Google fiber?

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Profile Gordon Lowe
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Message 1724668 - Posted: 11 Sep 2015, 16:01:58 UTC
Last modified: 11 Sep 2015, 16:05:04 UTC

The headline of my local paper today is about Google considering Louisville for it's fiber network expansion. The phone company(AT&T) and cable tv company(Time Warner) already have their own fiber optic infrastructure in place and offer pretty fast service. I just can't see the average person(I've got 3 Mbps on copper, and I'm satisfied) utilizing what Google is proposing, plus what makes their fiber optic technology so much faster than what the competitors offer?
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Message 1724717 - Posted: 11 Sep 2015, 17:24:48 UTC - in response to Message 1724668.  

Fibre Optic cabling is literally what the entire backbone of the internet runs on. The speeds can scale far above what cable or copper wire can handle.

There are plenty of uses for the extra speed, primarily for cable-cutters who do all streaming for video services, or users like me that download a lot of data (drivers, ISOs, etc.). The main target for services like what Google is offering is small, home-run businesses. Most other cities that have accepted Google's fibre have seen a large up-tick in small businesses in the area, which in turn generates more tax revenue and helps the city/town overall.
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Message 1724724 - Posted: 11 Sep 2015, 17:29:32 UTC - in response to Message 1724717.  

Fibre Optic cabling is literally what the entire backbone of the internet runs on. The speeds can scale far above what cable or copper wire can handle.

There are plenty of uses for the extra speed, primarily for cable-cutters who do all streaming for video services, or users like me that download a lot of data (drivers, ISOs, etc.). The main target for services like what Google is offering is small, home-run businesses. Most other cities that have accepted Google's fibre have seen a large up-tick in small businesses in the area, which in turn generates more tax revenue and helps the city/town overall.


I can see the advantage for businesses to have the max speed technology can offer, but I thought fiber optic lines were already on the poles for the phone and cable tv companies.
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Message 1724732 - Posted: 11 Sep 2015, 17:37:11 UTC - in response to Message 1724724.  

I can see the advantage for businesses to have the max speed technology can offer, but I thought fiber optic lines were already on the poles for the phone and cable tv companies.


It might be on the poles in some places, but not all. It really depends on what the return on investment (ROI) is before they decide how far they're going to deploy fibre. They will typically do fibre-to-the-node, with several nodes strategically placed. The most expensive part of deploying fibre is what they call "fibre-to-the-premises", and this is mostly due to all the red-tape and permission that must be granted before they can go digging up yards for individuals before laying the cable underground.

But even fibre on the pole and fibre-to-the-node is great, but how many people are sharing a node and what will their average speed be during peak times? Having fibre all the way to the premises resolves that bottleneck in most (but not all) cases.
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Message 1724740 - Posted: 11 Sep 2015, 17:43:58 UTC - in response to Message 1724732.  

Having fibre all the way to the premises resolves that bottleneck in most (but not all) cases.


I imagine the cable and phone companies have spent a fortune stringing fiber optics pole to pole over the years here, and it just seems like they would already have a huge jump on the ability to continue that to the premises. I don't see how Google can catch up and make money.
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Message 1724746 - Posted: 11 Sep 2015, 17:52:16 UTC - in response to Message 1724740.  

Fibre on the pole is a fraction of the cost of fibre-to-the-premises. And while phone and cable companies do have a head-start, because of their greed, their rollouts have been very slow.

Not to mention that in many areas of the US, cable and phone have regional monopolies, offering little competition and little incentive to keep up with demand or plan for the future.

With Google entering the ISP arena and not playing by those regional rules, it forces the competition cable and phone didn't want. It was only recently that I've seen Comcast stating they were planning a 4x increase of speeds within the next year, while the past 10 years have seen fractional speed upgrades. Comcast getting nervous?


I don't know what you pay for your 3Mb connection, but I pay for Comcast's Xfinity service (phone, tv, and internet) and I pay $286/mo for 105Mb. If I had just the internet service, it would cost me over $90/mo. Google's Gigabit is supposed to be around $70/mo. 10x the speed for less cost.

I sure hope cable and phone are nervous.
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Message 1724757 - Posted: 11 Sep 2015, 18:27:38 UTC - in response to Message 1724746.  

Fibre on the pole is a fraction of the cost of fibre-to-the-premises. And while phone and cable companies do have a head-start, because of their greed, their rollouts have been very slow.

Not to mention that in many areas of the US, cable and phone have regional monopolies, offering little competition and little incentive to keep up with demand or plan for the future.

With Google entering the ISP arena and not playing by those regional rules, it forces the competition cable and phone didn't want. It was only recently that I've seen Comcast stating they were planning a 4x increase of speeds within the next year, while the past 10 years have seen fractional speed upgrades. Comcast getting nervous?


I don't know what you pay for your 3Mb connection, but I pay for Comcast's Xfinity service (phone, tv, and internet) and I pay $286/mo for 105Mb. If I had just the internet service, it would cost me over $90/mo. Google's Gigabit is supposed to be around $70/mo. 10x the speed for less cost.

I sure hope cable and phone are nervous.

I hope they are too.
Fibre to my shack would cost a pretty penny to install, as I have about a 150 foot run from the back corner of my lot to the house that would have to be trenched in underground.
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Message 1724763 - Posted: 11 Sep 2015, 18:42:58 UTC - in response to Message 1724746.  
Last modified: 11 Sep 2015, 18:53:20 UTC

If I had just the internet service, it would cost me over $90/mo.

What...
In my country it cost $42/mo with 100 mbit for internet and phone!

Google's Gigabit (1000 mbit) is supposed to be around $70/mo

Who needs that speed? I'm happy with 50 mbit that cost me $36/mo
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Message 1724767 - Posted: 11 Sep 2015, 19:00:36 UTC - in response to Message 1724763.  

If I had just the internet service, it would cost me over $90/mo.

What...
In my country it cost $42/mo with 100 mbit for internet and phone!


Indeed, Europe has much better cost per bit than the US does. But in fairness, there is a lot more length to the US to lay all that cable than there is in most EU countries.

Google's Gigabit (1000 mbit) is supposed to be around $70/mo
Who needs that speed? I'm happy with 50 mbit that cost me $36/mo


It still makes me laugh when people say stuff like this, then looking back on history and seeing all the times others have said it about each technological advancement. "56k modems? Who needs that speed? I'll stick with my 14.4k"

If I had Gigabit offered for an affordable rate, I'd gladly pay for it!
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Message 1724787 - Posted: 11 Sep 2015, 20:20:45 UTC - in response to Message 1724767.  

It still makes me laugh when people say stuff like this, then looking back on history and seeing all the times others have said it about each technological advancement. "56k modems? Who needs that speed? I'll stick with my 14.4k"

If I had Gigabit offered for an affordable rate, I'd gladly pay for it!



My 3 Mbps internet service is $42 per month through AT&T, plus about $50 for AT&T's land line phone, plus $55 for basic cable through Time Warner. I have no need or interest in a "smart" cell phone, so I pay $100 per year for a dumb cell phone with 1000 minutes.

I surely do remember the days of 1200 baud modems, and the steps up to 9600, 14.4, 28.8, and finally 56! I went "broadband/DSL" in 2004, and upgraded my mother in 2012. The only real change I've seen since then is the 3 Mbps isn't quite as snappy, and I attribute that to a lot more streaming ads and pop-ups.

I would like to eventually see the day when tv and internet really merge(but does anybody remember Web tv? ;~)) I guess the Gbps service will facilitate that.


Fibre on the pole is a fraction of the cost of fibre-to-the-premises. And while phone and cable companies do have a head-start, because of their greed, their rollouts have been very slow.



What you're saying makes sense, but whoever owns the poles, and I assume that's still AT&T, is going to collect a tidy sum on providing access for the new Google lines, too.
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Message 1724795 - Posted: 11 Sep 2015, 20:43:17 UTC - in response to Message 1724767.  
Last modified: 11 Sep 2015, 20:51:31 UTC

It still makes me laugh when people say stuff like this, then looking back on history and seeing all the times others have said it about each technological advancement. "56k modems? Who needs that speed? I'll stick with my 14.4k"

If I had Gigabit offered for an affordable rate, I'd gladly pay for it!

Hehehe.
Like someone said many years ago "Who needs more than 640 kbyte RAM".
Anyway. Those highspeed connections needed are depending on how many are using the connection and what type of data you are downloding.
We are only 2 persons on my connection.
I can see HD movies without any problem and my GF can do the same at the same time.
If I remember right a movie, both mp2 and mp4, needs about 5 mbits.
Perhaps you want to download a big file at the same time.
I have still 40 mbits to do that.
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Message 1724979 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 8:27:39 UTC

There is no fiber to my home town outside Milano but Telecom Italia insists in trying to sell me a fiber modem, so they can transfer my voice calls on a digital line at 20 MBit/s. But I have 3 PCs using that line 24/7 with BOINC projects, especially the CERN projects which make a heavy use of Internet. I am paying 54 euro/month for the ADSL line and voice calls to all Europe plus a Nokia cell phone with a SIM card I rarely use.
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Message 1724984 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 9:46:56 UTC - in response to Message 1724787.  
Last modified: 12 Sep 2015, 9:54:55 UTC

My 3 Mbps internet service is $42 per month through AT&T, plus about $50 for AT&T's land line phone


Yes--I too had AT&T. The cost kept creeping up. Their internet was stated to be "Up to 6 Mbps" in fact it never was more than 3 Mbps. When I called to complain about the creeping monthly charge they steered me into UVERSE with the statement that I could have 6 Hi Def TV channels and 18 mbps internet and telephone as well. They would run fiber to my home and the price was lower than what I was now paying.

Well-the technician called the morning of the installation that he was coming. I asked how many of them were coming since there was currently no fiber to anyone's home in my subdivision. He said it was just him. I thought that he would be very busy.

He shows up with only a service van. I ask him where is the truck with the rolls of fiber and where is the trencher and how is he going to get under the driveway. The truth was that he said that they were going to do it all on the twisted pair that was now delivering my phone and internet. Also I was to get 4 TV connections and only 12 Mbps internet. He also gave me a list of channels that did not have the premium channels that I had contracted for. A red flag right away about a Bait and Switch tactic.

Since I had worked in the Telecommunications industry and also for AT&T Bell Labs I knew better. I would be very surprised if they could get even one HD tv channel to work over that wire which had been cut and patched several times when I had an addition added on my house. The monument where it was connected had also been hit and stuffed with grass clippings by the neighbor's lawn service. I ran him off--this was a clear case of fraud.

I switched over to Comcast on a bundled deal and will save $100 per month and enjoy 100 Mbps internet service as well and free long distance.

About two weeks later my wife takes a phone call from AT&T asking "have you seen all of the AT&T trucks in our community" They implied that there was an effort to provide fiber everywhere and that we should switch back to AT&T right away. More nonsense and out and out fraud and deceptive practice. Yes there is fiber in most communities but it is not to the home-- it is out in the subdivision about 3000 feet away from my house--the connection to the home is 26 gauge twisted pair (Copper wire). No I had not seen any AT&T trucks anywhere near our community. I wish I had been home to take that call.
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Message 1725048 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 14:13:06 UTC

I know my drops are copper, but what is on the poles? Can you tell by looking in the picture I took? Probably not. I do know AT&T restrung their phone lines about 10 years ago in this neighborhood, so I was assuming they're fiber optics. Not sure when the cable company last came through to update their lines(so they might still be old coax). We've had this house since 1967 - way before the cable tv was rolled out.



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Message 1725058 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 14:44:25 UTC - in response to Message 1725048.  
Last modified: 12 Sep 2015, 14:46:17 UTC

Those look like they might be fiber amplifiers but I am not sure. You will probably have a large green box in your neighborhood that is somewhat bigger than a pad-mount transformer. That is where the fiber and copper meet. They used to call it a SLICK (SLC) for subscriber loop current which runs back to a central office.

Here in Tennessee AT&T bought back the Local Exchange Carrier (Bell South) so they are now one and the same after being split off during divestiture some 30 years ago.

Google has announced plans to bring fiber to the home (we will see) . I don't know if they will ride on AT&T facilities. I do see a number of private contractors burying fiber along major thoroughfares right now. My County here in Tennessee is one of the richest in the United States.

AT&T may be waking up now to the threat to their business--but for now they seem to be fighting it with "Vapor Ware"
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Message 1725062 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 14:52:57 UTC - in response to Message 1725048.  
Last modified: 12 Sep 2015, 14:53:23 UTC


Do you still have those arial cables in the US?
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Message 1725070 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 15:06:59 UTC - in response to Message 1725058.  

Those look like they might be fiber amplifiers but I am not sure. You will probably have a large green box in your neighborhood that is somewhat bigger than a pad-mount transformer. That is where the fiber and copper meet. They used to call it a SLICK (SLC) for subscriber loop current which runs back to a central office.


Yes, there are boxes on the ground like that around here. So, basically, what you're saying is it's still copper up there on the poles.


Google has announced plans to bring fiber to the home (we will see) . I don't know if they will ride on AT&T facilities.



To get it to the home, Google is going to have to pay AT&T rent for the pole space if I understand things correctly(they can run fiber above ground, can't they?), as I always thought the phone company owned the poles.


Do you still have those aerial cables in the US?



We sure do.
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Message 1725075 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 15:14:52 UTC - in response to Message 1725070.  
Last modified: 12 Sep 2015, 15:16:02 UTC

So, basically, what you're saying is it's still copper up there on the poles.


No it's probably fiber up there on the poles. In our subdivision all utilities are buried. However going out of our large subdivision there are telephone poles which carry Electricity and telephone as well. I don't know who owns the poles or the right-of-way or who can apply to be added. As I said I do see fiber-laying going on by burying along major and secondary roadways. I don't know if it is AT&T or not. Perhaps it is Google or some other utility provider.
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Message 1725088 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 15:41:51 UTC

Some cities in Italy are cabled by fiber (Milano and Bologna) and you can get up to 100 Mbits/s. Other cities are only partially cabled and the fiber reaches only the cabinets in the streets, with copper going into the homes. The copper networks are owned by Telecom Italy, the incumbent operator, and fiber is still a political issue, with Telecom wanting to extend its own to all Italy.
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Message 1725095 - Posted: 12 Sep 2015, 15:55:25 UTC - in response to Message 1725075.  

I don't know who owns the poles or the right-of-way or who can apply to be added


The more I think about it, it probably makes more sense that the local electric company owns the poles, and AT&T and Time Warner Cable, and anyone else who wants to stretch lines up there pays rent to LG&E(Louisville Gas & Electric). Whatever the case may be, I don't think the existing poles are ever going away. If Google wants to do Fiber to the house, they'll do it above ground for all of us(most of the city) with poles, and below ground for the newer parts of town.
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