things will become less exciting... maybe we'll start hearing the BS that many towns have been pulling on VZ--like trying to charge them property taxes for the utility poles, etc... i.e. money grabs by towns and cities.

Warner Robins, GA
"I'm curious if Google DOES decide to become a viable national TV/internet provider, I'm sure the first roll outs will be equally exciting, but by city #28 or so I think things will become less exciting... maybe we'll start hearing the BS that many towns have been pulling on VZ--like trying to charge them property taxes for the utility poles, etc... i.e. money grabs by towns and cities."

Google has created a template for cooperation by other cities wanting Google Gigabit. Those that wish to closely adhere to that template will be strongly considered for service. Those that want to significantly deviate from the template will not be considered as strongly. In the KCMO and KCKS area other municipalities are already using the known agreements with KCMO and KCKS to prepare proposals for getting Google Gigabit. Google has taken the experiences it had with KCMO and KCKS into consideration and has created a more detailed and comprehensive template, so that the problems of the past have a reduced probability of occurring in other cities.

The excitement will continue if Google Gigabit's arrival creates a viable third or forth competitive option in a particular ISP market. TWC was not planning on doing anything with regards to better customer service in the KCMO area. Then Google arrived and after a period of time TWC appears to have decided to make better customer service a funded and staffed priority. Existing TWC subscribers report serious efforts by TWC to resolve long standing technical problems with both cable TV and HSI service.