Wireless Infrastructure

03:25 PM
Mary Jander
Mary Jander
Commentary
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Google's Grand Fiber Plan: Cue The Eye Roll

Google will potentially expand municipal broadband coverage to 34 additional US cities.

Search giant Google is expanding its US municipal broadband project in a bid to become a leading American carrier. Excuse me while I roll my eyes.

Whenever Google comes out with one of its grand pronouncements, particularly in this area, I feel compelled to chorus, "Here we go again." Perhaps this time I'm being too cynical. Perhaps not.

A bit of background: It's been four years since Google announced plans to get into municipal broadband services. After getting over 1,000 cities to respond eagerly to their initial invite early in 2010, the company started small, with rollouts of one-gigabit Internet connections to homes in Kansas City, Kansas. Three years later, the trial started in Provo, Utah, and Austin, Texas.

That was pretty much it. Until this week, when Google announced it has reached out to 34 US cities to chat about bringing them one-gigabit fiber broadband.

The company described its plan in a blog by Milo Medin, VP of Google Access Services:

    We've long believed that the Internet's next chapter will be built on gigabit speeds, so it's fantastic to see this momentum. And now that we've learned a lot from our Google Fiber projects in Kansas City, Austin and Provo, we want to help build more ultra-fast networks. So we've invited cities in nine metro areas around the U.S. -- 34 cities altogether -- to work with us to explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber.

Read the rest of this article on UBM's Future Cities.

Mary Jander is managing editor of UBM's Future Cities. Previously, she was executive editor of Internet Evolution, site editor of Byte and Switch, and a longtime senior editor of Light Reading. She has spent over 27 years reporting and writing on information technology and ... View Full Bio
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Laurianne
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Laurianne,
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2/20/2014 | 3:32:16 PM
Interesting perspective
Mary brings perpspective to this Google news that many mainstream news outlets missed. Do you share her attitude, readers?
sethkroll
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sethkroll,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 3:52:04 PM
Re: Interesting perspective
What perspective. She simply commented that maybe Google will follow through on a grand plan, or maybe they will not. A unique or even usful perspective would dig a little deeper as to why she rolls her eyes at Google's notion of bringing internet services to more US cities. She does not even suggest any evidence that they have made any grand prolamations before that thery have failed to follow through on. This post deserves to be hosted on Information Weak.
BadArticle_Yup
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BadArticle_Yup,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 4:01:06 PM
Re: Interesting perspective
I registered for an account just to say how much I agree with sethkroll.  This article is a worthless written whining of a biased author and it's best part was Seth's comment.

+1 for InformationWeak

 
anon7389186690
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anon7389186690,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 4:14:23 PM
Re: Interesting perspective
There is no perspective here. There is a statement of cynicism, a couple of examples that demonstrate no basis for that cynicism, and a stuttering fade to black with no point made whatsoever. And you people get paid for this drivel?
Buck Bagok
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Buck Bagok,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 4:18:48 PM
fastlane
Ms. Jander's glass is profoundly half empty. An entity as large and complicated as Google evolves on much more gradual timescale than, say, Richard Lenski's e.coli, so it may seem slow to some. They're smart and careful (Google, not the bacteria). 
buckeyecal
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buckeyecal,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 4:19:36 PM
Poor Article, no facts, no depth, no good!
It is obvious this author is just writing to seek headlines.  She has no clue on the industry, why Google would do trials, the costs/benefits of the industry, etc.  This level of "journalism" is the reason that many readers are bypassing traditional informational brands and using social sites to get their news.  The writers have no clue but to be cynical.  
buckeyecal
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buckeyecal,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 4:21:54 PM
Re: Interesting perspective
What perspective?  They have trialed the deployment and are now looking to do a roll-out?  Duh.  This is prudent business practice.  There is no valid content to this article and in turn no perspective in my opinion.
sethkroll
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sethkroll,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 4:37:23 PM
Re: Interesting perspective
That's funny, I only registered for an account to say how terrible this post is, particularly after the first commentor tried to validate the article.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 4:45:25 PM
Re: Poor Article, no facts, no depth, no good!
This piece is clearly labeled commentary -- so feel free to disagree with the writer's point of view. But she does raise interesting facts and cautions regarding Kansas and Provo that will be new to some of our readers. Google's speed on this effort is also debatable --  feel free to say you think Google is moving plenty fast. The author brought relevant facts to light and put them in context, then added her skepticism as a longtime watcher of the Google plans. Let's discuss your opinions, pros and cons here, of the Google plans, but let's not pretend people don't want opinion, clearly labeled as opinion, online. Commentary is a mainstay of our content mix here at InformationWeek and that's not going to change.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 4:48:34 PM
Re: Poor Article, no facts, no depth, no good!
Wow, quite the pile-on. And mostly from anonymous commenters. If you're all so much smarter and more informed and enlightened than Ms. Jander and so willing to take shots, why don't you state who you are.

Google made a big announcement four years ago that it was going to get into the broadband business, and four years later it hasn't rolled anything out. We need more facts, yes (and you're not going to find them on "social sites"), but four years is a helluva long time to "conduct trials," especially for a company so proud of moving in Internet time. 

As for the commenter who thinks Google is in a better position to provide telecom services than the telcos and cable providers, citing as evidence the fact that Google's stock is trading 80x higher than the stocks of the entrenched providers, let me just say that's Google's impressive stock price has nothing to do with its telecom posturing and everything to do with its search advertising profits and profit margins. 

I'll never underestimate Google. But the telecom business has confounded other smartest guys in the room before.

 
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