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The Mere Promise of Google Fiber Sends Rivals Scrambling

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the king-of-the-hill dept.

Google 258

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Marguerite Reardon writes at Cnet that within a week of Google's declaration last spring that it planned to build a fiber network in the city of Austin, AT&T announced its own Austin fiber network and in less than a year's time, AT&T and local cable operator Grande Communications have beaten Google to market with their own ultra-high speed services using newly built fiber networks. AT&T maintains it has been planning this fiber upgrade for a long time, and that Google's announcement didn't affect the timing of its network but Rondella Hawkins, the telecommunications and regulatory affairs officer for the city of Austin, said she had never heard about AT&T's plans before Google's news came out. Hawkins was part of the original committee that put together Austin's application to become the first Google Fiber city. 'Our application for Google would have been a good tip-off to the incumbents that we were eager as a community to get fiber built,' says Hawkins. 'But we never heard from them. Until Google announced that it was going to deploy a fiber network in Austin, I was unaware of AT&T's plans to roll out gigabit fiber to the home.' Grande Communications' CEO Matt Murphy admits that without Google in the market, his company wouldn't have moved so aggressively on offering gigabit speeds. It also wouldn't be offering its service at the modest price of $65 a month, considering that the average broadband download speed sold in the US is between 20Mbps and 25Mbps for about $45 to $50 a month.

It's not surprising, then, that in every city in AT&T's 22-state footprint where Google is considering deploying fiber, AT&T also plans to bring GigaPower. That's a total of 14 markets, including Austin, the Triangle region of North Carolina, and Atlanta, home to AT&T's mobility division. While AT&T refuses to acknowledge that its gigabit fiber plans are answering the competitive challenge posed by Google Fiber, others say that Kansas City may have been a wake-up call. 'I think all the providers have learned some valuable lessons from Google's Kansas City deployment,' says Julie Huls, president and CEO of the Austin Technology Council. 'What Google did instead was say, "We're going to build you a Lamborghini, but price it at the same price as a Camry,"' says Blair Levin. 'And that's what's so disruptive about it.'"

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Competition (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46957881)

Who would have thought that competition is good for progress...

Re:Competition (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46957951)

Too bad the incumbents don't have billions of dollars of advertising dollars to spend and it's too bad Google doesn't appreciate how costly installing infrastructure is when you don't cherry pick customers and have sweetheart deals with local government. The truth is going to hurt. On the brighter side, there'll be thousands of miles of cheap fiber in the ground for sale in a few years....

Re:Competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958031)

Boo f*#king hoo.

Re:Competition (5, Insightful)

duckintheface (710137) | about 6 months ago | (#46958275)

Google doesn't necessarily care who provides the fast internet service to it's online customers. They aren't going to make their money from selling internet infrastructure. Google is just as happy if ATT builds the cables. However, that could change if net neutrality is knocked down.

Re:Competition (2)

Bengie (1121981) | about 6 months ago | (#46958529)

I guess at some point, "common sense" is now "cherry picking". It's amazing how long of a life you can live when you "cherry pick" when to cross a street. Why, people normally just go running out into the traffic.

Re:Competition (3, Insightful)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 6 months ago | (#46958861)

No, they had billions of government dollars to do it a decade ago, and didn't. Just took the money and pocketed it.

Re:Competition (5, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | about 6 months ago | (#46958143)

I think its fun to watch a company that built its fortune on tiny margins move into a industry that has enormous customer hostile margins.

Google is going to fucking destroy the big ISPs everywhere they go. Its good to see them fearing for their survival, because the big ISPs are truly evil.

Re:Competition (2)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 6 months ago | (#46958673)

I wish, but in fact while there's allegedly fiber in austin, just a few miles north in round rock there's not even a promise by either google or AT&T.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958927)

AT&T Next or w/e they're calling it is currently available in a lot of Round Rock, actually, I use the service already, it's only 200 meg at the moment, but later in the year they claim they'll kick it up to gig speeds.

Re:Competition (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46958739)

I hope so. current big ISP's need to be cornholed violently.

Re:Competition (1, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46958809)

Since "Everywhere they go" is only the most high density neighborhoods in the biggest cities in the country where there are already dozens of ISPs, I doubt it's going to have anywhere near the effect you think it will. Googles serving a few thousand homes out of over a 1/4 of a billion people.

The one thing Google might do that they've done in other industries is push innovation. ISPs have been pretty strangled by companies like Cisco. If Google can open up the networking hardware market with open source designs it would do a lot to make broadband easier to deploy. I don't know if that's what they're up to or not, but it's the only way they're really going to affect the national market in any real way. Provided they don't outright buy a major ISP, which isn't out of the question.

Margins (2)

sjbe (173966) | about 6 months ago | (#46958825)

I think its fun to watch a company that built its fortune on tiny margins move into a industry that has enormous customer hostile margins.

You have that backwards. Google's net margins are 50% higher than AT&Ts and double Comcast's.

Google has a net profit margin of 21.5% [google.com] . AT&T has a net profit margin of 14.1% [google.com] . Comcast has net profit margins around 10.5% [google.com] .

Google is going to fucking destroy the big ISPs everywhere they go.

And your evidence for this is what exactly? While it would make me very happy to see more competition, I seriously doubt Google is going to push AT&T, Verizon and Comcast out of their current monopolies on any sort of widespread basis.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958913)

Yes because google has never done or has never ever thought of doing something wrong. They are putting up all this fiber from the goodness of the heart!

Re:Competition (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#46958733)

Only 800 pound gorilla competition.

If YOU tried this, they would have sued you out of existence. Sadly the law allows Corporations to use organized crime tactics to stifle competition. Only when they are up against someone the same size as they are do they play fair.

Re:Competition (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46958741)

Who would have thought that competition is good for progress...

This "ISPs have a monopoly they're evil!" myth is getting a bit old.
http://www.yelp.com/search?cfl... [yelp.com]

TELECOMS have a monopoly on COPPER PHONE LINES. It has nothing to do with internet. And you could always get a phone via VOIP or Cellular. Whatever advantage the telecoms had was gone at the turn of the century.

Re:Competition (2)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 6 months ago | (#46958915)

Where I am, you have 2 choices for internet. Comcast and AT&T. Until a few months ago, AT&T was DSL only. And 6 mbps just wouldn't cut it for my needs, since I work from home, so Comcast was a functional monopoly, and they acted like it. Until AT&T stepped in with the UVerse service and gave me more than I was getting from Comcast for about $50/mo less. Now, I'm with AT&T and Comcast has dropped price and increased service to compete. Funny enough, if they'd decided to price competitively when they had the monopoly, I'd probably be with them, since overall their net service was better, but I'm with AT&T to reward them for actually coming into the area to compete.

One problem (1)

nehumanuscrede (624750) | about 6 months ago | (#46959027)

All the telecoms pretty much own the backbone and long haul systems that move all that precious data around. Those high capacity Sonet systems are not cheap, nor is the fiber infrastructure they ride upon.

The telcos don't have to own the ' last mile ' to get it to your business or home as long as they own the rest of it.

Though, while they won't admit it, Google IS the reason behind this. AT&T has never been a pro-active company, but rather a reflexive one. They're pushing fiber to the business very hard right now, since they don't want to lose their business customers.

Fiber to the home will be selective markets only as I doubt their plans include retrofitting fiber into neighborhoods that would never pay for such services to begin with.

As for the telcos going away, all of them are selling off or have plans to sell off the wireline side of things. ( copper facilities ) They want to get out of that business anyway since it's a pita to maintain and everyone is transitioning to wireless.

Want to know what scares the telcos ?

Anything that undermines the cellular business model since that is their bread and butter going forward. I would think that municipal owned wi-fi networks and wi-fi capable voip phones would scare the hell out of them as it would negate the need for cellular at all for large swaths of folks within range of those systems.

Heh, think about why the telcos fight the deployment of such systems so fiercely :)

Re:Competition (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 6 months ago | (#46958983)

Precisely.
You can say "Google is evil" all you want, but are they anywhere near as evil as, say, Comcast? I don't think so. Elric of Melnibone wasn't a Good Guy by any stretch of the imagination, he was a warrior of Chaos, weilding an evil black sword that literally eats the souls of it's victims, but as it turned out he and it were the best weapon against the forces of Chaos; whether Google is evil or not is irrelevant, if they've got the juice (and the money) to give Comcast a run for their money, then more power to 'em, I say.

Just don't take Grimm off the air. I like that show.

Re:Competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46959047)

Healthy competition: Google announces fiber in Austin, ATT announces fiber in some other city. Duplicate infrastructure only happens when most important cities already have fiber. Unhealthy competition: every time a new entrant announces fiber in a city, the existing carrier announces a plan to bring fiber in that exact same city. Result: the new entrant cannot gain market shares. Potential new entrants never enter the market since they know it's going to happen anyway and the existing carrier doesn't need to upgrade their network anymore after undercutting new carriers a few times. Prices go up again.

Competition (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46957885)

Oh, so competition causes companies to be competitive, who knew.

It is almost as if capitalism only works if you punish cartels and break up monopolies.

Monopolies? (3, Insightful)

cirby (2599) | about 6 months ago | (#46958003)

...and it's almost as if you only find actual monopolies in places where the government intentionally creates them in the first place.

You know, like all of the cable and data monopolies in the US.

Re:Monopolies? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958045)

Government created Microsoft?

I thought the CIA created google (and Facebook), didn't know they had a hand in MSFT too :)

Re:Monopolies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958243)

Ever heard of the judiciary. Last I heard it was part of the government. The judiciary can make/break businesses like it was reading from a master plan.

Re:Monopolies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958273)

Except when the judiciary is owned by the monopoly...

Re:Monopolies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46959001)

Microsoft was never a monopoly.

Re:Monopolies? (2, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 6 months ago | (#46959057)

Government created Microsoft?

Created Microsoft, no.

From what I've heard (I think the source was Cringely's Accidental Empires / Triumph of the Nerds), the US government mandated that IBM couldn't create its own chips or operating system for its upcoming line of personal computers due to its monopoly position in the mainframe/minicomputer market.

So, IBM went to this company named "Intel" and licensed their 8088 and 8086 processors for use in it.

IBM also went to Microsoft and licensed this product called "DOS" as their operating system... which Microsoft in turn purchased from Seattle Computer Products.

So, while the government didn't create Microsoft, they created the Wintel monopoly that existed for 20ish years prior to the rise of smartphones.

Re:Monopolies? (5, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about 6 months ago | (#46958329)

Governments don't create cable monopolies. Once there's one network there, there's too little profit, and requires too big of capital investments, to be profitable. It's called a "natural monopoly" and being ignorant of the economic realities that cause it, will make your alternate universe political theory fail miserably in the real world.

Now then, governments have options to shift the power torwards competition.

They can offer incentives for competitors to build a parallel network... which is what Google Fiber depends on.

They can nationalize and/or regulate the natural monopolies, so that they can be forced to keep prices low and improvements coming, in exchange for their rights to run their lines through private and public property.

They can seperate the last-mile provider from the service provider, perhaps requring the former to be a non-profit.

But notice that the unregulated free market doing it's own thing isn't one of those scenarios. Not only does deregulation make for less competition and worse service, but without the government doing the eminent domain thing, and leasing space on power poles, no cable company would ever be able to cover a city profitably. There will ALWAYS be holdouts, and everybody will be looking to get an unfairly large chunk of fees from the big company that wants to bury cables on their land.

Re:Monopolies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958499)

>being ignorant of the economic realities

The Myth of Natural Monopoly : http://mises.org/daily/5266/

The theory of natural monopoly is an economic fiction. No such thing as a "natural" monopoly has ever existed.

Re:Monopolies? (2)

evilviper (135110) | about 6 months ago | (#46958719)

He presents NO EVIDENCE in support of his wild claims. Just a lot of baseless assertions and out of context quotations. An utterly mindless right-wing hit piece.

Meanwhile, there's an endless assortment of material out there with lots of examples and case studies of natural monopolies, and economies of scale. One starting point:

  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Monopolies? (1)

v1 (525388) | about 6 months ago | (#46958973)

that link was an interesting read. it's got some bias problems in the other directon though, and should be read with the same critical thinking as any article with opposing views.

The most obvious "sweeping generalization" I ran into there was:

"all prices on a free market are competitive."[35] Only government intervention can generate monopolistic prices.

Whoever came up with that needs to read up on Anti-trust Laws.

Thank you (0)

rabbin (2700077) | about 6 months ago | (#46958761)

If I had mod points I'd give them to you. Whenever some naive free market idealist gets modded +5 saying the problem is government granted monopolies (a particularly insidious claim due to its speciousness and thus its ability to deceive the uninformed) and the solution is the enticingly simplistic "deregulation" (ignorning hundreds of years of precedent with similar public utilities and the successes of other first world nations that acknowledge this fact), it drives me mad.

Natural monopolies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958901)

Cable companies are not natural monopolies. You only have to go back to the days prior to railway regulation to see that your argument is flawed. I think we can agree that railroads require a much larger investment than running a cable line. Even so, in the early days of railroad (prior to the massive regulation) there were 6 competing railways between Chicago and New York City. What's even more interesting is that the cost to transport goods across these long haul routes was often less than short hauls. Short hauls were frequently pricier precisely because of government restrictions on leases, property, etc that existed locally. The owners of these short routes made sure to lobby hard to keep those barriers in place and protect their margins.

Consumers complained and a railway commission was formed. Legislation was passed to make prices fairer. The result? Short routes stayed pricey and the long route prices came up to match them.

Cable monopolies are just as much a government creation as the railway or telephone monopolies were. Not necessarily from federal regulations, but certainly from the conglomeration of local and state regulations that provided an unnatural barrier of entry that protected the entrenched monopolies from competition.

Re:Monopolies? (1)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 6 months ago | (#46958945)

Much of what drives up the cost is not laying conduit under the streets and giving fair access to the conduit. This means that companies have to get a permit (months or years, if it's not rejected) and then actually go dig up everything and lay cable. While that's expensive, it's still quite doable, but not if you have to line the pockets of the local council more than the cable company can to get your permit approved.

Re:Monopolies? (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 6 months ago | (#46958341)

That's only really valid if you consider property laws and intellectual property laws to be part of "the government intentionally creating monopolies". In which case, sure, let's do away with private property and see how far that gets us.

Re:Monopolies? (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about 6 months ago | (#46958381)

Except ISPs are, generally speaking, not that regulated. It's the expense (which the government assists with) that is massive barrier to entry.

Re:Monopolies? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958683)

Don't forget that the the dominate ISP's are constantly lobbying for rules that increase the cost of building a new network that might compete. SO it's a monopoly enforced by government who passed company written laws, rules, and regulations to protect the monopoly.

Re:Monopolies? (1)

Dasher42 (514179) | about 6 months ago | (#46958675)

It's almost like those cable and data monopolies stocked the government with their people so that the government would work for them and not the citizenry.

You know, like they talk about with that fancy "regulatory capture" thing.

Re:Monopolies? (-1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46958823)

There is no monopoly. http://www.yelp.com/search?cfl... [yelp.com]
Seriously people, common sense.

Re:Monopolies? (4, Insightful)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 6 months ago | (#46959017)

You've posted this twice now.
1) is Clear. 20mbps if no one else is using the tower. Reliably, closer to 3-4mbps. I know, I used to compete directly with them in the market, running a WISP north of Austin.
2)This is actually a VOIP company. They don't sell internet.
3) U-Verse: only available in some areas
4) Grande: Only available in some areas, usually do not overlap with Time Warner
5) VOIP company, no internet service
6)Western Broadband. This is the company I used to work for. Outside Austin, north of the city, in the rural area, it's the best choice for net. You can get a few megabits to your home when the cable company isn't there. Inside the city, they don't compete.
7) This is Clear again, see #1.
8) OnRamp is a Colo / Datacenter. Not home internet.
9) Business only, pretty much downtown only, where they have prewired. Extremely limited service area.
10) Clear again. See #1.

So, while you can go on yelp and pull up a list, you clearly didn't even click any of the links it's provided. Are you shilling, or just clueless?

Fighting fire with fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958021)

It's a shame you need to depend on a large corporation to fight the other large corporation.

What happens when they decide to join forces and become a cartel?

Re:Fighting fire with fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958137)

What happens when they decide to join forces and become a cartel?

Prices skyrockets and the service declines. Until they move over the pond and EU tells them to get their act together or GTFO.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958059)

Indeed.

For example, In the case of /., it seems that "Hugh Pickens DOT Com" is now just copying stories verbatim of the rivalling sites that have sprung up after the beta fiasco...

Re:Competition (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 6 months ago | (#46958459)

It is almost as if capitalism only works if you punish cartels and break up monopolies.

Punishing cartels and breaking-up monopolies is hardly a bad thing but surely there are other factors that can discourage competition in addition to the two you mentioned...

Re:Competition (1)

fermion (181285) | about 6 months ago | (#46958533)

Certain markets are competitive . In my greater metro area I have like a couple Sony stores, a MS store, and several(maybe 6) Apple stores. Of course the MS and Sony store is in same mall as the first Apple Store in the area. So that is competition I guess. Looking at the demographics and fighting over the same small group of people. MS came in last. Google is basically doing the same thing. If ATT and Verizon have creating a market for high speed internet, then Google is saying that they will provide faster service. What is interesting is that Google does not seem to be competing with Comcast. In some areas, ATT is competing very aggressively, and it is making Comcast do better, but Google is pretty much just staying in safe areas, not doing anything to bring High Speed internet to the masses. I think ATT and Comcast is still doing a better job at that.

Re:Competition (2)

rhsanborn (773855) | about 6 months ago | (#46958573)

Unfortunately, it takes a company as large as Google to be competitive. ATT, Comcast, et al have the infrastructure for this, but not the incentive. The minute a small org comes in and tries to provide higher speed service, then ATT can roll out the higher speed service for less money and destroy that small org with price competition. This isn't direct competition. This is Google being willing to throw away money to shake up some markets, and it shouldn't have to work that way. The governments have granted cable and telcos monopolies, and then failed to regulate them. THAT is a problem.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46957893)

Say what you want about Google but I'd always turn to them before the likes of AT&T, Verizon, etc. I just with Google would come to where I live.

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46957973)

Say what you want about Google but I'd always turn to them before the likes of AT&T, Verizon, etc. I just with Google would come to where I live.

Given that pretty much every telco and ISP of any size is a known collaborator in surveillance and is either working on, or actively engaged in, commercial exploitation of customer data (only with their trusted partner companies, of course...), and their speeds are low and their prices are high, it's pretty hard not to root for Google.

Sure, they aren't exactly warm and cuddly; but if you get a dystopian panopticon either way, it might as well at least be fast and reasonably priced.

How much does Google Fiber live up to the promise (2)

CRCulver (715279) | about 6 months ago | (#46957901)

When Google Fiber comes to a city and gigabit internet is finally advertised, is it truly gigabit internet or is there massive throttling involved? I've had fiber to my door in Romania (for a little over 10€/month) for many years now, and while upload speeds are somewhat slower than download speeds, you can torrent hundreds of gigabytes a month and no one at the ISP bats an eye. Do Americans get the same goodness, or do the advertised specs come with a boatload of catches?

Re:How much does Google Fiber live up to the promi (5, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#46957963)

When Google Fiber comes to a city and gigabit internet is finally advertised, is it truly gigabit internet or is there massive throttling involved? I've had fiber to my door in Romania (for a little over 10€/month) for many years now, and while upload speeds are somewhat slower than download speeds, you can torrent hundreds of gigabytes a month and no one at the ISP bats an eye. Do Americans get the same goodness, or do the advertised specs come with a boatload of catches?

When you have gigabit speed being delivered to the consumer, bottlenecks tend to point at the other end.

It is literally going to start depending on the rest of the infrastructure, and likely how well your hosting provider is peered. Yet another reason net neutrality is such a critical issue. Gonna be a bitch if we finally get killer speed in our homes at a reasonable price only to find we haven't paid the internet gateway thugs enough to get to our damn content.

Re:How much does Google Fiber live up to the promi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958205)

Yet another reason net neutrality is such a critical issue.

Interestingly enough, in places where there are more than a handful of competing service providers available, net neutrality is a complete non-issue.
Some people think that competition is when there are two or three vendors to choose from. The two party system should have taught them otherwise. With just a few competitors they just look at each other and split the market to avoid competition.
For functioning competition you need at least twenty or so alternatives so that there always is someone who doesn't want to play ball with the others.

Re:How much does Google Fiber live up to the promi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958805)

Competition works as long as the concept of cooperation is unacceptable between the largest 2 or more factions. The count is irrelevant, if the largest two actors cooperate they can buy out/crush the smallest opposition repeatedly until there is no opposition. Having 20 or so initial factions just makes the inter-faction politics more complicated so that it takes longer to reach an equilibrium.

It's the irrational love of compromise that gets us into 1.3 party politics (there are some dissenting factions, but the majority of both parties on a federal level would rather go drinking together than represent the voters) and economic monopolies.

Re:How much does Google Fiber live up to the promi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46959033)

Gonna be a bitch if we finally get killer speed in our homes at a reasonable price only to find we haven't paid the internet gateway thugs enough to get to our damn content.

You could still have one killer LAN party with your neighbors.

Re:How much does Google Fiber live up to the promi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46959061)

I often think when that day comes we could decentralize the web like Tor to make it more difficult for ISPs to target massive cloud hubs with refusal to upgrade peering unless expensive monetary demands are met.

Re:How much does Google Fiber live up to the promi (1)

alen (225700) | about 6 months ago | (#46958111)

it's real gigabit, but only inside google's network
anything outside google's network they have to buy peering points with Level 3 and other Tier 1 backbones and you can bet they don't buy enough to support 1gbps for every customer at any time
but then google has been pretty good about selling space to CDN's in their data centers so you don't really need gigabit since the data is inside google's network already

Re:How much does Google Fiber live up to the promi (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 6 months ago | (#46958575)

Google has the second most connected network in the world, right behind Level 3 with about 1/4 their size. Google is better connected than most Tier 1s, plus they have a lot of peering with Level 3. I'm sure they have good relations as both Google and Level 3 are on a crusade for net neutrality against most of the other Tier 1s.

Re:How much does Google Fiber live up to the promi (1)

alen (225700) | about 6 months ago | (#46958873)

yeah, and they also have A LOT of internal and application traffic that takes priority over their baby ISP business on that fiber

Re:How much does Google Fiber live up to the promi (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about 6 months ago | (#46958251)

Google doesn't throttle or have bandwidth caps on their fiber.

From their network management [google.com] page:

In times of acute congestion, Google Fiber Internet service bandwidth will be fairly allocated among subscribers without regard to the subscribersâ(TM) online activities or the protocols or applications that the subscribers are using.

Google Fiberâ(TM)s Internet services are priced on a flat-fee basis (plus taxes and government fees). Google Fiber does not charge subscribers a usage-based fee for Internet access service and does not employ volume-based data caps.

Most other large ISPs in the US, however, do have bandwidth and data caps.

Re:How much does Google Fiber live up to the promi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958755)

As a happy Google fiber customer in KC, I will tell you it lives up to the billing. I consistently get 850-950+MBps both up and down. The only time it is slower is if the resource I am connecting to does not have the bandwidth. In my job I have to upload/download a lot of database backup files of up to 20Gb compressed to Rackspace servers. It takes hours at work. I come home and do it and it takes minutes.

I think it's backward. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46957907)

AT&T : we're gona build you a Camry but sell it for the price of a Lamborghini, just because we know that we're the only dealership you can buy cars from, and only when another dealership moves in, we're going to get you that Lamborghini.

Re:I think it's backward. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46957953)

AT&T : we're gona build you a Camry but sell it for the price of a Lamborghini, just because we know that we're the only dealership you can buy cars from, and only when another dealership moves in, we're going to get you that Lamborghini.

No, no, no. You have it all wrong. They were already planning on offering that Lamborghini. It's only mere coincidence (14 of them, actually) that the timing of them offering it coincided with that other dealership moving in.

Re:I think it's backward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958019)

Truth be told, monopolies probably plan to give you anything once somebody threatens them. "We always planned to fight the competition, if it ever shows up" is what they mean. As in "I plan to built a FTL engine some time before the death of the Universe".

Re:I think it's backward. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46957987)

AC is spot on. This should be the #1 highest comment in the thread. I logged in just to see if I had mod points to give; alas, no such luck.

Re:I think it's backward. (1)

Scutter (18425) | about 6 months ago | (#46958351)

Well, no....it won't be a Lamborghini really, but it will look just like one, we promise! Ok, the engine will only be a four-cylinder but it will only cost twice as much as Google's Lamborghini! No, we won't charge you for gas or oil for the first six months, but after that we may have to charge a slight service fee. The speedometer goes up to 200MPH, but most of the time, you won't be able to go over 35. Also, you can only drive to three cities per month before you hit your mileage cap because we don't want you taking unfair advantage of the roads. Speaking of roads, did we mention the slight access fee to help cover the cost of building out new roads (someday, maybe, if someone else threatens to build roads first)?

Re:I think it's backward. (1)

dkf (304284) | about 6 months ago | (#46958657)

Well, no....it won't be a Lamborghini really, but it will look just like one, we promise!

You are aware that Lamborghini make tractors too? You know, the things used on farms?

Re:I think it's backward. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about 6 months ago | (#46958409)

Except that with AT&T's 300mbps "giga"power, we'll tell you we're shipping your Lamborghini right away, but it's actually a Honda with a giant spoiler bolted on and a racing stripe sticker.

Just remember kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46957921)

...don't be evil.

Just be the best US Corporation you can be.

And don't ever label it a monopoly. No matter what. Because we all know those are bad.

dark matters WMD on credit depopulationing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46957925)

motive = results http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=depopulation some still calling this weather http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=weather+manipulation+wmd

Lamborghini? Ha! (5, Insightful)

grunter (35840) | about 6 months ago | (#46957927)

Or perhaps Google are selling a Camry at the price of a Camry, and the other guys who've been peddling Model Ts are now having to get competitive!

Competition (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46957961)

Oh, you mean competition is a good thing and monopolies are bad?

ISPs in the US don't seem to have *real* competition in the majority of locations. It's amazing what happens when *real* competition comes to the market.

The important take-away is.... (5, Insightful)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 6 months ago | (#46958037)

So, what we learn is that ISPs believe they can build a gigabit infrastructure and make a profit charging only $65/month for service without having to subsidize it with an ad business (like Google can). That's a very nice measure of just how much the rest of us are getting screwed by our ISPs.

Re:The important take-away is.... (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 6 months ago | (#46958109)

No, they're subsidizing it with revenue from their other broadband markets.

Re:The important take-away is.... (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 6 months ago | (#46958455)

Why would they offer the service at all if they would be losing money on it? Just leave that market completely and have more money at the end of the day.

Re:The important take-away is.... (1)

Yebyen (59663) | about 6 months ago | (#46958897)

That sounds like a winning plan. When the competition comes, just give the whole market to them, at whatever prices they planned to charge. Don't even try to compete, just leave!

Put that in your 10 year plan. I'm sure it'll go over great with the board at the next annual shareholders meeting.

(I know you're trying to say, they would still make a profit on this new better service at reduced prices, but I'm not so sure. I shop at Amazon and WalMart, and I think there are really such things as Loss Leaders. They honestly don't want Google to get a foothold in their currently held monopoly broadband markets. That is a simpler explanation, IMHO.)

Re:The important take-away is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958601)

...and they are also subsidizing it with the expected future revenue they will generate by discouraging Google from entering that market, therefore maintaining their de facto monopoly, which will allow them to continue to set the price to whatever they want in a few years.

Re:The important take-away is.... (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 6 months ago | (#46958609)

1gb Internet on average cost ISPs about 10% more than 10mb. I'm not sure it's that much of an assumption that they can turn a profit on $65 for 1gb. A study was done looking at customer data usage and going from 10mb to 1gb only increase their peak usage by 10% on average. I'm sure as new services start cropping up to take advantage of 1gb speeds that customers are starting to get, usage will climb faster, but right now, most everything on the Internet is geared around 10mb or less.

Re:The important take-away is.... (1)

alen (225700) | about 6 months ago | (#46958225)

AT&T just built out an LTE network for their mobile business. fiber to all their towers in every county in the US. they might not own all the towers, but it's still a big footprint. AT&T will put a few speedtest servers on their network and make you think you have gigabit when you will be competing with their mobile data traffic past your neighborhood. and knowing AT&T they will route you data to kansas before routing it to the internet

don't think anyone else can do the same.

Re:The important take-away is.... (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 6 months ago | (#46958419)

The $65/month number is from Grande Communications', not AT&T. I don't know anything about their service, so I don't know if it is any more legit than AT&T.

Please don't call AT&T's service "gigabit" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958107)

It's "Gigapower ®" specifically because it's not "gigabit" by the technical definition. They're offering "up to" 300 Mbps.

Re:Please don't call AT&T's service "gigabit" (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 6 months ago | (#46958625)

Currently offering 300mb. In the recent past, they said they have plans to upgrade all of those customers to 1gb in the next year.

Screw AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958161)

IF Google or AT&T "Gigapower" was available I'd choose Google because AT&T has been screwing us for too long with their shoddy uVerse and Wireless offerings. Just wait until Google unveils it's own wireless network with truly unlimited 5G data.

GigaPower isn't Gigabit Bandwidth (2)

astapleton (324242) | about 6 months ago | (#46958193)

One small detail to add to AT&T side of the story - their GigaPower package is only a name - THAT offering tops out at 300Mbps, and this is true for every city it's available in. Not only that, no one has a clue if they'll every make 1,000Gbps service available in any market.

Sorry AT&T, calling it a trout a whale does not make it a whale no matter how big you blow up the picture you took of the trout.

Re:GigaPower isn't Gigabit Bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958303)

It's still better than the bullshit they were shovelling prior to it- so it's bullshit still, but look at what they were selling you before (To stretch the bad car analogies further...they've sold you a Ferarri, handed you a Yugo. Now it's more a Camry... Most ISP's are doing the Yugo play in some form.). Most of the ISPs aren't hurting like they're bullshitting everyone. Not even on transit. They're just money grubbing and if they don't have anyone stepping on their cushy monopolies, they'd be using 30 grit for lube instead of the 200 grit they're being forced to use because they've got competition.

Re:GigaPower isn't Gigabit Bandwidth (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 6 months ago | (#46958401)

Like Bell does with its Fibe service. leading customers to think it's fiber. It's mostly FTTN...

Re:GigaPower isn't Gigabit Bandwidth (1)

macbuzz01 (1074795) | about 6 months ago | (#46958465)

Clearly you misunderstood the meaning behind GigaPower. It means it's 1000 times faster than the 33.6 dial-up they first sold you.

Making sure Google Fiber isn't profitable (5, Insightful)

sasparillascott (1267058) | about 6 months ago | (#46958209)

The cynical side of this, is that this is AT&T and Co. are making sure that Google doesn't make any money with Fiber by making sure the market size for Fiber is drastically reduced wherever its rolled out...and discouraging Google from pursuing this as a business. JMHO...

Re:Making sure Google Fiber isn't profitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958397)

Considering that none of the players have stepped up to the plate with Gigabit yet, they're not doing a good job of this. GigaPower ISN'T Gigabit. It's marketing bullshit for the 300Mbit rates they should've been offering all along. There's little reason for *ANY* of the "landline" ISP players to be offering the low crap speeds they're currently offering, save GREED. Hell, Verizon's capable of shoving Gigabit with FiOS- do you see them doing it? No.

Backwards (1)

Xicor (2738029) | about 6 months ago | (#46958295)

They aren't building a Lamborghini and pricing it at a camry, att was building a camry and pricing it at a Lamborghini.

Comcast vs Fios (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958315)

For well over a decade Comcast in my rural area was always behind, we had really old DVR boxes and service and about 1/2 the average speed of other Comcast customers in the county. I think I was paying $65 for the top tier internet which was 15 down. About three months before Fios came in, our 6 year old POS DVR boxes were upgraded and my internet went up to 50 down.

Competition works.

Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958471)

Google should say they are going to places they aren't just to trick AT&T into setting up.

Other fiber initiatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958473)

While Google garners all the attention, there are some other private initiatives that are popping up that promise even more choice. For example, here in NC there is RST which will be offering service through a combination of FTTH and wireless last mile solutions. http://rstfiber.com/releases/rst-fiber-activates-americas-first-gigabit-state/

Real Disruption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958495)

'What Google did instead was say, "We're going to build you a Lamborghini, but price it at the same price as a Camry,"' says Blair Levin. 'And that's what's so disruptive about it.'"

Just what Henry Ford did. And some other automakers followed his lead and thrived while others refused to understand the new reality and failed. Now will ATT really follow through? The most disruptive aspect of Google's plan is that it is disrupting regulatory capture by getting the regulators to change the rules and allow something closer to free markets.

I Have ATT DSL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958521)

and I live in one of Google's target 14 markets...

Hurry up Google this service is killing me.

How about us north, eh? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46958541)

If this is what happens in the USA when Google Fiber is planned, I'd like to see what would happen in Canada. Bell and Vidéotron are so greedy, their reaction would probably be to increase the prices, lower the speeds and the monthly caps even more, with ads everywhere telling us "Stop Google Fiber or else we'll charge you even more".

In Austin nothing has really changed... (5, Interesting)

AmazinglySmooth (1668735) | about 6 months ago | (#46958621)

So they all announced upgrades here in Austin: Google first, then AT&T Uverse, and now TWC. But. Nothing has really changed. Everyone has announcements, but the coverage areas are so small and nothing has changed. TWC has made the best annoucment that their 300Mbps service will be available all over Austin, but not yet. They have offered some date in the future that I'm sure will be delayed. So competition works, but no one is really being that aggressive.

Re:In Austin nothing has really changed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958953)

Exactly, so far, Fiber in Austin is very very limited to some few neighborhoods. Google is nowhere close to have its first customer.
ATT is coming door to door and lying about Fiber availability.
TWC is just playing wait and see with some vague announcement.

So yeah, nothing changed really. It's just PR.

AT&T checked their data... (1)

Mabonus (185893) | about 6 months ago | (#46958685)

I'm pretty confident that AT&T looked at their cancellation rate as Google Fiber deployed in the Kansas City neighborhoods and saw their subscription base drop by a large enough margin to be a problem. Their response to the Kansas City market appears to be "Send more junk mail!" but nothing else. No announcements of competing service, no advertised price cuts, or increases in bandwidth. I don't know what exec was asleep during the Google build out but, Google publishes the percentage of pre-subscribed households per neighborhood and AT&T's sound indifference did nothing to dampen that.

Competition good for consumers (1)

koan (80826) | about 6 months ago | (#46958731)

That is all.

What Google did.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46958929)

Was say, "We're actually going to build the high-speed network that the major carriers have been getting free money from taxpayers and customers for the last 20+ years failed to build."

PUGET SOUND (1)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about 6 months ago | (#46958949)

PLEASE
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