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Pittsburgh, Seattle Announce Interest In Google's Fiber Trial 144

Posted by timothy
from the ooh-ooh-pick-me-pick-me dept.
An anonymous reader contributes a link to a press release from the mayor of Pittsburgh that says the city has announced, along with Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and the University of Pittsburgh, that it intends to respond to Google's 1Gbps FTTH (Fiber to the Home) request for information. Seattle's mayor, too, wants in on the action, and more cities will surely pile on.
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Pittsburgh, Seattle Announce Interest In Google's Fiber Trial

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  • Pittsburgh Tuxes (Score:2, Informative)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550)
    Pittsburgh Tuxes will certainly welcome this service, provided that the modem won't be a winmodem.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mdf356 (774923)

      The east half of Seattle (Redmond and neighboring) can get Verizon FiOS, but over here in Ballard and other parts on the West side there's nothing faster than Comcast. *Someone* building out infrastructure would be nice.

      • Re:Pittsburgh Tuxes (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JustNilt (984644) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @09:25PM (#31131524) Homepage

        I think you mean the east side and north end of Puget Sound but yeah. Last I heard, Qwest refused to do a fiber rollout and threatened lawsuits if the city did their own. When they finally started offering faster tiers they called it "fiber-like" speeds. Now, in a higher-end neighborhood in Seattle, the fastest DSL available is 1.5M/768k and even then it's rarely that fast.

        Qwest upper management is a bunch of asshats that cares only about milking every last dollar they can out of their infrastructure.

        • Re:Pittsburgh Tuxes (Score:5, Informative)

          by Kjella (173770) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @11:51PM (#31132232) Homepage

          Now, in a higher-end neighborhood in Seattle, the fastest DSL available is 1.5M/768k and even then it's rarely that fast.

          For someone claiming to not be a third world country, you do wonderful impressions. Here in Norway about 10% of the households have fiber now and it's growing rapidly, I think the most optimistic claim I saw was 35% by 2015. About 80% have broadband, with an average download speed of 5.7 Mbit/s and a median speed of 3.4 Mbit/s. That's in a country that is more sparesly populated than the US and where Seattle is bigger than our biggest city.

          • And, this kind of thing makes me want to cry. The "greatest nation on earth" has come to mean "the easiest place in the world to build a monopoly with which to rape the consumer".

            You would think that since Al Gore invented the interwebz, he would have more interest in seeing it properly developed in his home country. But, no, he's off diddling the world with his global warming nonsense instead.

            Does anyone stop to think that if the government required the telcos to build that last mile to every home in Ame

          • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

            For someone claiming to not be a third world country, you do wonderful impressions. Here in Norway

            Hmm:

            U.S.:
            crappy broadband

            Norway:
            Pickled Herring

            You keep your third world comments to yourself, 'kay? :)

            • by Kjella (173770)

              U.S.:
              crappy broadband

              Norway:
              Pickled Herring

              Contrary to popular belief, it is a dish not a torture method. I know it's hard to believe but people volunteer to eat it, so the simple solution is to not eat it. There's no quite so easy solution for lack of proper broadband.

              • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

                > Norway:
                > Pickled Herring

                Contrary to popular belief, it is a dish not a torture method.

                Propaganda! :)

        • by Daengbo (523424)

          Jesus. The average speed in the Bangkok suburbs is now up to 1.5Mb [youtube.com] (Your page won't show this unless you're in my area), and I've got 12Mb to my condo. I can't believe that Seatlle, being IT business-centered and all, can't do better than what you've described.

        • by symbolset (646467) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @04:32AM (#31133206) Journal

          Washington is a weird state. They recognized the value of fiber infrastrucure early because they had DOE projects (notably Hanford) that were well served by operators who were confident the nuclear fuel wouldn't kill them. That meant high bandwidth low latency connections to different points.

          And then there's I-5. Washington has this international path that threads from California to Canada. I was there when they buried the fiber optic cables under I5 - they're bundles as thick as your leg. Seattle does not lack bandwidth - and they have their own peering point.

          They're not even new to this - Grays Harbor county on the coast and Grant county in the center had programs that resulted in 100-1000gbps service (for many years now!) to the customers before Comcast and AT&T shut down expansion of the projects. They have the bandwidth, but they can't afford the lawyers. It's sick when that prevents progress. Maybe Google can help us here.

          We had a law to allow Public Utility Districts to resell bandwidth to ISPs and build out fiber networks from the proceeds, but Comcast and QWest killed it.

          Bring on the Google! I'm sure they know how to do this in a way that does not prevent progres!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by PaulMeigh (1277544)

        Please do not refer to Redmond as the east half of Seattle. They are Redmond. We are Seattle. Redmond sucks. Seattle doesn't. and so on..

      • Re:Pittsburgh Tuxes (Score:5, Informative)

        by Nethead (1563) <joe@nethead.com> on Saturday February 13, 2010 @11:35PM (#31132164) Homepage Journal

        The Seattle Metro Area is well covered by Clearwire 4G WiMax. It will beat the pants off of anything DSL does. And for you, it's buying local (Kirkland) and helping to keep local geeks like me employed. And the back bone of the system; I can't say much but (NDA) but trust me, FAT PIPE.

        • Yeah Clearwire. I love Clearwire. I especially love the 250ms pings. Inconsistent bandwidth and largely unreliable uptime which seems to cut out every time a plane flies over--which in seattle means just about every plane landing at SeaTac it seams.

          • by Nethead (1563)

            Are you talking 3G or WiMax? WiMax RTT is rather spiffy.

            • Have you actually tried Clearwire? I haven't tried them in the last year or so but every single person I know that's tried Clearwire (about 4 or 5) quit. It's better than 3G where it's available but it's not better than DSL.

              • by Nethead (1563)

                I leave Monday to St. Louis to commission the Clear WiMax data center there. The Clear system is being built out at a fantastic rate. Don't confuse the 3G with the 4G WiMax. Unthrottled the WiMax USB dongle will pull 14Mb/s down, and that in a car doing 60MPH. And to stay with the subject line, Pittsburgh should be up sometime this summer. I understand that there are some 21,000 radio sites to turn-up this year. It will keep me very busy.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by im_thatoneguy (819432)

                  Again though. Have you ever actually tried USING the service? With 10 users in a prime location it probably works great. My second hand experience with Wimax is that it's better than 3G but significantly worse than crappy DSL.

                • by mjbkinx (800231)

                  What I've heard about WiMax from several (former) subscribers in my city wasn't good, either. Unreliable, low bandwidth even when connectivity was there, and so on.

                  Between ADSL2+, cable, and now the local utility rolling out 100Mb/s (with their 50Mb/s plan being cheaper than WiMax), I don't understand how they even managed to stay in business until now. Also, local HSDPA is faster.

        • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

          The Seattle Metro Area is well covered by Clearwire 4G WiMax. It will beat the pants off of anything DSL does.

          ClearWire. Jesus Christ.

          Okay, you go out and get some specs on bandwidth and pingtime on WiMax, then you come back here and apologize for being an idiot, okay? We're talking about fiber connections, not wireless, which is in a completely different league.

      • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

        The east half of Seattle (Redmond and neighboring) can get Verizon FiOS

        Uh, a small portion of the east side can get FiOS. I'm in downtown Bellevue, and I can't get it. You have to go up to frickin' Bothell (boonies) to get it. Really useful deployment. :(

  • They w (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 13, 2010 @06:56PM (#31130672)

    Troy in upstate NY announced the same on Thursday. http://troyrecord.com/articles/2010/02/12/news/doc4b74e2cd9e36e314599627.txt

    I bet they'll receive tens of thousands of applications in the coming weeks.

    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:48PM (#31130992)

      I bet they'll receive tens of thousands of applications in the coming weeks.

      And guess what comes next? A reverse-competitive bidding process, whereby various cities write off their taxes on both the profits and the capital equipment, waive requirements like community access programs, and more- just to get google to give them fiber-to-the-home, something that has no proven public benefit. Which is idiotic- I don't want my tax dollars used to fund capital expenditures for corporations!

      Anyone else a little more than slightly freaked out by this move? Google now encompasses search, email, instant messaging, calendaring, social networking, blogging (both content production and reading), cellular and telephone services, online payment, and now actual last-mile services? What's left?

      Why does it feel like in 10 years we'll be calling it The Gnet, not the Internet?

      • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @08:03PM (#31131094)
        And guess what comes after that? Total zombification. That's right, the inevitable result of good internet access from Google and your astutely-prophecized inevitable tax writeoffs will be cuts in our regulatory systems that will introduce zombifying chemicals in ordinary tapwater, leaving entire cities of people clawing each other in search of brains to devour. Oh, if only we hadn't squandered that tax money! If only our mayors had been able to resist the lure of faster internet! This is the end!
      • by log0n (18224) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @08:07PM (#31131112)

        Not particularly freaked no.. they haven't been evil thus far. Belief in online privacy is naive and I trust Google far more than I do Verizon, Comcast, etc etc.

      • by DarkTempes (822722) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @08:16PM (#31131160)

        Oh, come on. It's not like Google has anything close to a monopoly on any of those services. I understand people (rightly!) getting upset over privacy issues with using Google services but acting like Google is taking over the internet is just silly. They don't own the backbones and they don't even create much content. They mostly stick with ways to find and view content and they are not even close to being the only way to find or view that content online (excluding maybe Google Books).

        ISPs/telecoms in the high-speed internet business, for the most part, have regional monopoly or duopolies in the US. I also believe a lot of their intrastructure was promoted in some way by government tax benefits or funding. With that said what's the problem with Google testing the waters to see if they could potentially become a competitor without getting bulldozed from incumbents? Do you really think anytime in the near future Google is going to be able to drive out multiple entrenched companies that are, lets face it, much larger monetarily?

        • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @09:33PM (#31131566) Journal

          ISPs/telecoms in the high-speed internet business, for the most part, have regional monopoly or duopolies in the US. I also believe a lot of their intrastructure was promoted in some way by government tax benefits or funding.

          A lot of businesses won't build [infrastructure] unless they get some government tax benefits or funding.

          Example: I don't recall the last time I heard about a stadium or convention center getting built without [city] putting up taxpayer dollars or passing a law to give them a tax break.

          I only use those two because they're the easiest for most people to google since the process usually receives endless local news coverage. Factories are also waaaay up on the tax break & subsidy food chain.

        • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Saturday February 13, 2010 @10:01PM (#31131718) Homepage Journal

          "They don't own the backbones"

          Have you been paying attention to how much dark fiber Google owns? They're probably BUILDING THEIR OWN BACKBONES. I most certainly would if I bought up that vast amount of unlit fiber.

          • Predicting that they might get into the backbone business is not the same as it being real. And so what if Google bought dark fiber to power their own intranet between data centers to save money in the long term? Maybe they're using some of that fiber for this foray into the last mile business. Does it really matter? It's not like they're trying to purchase Level3 or Akamai et al.

            They'd need trillions of dollars and the support of multiple government regulation systems to globally usurp the internet. It's n

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by StormReaver (59959)

            Have you been paying attention to how much dark fiber Google owns? They're probably BUILDING THEIR OWN BACKBONES. I most certainly would if I bought up that vast amount of unlit fiber.

            Good. I hope Google gets moving on this, as phone and cable companies have been overcharging and underserving us for decades. I would much rather have a GoogleNet than the current Verizon/AT&TNet. If Google outcompetes the Telecoms, that's great. I hope they bury AT&T and Verizon, the greedy pieces of shit. I hope my state promises Google a zero-percent tax liability for ten years in exchange for an early place on Google's high speed Internet backbone. Google certainly can't be any worse than

      • by Anonymous Coward

        We will just continue to call it Google, like we do now... The internet you speak of hasn't existed for a while now.

        But seriously, City taxes on profits and capital equipment? Those would have to exist before they could be written off. And how exactly is Google's offering to put in gigabit fiber to the home using your tax dollars to fund capital expenditures for corporations?

      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @09:47PM (#31131640) Journal

        When "free market" (not that it's actually free... but hey, at least there's "competition") has failed repeatedly for decades, a competent monopoly with a proven track record is more than welcome.

        • When "free market" (not that it's actually free... but hey, at least there's "competition") has failed repeatedly for decades, a competent monopoly with a proven track record is more than welcome.

          Complaining that the free market has "failed repeatedly for decades" is like standing on an office building and bitching it's not a skyscraper.

          Looked around recently? The internet is doing pretty well.

          • It makes a little more sense when you consider that the owners of the not-so-tall office buildings have been marketing it as if they were the tallest buildings in the world.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JustNilt (984644)

        And guess what comes next? A reverse-competitive bidding process, whereby various cities write off their taxes on both the profits and the capital equipment, waive requirements like community access programs, and more- just to get google to give them fiber-to-the-home, something that has no proven public benefit. Which is idiotic- I don't want my tax dollars used to fund capital expenditures for corporations!

        Anyone else a little more than slightly freaked out by this move? Google now encompasses search, email, instant messaging, calendaring, social networking, blogging (both content production and reading), cellular and telephone services, online payment, and now actual last-mile services? What's left?

        Why does it feel like in 10 years we'll be calling it The Gnet, not the Internet?

        *hands a tinfoil hat to SuperBanana*

        That's called diversification and is a sound business strategy. I think Google's just doing good business by having a finger in lots of pies.

        As an IT consultant for many small businesses in Seattle, I can say a service like this is sorely needed. There is simply too little choice at far too high a price right now. This is the third pipe we've needed for quite some time in order to break the back of the current broadband oligarchy. This is clearly in the public interes

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nikker (749551)
        You worry about Google taking your data when with current regulations all ISP's take your info just the same without any more benefit to you. Google has proven one thing, information is valuable, you think all the ISP's with privacy laws being as they are wouldn't sell some logs for cash? We have passed the point where privacy is anticipated and that is the fault of the public but at least with google you know it's going to happen, then again they have the same thing but better service. It is up to every
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by slimjim8094 (941042)

        What the hell are you talking about?

        FTTH has an immense public benefit. With competitive fiber infrastructure, you don't need to rip up the streets for a hundred years, and anything anybody wants to provide over it, they can. Compared to the closed-off coax, and slightly less closed-off copper telephone wire, this is an immense improvement. Or do you not see the benefit in crazy fast, reasonably priced data? Half of what people do in their homes is data, from internet to phone to TV. It's all the same stuff

      • The US as a whole; when it comes to internet access, is a 2nd or even 3rd world country. The stranglehold of AT&T and the like, has stunted the infrastructure development, both for tethered Internet access, as well as for mobile telecommunications (there are a lot of things broken in the US mobile phone policies and networks). For once, you have the opportunity to leapfrog over your Internet dark ages - I say don't waste it.

      • by joshamania (32599)

        I certainly wouldn't want to pay any money at all to turn my city into the Florence of the digital renaissance. Keep those Da Vinci and Michelangelo types out of my community! I don't want any new tech startups coming to my city either because they can get crazy fast internet access for way cheap.

        I don't want rich people moving to my town just for the internet access. Tell those folks to spend their money somewhere else.

        I don't want the current industry base to stay here, so don't bring the Giganet here

      • what comes next? A reverse-competitive bidding process, whereby various cities write off their taxes on both the profits and the capital equipment, waive requirements like community access programs, and more- just to get google to give them fiber-to-the-home, something that has no proven public benefit. Which is idiotic- I don't want my tax dollars used to fund capital expenditures for corporations!

        Oh come on, what's the worst that could happen? You act like the corporations are going to take the governmen

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nine-times (778537)

      Seriously, though, who wouldn't want Google to roll out fiber in their city? Even if they already have Verizon FIOS, why wouldn't you want competition?

      I'm in NYC and can't get decent Internet to save my life. There don't seem to be many places in the country where the Internet doesn't stink, and Google's talking about 1Gbps? Of course they're going to get a lot of applications.

  • After Comcast, (Score:2, Interesting)

    by perlhacker14 (1056902)
    After the overpriced and only moderately reliable service from them, I can only hope that this will be better, if it is implemented. The speeds sound nice, at least.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hurricane78 (562437)

      Wait for Comcast to sue Google just as they sued the cities, just because they intended to build their own net. (For what? Deprivation from their monopoly? I don’t know.)

      They will sue Google at least long enough, to stall things, until they got something ready and bribed their way into the city taking their offer instead.

      Man, I hope I’m wrong. It hurts my heart to see a fellow geek without at least 10 Mb/s downstream. :/

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Khyber (864651)

        "Wait for Comcast to sue Google"

        Ha! Hahahahahahaha!

        Google would bury Comcast with their entire team of Ph.D lawyers, whereas Comcast's vast majority barely have their Master's.

        Thanks for the laugh!

        • by hedwards (940851)
          Um, unless I'm missing something to be a lawyer you generally have to have a JD. That's JD as in Juris Doctor, and it's something that you generally need to practice law. There are a few exceptions like here in WA where you can do something akin to apprenticing as a path to being a fully fledged attorney.
        • You did not get it. It’s not about burying etc. It’s about it taking time. It does not matter if Google would win the lawsuit in the end. Because by then the whole deal would already be closed.

      • by soundguy (415780)

        Comcast: "You can't roll out fiber in our market. we'll sue you"

        Google: "That's an awfully nice page rank you have there on search terms like broadband. Be a shame if something were to happen to it. A real shame. Do we understand each other? Great. Big Pauley will be around later with some paperwork for youse to sign. Have a nice day."

  • by andytrevino (943397) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:05PM (#31130730) Homepage

    Google, I too am interested in your fiber trial. Please consider my house in Wisconsin for fiber service.

    Love,

    Andy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Madison, WI also announced a few days ago that they wanted to jump onto a trial as well. Given the density, the tech love around the area, and the fact that there is already a small Google office in town, I think there's a decent chance.

    http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt_and_politics/city_hall/article_05071f04-1819-11df-bbef-001cc4c002e0.html

    • but WTF for?

      why is there an office there? is it for-- i dunno, to be closer to the source on cheese futures?

  • Burlington, Vermont (Score:3, Informative)

    by mysqlrocks (783488) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:18PM (#31130834) Homepage Journal
    Several citizens from Burlington, Vermont have contacted Google about this for our city. Someone on the City Council has asked the mayor to approach Google, as well. We actually already have a municipal fiber-optic network, Burlington Telecom. However, they are currently experiencing financial troubles and the City is considering bringing in an outside investor or partner. Google, if you want to come here we've already got the fiber in the ground. Let's talk ;)
    • by vermontmcintyre (1744920) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @08:39PM (#31131272)
      I am on the Burlington Telecom Advisory Committee and we have been discussing this amongst ourselves as well. The timing on this is advantageous and important because of the issues Bradley mentioned above. The city in general is focused on this issue, so Google has an excellent chance to make a powerful and positive impact by its mere presence here in Burlington.
    • I think Google's purpose is to roll out fiber to NEW locations that have none. Not dump money into a money losing situation so it can rubber-stamp it's name onto an existing project that should be able to take care of itself if managed correctly. Just my two cents though. Oh, and I'm from Las Vegas so I have a good feeling fiber won't be coming near this city annnnytime soon so no self-serving interest here. Hell I'm just happy Cox can keep my connection up half the time! DSL is a fat no way (100ft too far
  • Oh yes, you'll be seeing Duluth, MN in that list. Minnesota nice is even nicer with fiber-to-home. Does anyone know anything about the specifications of the proposed service?
  • 1) Diverse community
    2) Major bio-tech center
    and most important:
    3) Make D.C. jealous

  • If Seattle or Baltimore wins, I'd think about it. Seems like whoever wins will get a giant influx of nerds.

    • by Grimbleton (1034446) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:58PM (#31131064)

      What, not Pittsburgh?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by symbolset (646467)
      Seattle is committing hundreds of miles of in-place fiber, and access to hundreds of thousands of utility poles. If they reach out to the community for contributions of resources and subscription commitments they may not need Google to pull this off. And Seattle has a world-class Peering point [wikipedia.org] shared by All these people [seattleix.net].
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Hadlock (143607)

        Seattle already has 400 optic fibers between every municipal court, police station, sub station, jail and holding area. It's a pretty substantial network, and all the leg work has already been done to get it across I-5 (that's the major hurdle). Go google "Jerry Hedstrom" in the mid 1990s Network World archives. Seattle probably has more dark fiber strung across (under) highways than any other city in the nation.

        • by hedwards (940851)
          Seattle's been adding quite a bit more lately in the downtown core as there isn't enough available dark fiber to keep up with demand. It's quite possible that there's a lot of it strung elsewhere that's not in use, but at least in downtown Seattle there isn't really any that isn't in use at the moment.
        • by soundguy (415780)

          The floating bridges have a bunch running thru them connecting Seattle and the Eastside. I pulled it thru the westbound I-90 floater myself back in the early 90s when I was contracting for GTE. The bridge infrastructure had multiple 4" conduits built in.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday February 13, 2010 @07:42PM (#31130958) Homepage Journal

    Key word there is HOME, not business, not municipality. I also offer to be a trial at my home. FreeNet would just scream.

  • Municipal fiber? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Does this count as municipal fiber, the kind that ISPs love to filibuster with absurd lawsuits?

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      They seem to like to filibuster small rollouts where a community could connect to *any* larger provider eg rail, power, another telco, and bypass the local monopoly/cartel.
      Efforts like that could spread to other tech minded cash strapped US communities.
      Google peers with the big corps and is NSA backed, so saying no to google is harder.
      Would Google be a brand on the bill using local backhaul?
      Or factory fresh optical door to door roll out that cuts out the local cash stream.
  • How does do you say "f*ck you Micro$oft" if you're Seattle's mayor?

    "Google! Please help!"

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      It would be a "fuck you" if Microsoft was offering ISP services.

      As it is, I'm sure that most Microsoft employees in Seattle area would actually be quite happy with an affordable 100Mbps fiber connection to their homes, Google or not. From company's perspective, too, that would mean improved ability for employees to work from home (which isn't a rare occasion).

    • How does do you say "f*ck you Micro$oft" if you're Seattle's mayor?

      I think Mayor McGinn is fine with this only as long as Google doesn't try to dig any tunnels.

      (Waiting for all the non-Seattleites to mod me to oblivion...)

    • Well if Microsoft is pissed then they should move back from "Nevada" where "They make and sell their software" and start paying taxes.

      It's a common misconception that Microsoft is a Washington based company. I know all of the employees, offices and work being done in Seattle would seem to imply that they're based in Seattle but in reality they're a P.O. Box in Nevada.

    • by dlgeek (1065796)
      Well, since Microsoft moved to a city outside of Seattle (Redmond) after Seattle wouldn't offer them enough tax breaks, I'd guess it'd be pretty easy.
  • This reminded me of a phonecall i had with a customer when i worked at an company which was isp and network operator. The guy was furious. He had moved to a newly built house and he didn't have a physical phoneline, only optic fibre. I was speechless for few second because I just couldn't comprehend this man's anger. All i could say was: "But... but you have fibre." The situation makes me laugh now. Anyway it turned out that there was no service for that net on his location. When the day comes that I have
    • When we bought a cabin in the mountains of Telemark (in Norway) 4 years ago, the local (very small: total population is the community is just 2500) power company by default gave us fiber along with the electric power cable:

      http://telefiber.no/ [telefiber.no]

      3 years later I had two competitors both offering fiber to my home in Oslo, currently I'm paying about $80/month (strong NOK/weak dollar) for 30/30 Mbit at home:

      http://www.vikenfiber.no/ [vikenfiber.no]

      Over those 4 years we've had one network outage at the cabin, lasting a day or two,

  • Hopefully this will be similar to the wireless spectrum auction. It will just kick a few of the cheap and lazy isp's in to overdrive. Google spends a 100 million, and we get a billion worth of fiber out of fear that Google will beat them to the market. Hopefully.

    • by ae1294 (1547521)

      billion worth of fiber out of fear that Google will beat them to the market

      Yes but the problem is it will all be connected to the net via an old 486sx box running redhat 5 and ipchains unless google offers service in the area. Translation - 'speeds up to 1Gbps'. Translation of Translation - '1.5Mb/256Kb' 99.99999% of the time.

    • by dbcad7 (771464)
      There are already billions being spent every year on new fiber. The job of making it available everywhere (or even a good chunk of everywhere) is a big one... years, maybe even a decade, away. Even places that have it, don't seem to compete well against good old DSL.. I wonder how many here even know the areas near them that have it.
  • On expressing interest to my elected representatives. "We already have internet in this state. We don't need any more."
  • I want Google to come to Australia and Engineer , Configure and Commission our NBN ( National Broadband Network )- there should be at least 40 billion AUD left in the kitty.

    right now all that is happening is our luddite communications minister is handing out 500K a year non-tech jobs to his equally luddite mates.
  • What a joke this whole announcement was. Google is proclaiming that they can just dive right in and do it better than the incumbent players. 1Gbps to every house? What then, 10Gbps to every block and a $100k juniper T Series router to every neighborhood?? You still run in to aggregation bottlenecks. There is no way to make this profitable. This is just a ploy to manipulate the FCC into forcing the hand of the telco and cable companies who actually are trying to run a profitable business.
    • Re:Publicity Stunt (Score:4, Informative)

      by hedwards (940851) on Sunday February 14, 2010 @01:32AM (#31132676)
      The reason they can do it is that the people currently doing it are doing a terrible job. The point of this is that it's good for Google to have people wired with fast connections. They're in the business of selling ad space and other internet services which improve greatly with higher bandwidth connections. There's also the corporate benevolence angle which tends to help as they try to keep growing as large as possible. A positive corporate image can do wonders for keeping people from demanding anti-trust investigations and such.

      If they do a halfway decent job in one city it should scare the regional monopoly players enough that they start upgrading and lowering prices to try and keep Google off their turf.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Daengbo (523424)

      Except that telcos routinely get money from municipalities for "modernization." The telcos then complain about increased costs while milking the customers for as much money as can be gotten away with.

      Maybe Google is trying to "force the hand" of monopolies so that the customer doesn't have to suffer.

  • Did the miss the section of the site that says Google is looking for communities between 50,000 and 500,000 people? I'm pretty sure Pittsburgh and Seattle might be a bit larger than that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by billy8988 (1049032)

      Pittsburgh's population is only around 300k. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh).

    • Seattle is about 600k. The greater Seattle area is a lot more but we're just talking about city residents.

      Also the recently elected Seattle Mayor made a campaign promise of pushing for a municipal fiber network. So Seattle could offer to negotiate some sort of deal which shares the costs with Google if they expand their scope. If hypothetically everything went perfectly and Google hit its maximum goal exclusively inside of Seattle then the city could follow up and fill out the last 100k for much less.

      R

    • City of Pittsburgh is around 300k people and falling, mostly because of urban sprawl and sububanization. There are over 2 million people in the greater Pittsburgh area.

  • What about Washington DC?

    We're a medium-sized city with a moderate residential population density, and have *no* good broadband options. Verizon doesn't plan to have FiOS working here until 2018 (seriously), and Comcast's service somehow manages to be a tiny bit worse than it is in the rest of the country. Thanks to our low-ish density, we also won't mind if you have to dig up the streets, especially since most of them need to be paved anyway. We've also got a very nice subway and rail network along whic

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