Google Fiber

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Google Fiber

Postby Micro » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:58 pm

Something new to be excited about in the near future:



By Stephen Chapman for SEO Whistleblower

Google has finally started rolling out their fiber initiative, beginning with Kansas City. Google Fiber boasts gigabit speeds that absolutely blow cable Internet speeds out of the water, and for an unbelievably-priced $70 to boot! But while gigabit speeds are an enticingly-delicious prospect to many of us, I think the bigger story here is their offering of free Internet access. Yes, free.

Up front, here are the particulars of Google Fiber's "free Internet" tier:

Up to 5Mbps download, 1Mbps upload speed
No data caps
Free service guaranteed for at least 7 years
Includes Network Box
$300 construction fee (one time or 12 monthly payments of $25) + taxes and fees

So, is free truly "free?" Not initially, no, but $25 a month for 12 months is far more affordable than any comparable tier from any other provider at the moment. At that, once the $300 construction fee is satisfied -- be it one-time or monthly -- that leaves a guaranteed 6 years of free Internet access.

Now, while 5Mbps down/1Mbps up might not sound all that impressive to you, bear in mind the millions of people who either do not have Internet access at all, or who do not have broadband Internet access -- including some 3 million who are still paying for AOL dial-up! And this doesn't take into account if Google decides to up those speeds at some point.

Unfortunately, I imagine it will be as difficult for Google to run fiber as it's been for current ISPs to run their wire in challenging areas (see: mountains, boondocks, etc.). Likewise, there's the time it's going to take for Google Fiber to expand well beyond Kansas City, and that could take many years.

Either way, it will be interesting to see if Google is forthcoming with any data from their free subscription tier -- even just from Kansas City. The thought of the Internet becoming accessible to people where it hasn't yet been is exciting to me. And it's not only from a philanthropic standpoint that I say that, but also from the standpoint of giving currently-stagnated talent (children, underprivileged adults, etc.) a chance to flourish where they're currently unable to, due to no Internet service.

Lastly, "free Internet" will inevitably motivate current ISPs to rethink their service tiers and pricing. I don't think that will happen for quite some time, but if Google can successfully get the ball rolling with Google Fiber across the country, that should make for more and more winners as ISPs are forced to either shape up or ship out. One can only hope, at least.

If you haven't heard much about Google Fiber yet, Google posted a YouTube video describing the service, including how it works, how they plan on implementing/installing it, and all the goodies you end up with (including a free Nexus 7 tablet as a remote control, if you go for the 2-year, $120/mo Gigabit + TV package)...
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Re: Google Fiber

Postby Driver » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:54 am

For $2880 one can get a "free" Nexus 7. Gotcha.

I do appreciate the fact that they are offering a free (or, again, "free") Internet service. Although... One must pay $300 for this "free" Internet. Yes, I understand that this is labelled a construction fee. But I assume that if I live in KC (Disclaimer: I do not, and although I do not believe it to be the case, it is possible that my words are colored with a touch of "sour grapes."), and do not choose to subscribe to this "free" Internet service, but the neighbors on each side of me do choose to subscribe (to the "free" version or one of the other ones, it makes no difference in this argument), that the only "construction" that they will need to do would be to drop a line from the main line running past my house... to my house. Well, and attach whatever device that is needed to interface with my equipment inside. Which, if it is anything at all like the time I had (regular) cable Internet installed way back when, will probably take a couple of young 20-somethings - who by their red eyes and constant giggling, had already started their celebrations early on that particular New Year's Eve, lol - about 30 minutes to do in between said giggling and fits of coughing when they felt the need to stop in the middle to "go back to the truck to look for a part."

In any event, hardly a $300 job. So... As one who gets spitting-mad whenever he realizes that a company is padding their shipping and "handling" charges to add profit, I am Not Best Pleased by such an announcement. Furthermore, as this is - on paper - "free" Internet, I find myself wondering if they are going to get a rather large grant from either the local, state, or federal government for providing the service? This, BtW, is yet another area from which profit should never be derived (but all too many entities feel differently).

Basically, I would be very interested in learning: Whether or not people's tax dollars are going to be supporting Google in any way in this and what the actual cost of the work that $300 "construction fee" is for actually amounts to.

I do, however, hope that they go ahead with their low-cost (call a thing by its proper name, it's not free - nor should it be, IMHO, as Internet access, while nice, is not one of life's necessities (and this is being said by someone whose main source of entertainment - other than the large-type print section at my local library - and the majority of his news access and communication is the Internet). And they ought to be able to support such a low-cost plan; after all, they have more cash reserves than some countries, lol, their $120 (<Yikes!>) tier ought to give them quite a tidy profit each month, and offering such a low-cost Internet access plan - especially if they continue to call it "free" - should prove to be a thing that gets them accolades and probably additional customers when they advertise it.

Finally... I wonder if all of their various tiers will include the same data-mining and profiling "features" that their other services do, or if that will only be included in their "free" plan?
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Re: Google Fiber

Postby Driver » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:08 am

Apologies for the extra post, but I just caught the significance of this statement and wished to address it as well:

Micro wrote:Lastly, "free Internet" will inevitably motivate current ISPs to rethink their service tiers and pricing.


Well, sure. Just like Wal*Mart's strategy of entering a new market and pricing things so low that they lose money on every sale managed to "motivate" so many local businesses. Motivated quite a few - including my favorite family-owned grocery store and favorite family-owned (real!) hardware store right out of business. I notice that their prices aren't so low now that they have succeded in slaughtering most of their competition.

I have learned the hard way to take much of the crap that comes out of these corporate powers with a grain of salt (and it's still hard to choke down). Therefore, I find myself wondering if, after they inevitably put many local "Mom and Pop" ISPs out of business, will they phase out their "free" Internet tier and start raising prices on the others? It is, after all, the New (US of) American Way, supported - and paid for by us self-destructive instant-gratification addicted citizens.

Err... Sorry for the [RANT]. However, I believe that my points (in both posts) are valid ones.
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Re: Google Fiber

Postby Micro » Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:08 am

They both are valid opinions. Stephen Chapman wrote article as referenced under description. Your input is welcome regardless...
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