Engadget: Google Fiber’s first expansion in four years is in West Des Moines . “About ten years after starting its high speed internet quest, Google Fiber is expanding again. Availability in the city of West Des Moines, IA adds its first new market in four years.”
The Verge: Google Fiber is dropping its TV package to focus solely on high-speed internet service. “Google Fiber announced today that it will be dropping its TV package option to focus solely on providing high-speed internet service. It will still provide the service to existing customers who pay for it, but the company says ‘customers today just don’t need traditional TV’ anymore when so many options are available online through over-the-top TV services and streaming platforms.” Maybe this will speed the Google Fiber rollout, but I’m not holding my breath.
Chapelboro: Carrboro Road Reopens After Google Fiber Construction Hits Gas Line. “The Town of Carrboro announced via Twitter that Stratford Drive has been closed between Tramore Drive and Autumn Drive on Thursday morning. A gas line was hit while directional underground boring was taking place to place conduit under the ground for fiber optics. Officials say the facility was marked.”
Louisville Kentucky: City, Google Fiber reach agreement providing for restoration of infrastructure affected by Google Fiber construction. “Google Fiber will pay $3.84 million to Louisville Metro Government (LMG) to restore roads and other public rights-of-way affected by its departing service in Louisville. Louisville Metro Government and Google Fiber agreed to these payments to fulfill the company’s obligations under its franchise agreement and local regulations, which require restoration of rights-of-way should a service provider end service in Louisville. Citing technical challenges, Google Fiber announced its exit from Louisville in February.”
Ars Technica: Google Fiber’s biggest failure: ISP will turn service off in Louisville. “Google Fiber will turn off its network in Louisville, Kentucky and exit the city after a series of fiber installation failures left cables exposed in the roads. Google Fiber’s customers in Louisville will have to switch ISPs and will get their final two months of Google Fiber service for free to help make up for the disruption.”
Eeesh. From Ars Technica: Google Fiber outage leaves KC customers offline two weeks after storm. “More than two weeks after a snowstorm hit Kansas City, Google Fiber still hasn’t restored Internet service to all customers. There were still dozens of Google Fiber customers without home Internet service, a KCUR article published yesterday said. The outage has continued since the storm on January 11 and 12.”
Harvard Business Review: Why Google Fiber Is High-Speed Internet’s Most Successful Failure . “In 2010, Google rocked the $60 billion broadband industry by announcing plans to deploy fiber-based home internet service, offering connections up to a gigabit per second — 100 times faster than average speeds at the time. Google Fiber, as the effort was named, entered the access market intending to prove the business case for ultra-high-speed internet. After deploying to six metro areas in six years, however, company management announced in late 2016 that it was ‘pausing’ future deployments.”
Ars Technica: FCC sides with Google Fiber over Comcast with new pro-competition rule. “The Federal Communications Commission today approved new rules that could let Google Fiber and other new Internet service providers gain faster access to utility poles.”
Engadget: Google Fiber could get a jolt from FCC utility pole policy. “Google Fiber could get serious help from a new rule (PDF) the FCC is set to pass that would give individual companies access to poles across the US. Currently, independent bodies — like, say, a new internet provider — who want to add their lines to poles must request telecoms to do the work, but the federal agency is considering implementing a nationwide One Touch Make Ready (OTMR) arrangement that would allow companies to add their cables themselves. In short, this could seriously help Google speed up the rollout of its high-speed internet solution.” Around here, at least, it feels like it’s at a standstill.
Motherboard: Eight Years Later, Google Fiber Is A Faint Echo Of The Disruption We Were Promised. “Google Fiber would, we were told, once and for all free the country from the iron grip of regional monopolies like Comcast, delivering ultra-fast broadband at a more reasonable $70 per month price point across huge chunks of the nation. And in initial launch cities like Kansas City, that dream appeared to be quickly coming true. But that was then, and this is now.” I’m in a city that was chosen by Google Fiber for expansion, but even if they never lay a cable they’ve done me a lot of good. Why? By scaring the competition enough that I have decent speed Internet now.
Ars Technica: AT&T and Comcast lawsuit has nullified a city’s broadband competition law. “AT&T and Comcast have convinced a federal judge to nullify an ordinance that was designed to bring more broadband competition to Nashville, Tennessee. The Nashville Metro Council last year passed a ‘One Touch Make Ready’ rule that gives Google Fiber or other new ISPs faster access to utility poles. The ordinance lets a single company make all of the necessary wire adjustments on utility poles itself, instead of having to wait for incumbent providers like AT&T and Comcast to send work crews to move their own wires.”
Techdirt: The Google Fiber Honeymoon Period Appears To Be Over. “When Google Fiber first arrived back in 2010, it was heralded as a gamechanger for the broadband industry. Google Fiber would, we believed, revolutionize the industry by taking Silicon Valley money and using it to disrupt the viciously uncompetitive and anti-competitive telecom sector. Initially things worked out well; with the mere mention of a looming Google Fiber target market resulting in a much-needed conversation about why the United States consistently languishes in mediocrity when it comes to our broadband networks (pro tip: it’s because AT&T, Verizon and Comcast all but own state and federal lawmakers). Seven years later, however, and the Google Fiber bloom appears to be off the rose.”
Kansas City Star: Google Fiber cut this woman’s internet service — over 12 cents. “Would Google Fiber cut off a customer’s internet service for 12 cents? Yes. It happened last month to Victoria Tane of Kansas City. For two days, she had tried to figure out what was wrong.”
The Next Web: How Google Fiber won by failing. “Google Fiber, for all intents and purposes, was a failure. For all the promise of Gigabit speeds nationwide, Google managed just to install its super fast internet in just 20 cities while burning through billions of dollars and numerous staffers — including two CEOs in just nine months. But even in failure, few things are black and white. Google may have failed as an ISP, but we’ve all won — including Google.”
CNET: Google Fiber CEO steps down after five months on the job. “Google Fiber is without a chief executive for the second time in less than a year. Gregory McCray has stepped down as CEO of Access, the Alphabet unit that houses Google Fiber, a Google spokesperson said Monday. McCray was tapped in February to run Google’s broadband and cable business after the departure of Craig Barratt in October.” Wow, Google Fiber really seems to be spinning its wheels.