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Google Invite Hints Fiber Project Expanding To Austin 72

Posted by timothy
from the beat-the-heat-stay-indoors-with-fiber dept.
New submitter paulbsch writes "With its technology-centric culture, the Silicon Hills of Austin, TX could have been the perfect city for the first iteration of Google Fiber. Austinites will just have to settle with being only the second city to get the ultra high speed service." Right now, this is well-founded supposition, rather than confirmed fact, based on an invitation from Google to a joint event this Tuesday which promises an announcement which will "have a positive impact on Austinites and the future of the city." Another possibility, as PC Magazine points out, is that Google will announce a new Austin office.
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Google Invite Hints Fiber Project Expanding To Austin

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  • by rossdee (243626) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @08:38AM (#43377851)

    So Google are inviting hints now?
    Or is it a hints fiber project?

    Can we have headlines we can understand please

  • I think Google may announce that the weed on 6th street is exceptional, but the cover charges at the bars are ridiculous.
  • $70/mo for TV ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by acidfast7 (551610)
    you guys get ripped off in the states. even the 300USD fee or "free" internet is kinda pricey. in frankfurt, i pay €30/mo for 50/1 service and 30 720p channels. the 50/1 service is only €19/mo with telephone for free. those prices also contain the 20% sales tax.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by devforhire (2658537)

      You can get comparable prices in the US for similar service (except we can't seem to break 25megs down.) They are just not advertised and you need to specifically ask and work with a customer service person to get your bill down that low. The problem in the US is the public, not the businesses. Most people are content to pay the huge prices to the telecom companies because they generally do not know any better or different. Many people in the US also have been duped into think they "need" more than 30 T

      • by acidfast7 (551610)
        actually, the biggest problem in the US is utility monopolies. See mobile phone service providers, internet service providers, energy service providers, water service providers, garbage collection providers, TV service providers, etc ...
        • by TheLink (130905)

          actually, the biggest problem in the US is utility monopolies.

          I disagree. The problem with utilities is poor regulation. But biggest problem is most people not knowing what the real problems are (so the politicians will never get pressured to fix them- and instead give the voters what the voters believe is more important).

          It'll just be more expensive to have 4 different water service providers pulling their own pipes to the same area. There are some things that conventional capitalism and free markets don't do better. You don't really need that much innovation to prov

      • Sports costs are the big driver of prices also big packs of channels as well where you have to have shit like MTV to get comedy central.

        Google fiber does not even have HBO or MAX.

        • by acidfast7 (551610)
          like I said, it's a monopoly. personally, i skip all TV expect the very basic package (€17/mo with 25 channels including international news) and just download TV shows as seasons so I can bypass the commercials. in some countries I've lived in, they show the block of adverts with a clock in the bottom corner so I know how I have to take a leak while the block of commercials is playing ... that was quite nice.
        • by repetty (260322)

          Google fiber does not even have HBO or MAX.

          This is SO FUCKING PERFECT!!!

          --Richard
          (a non-HBO/non-MAX-watching geek in Austin)

      • by kqs (1038910) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @10:16AM (#43378299)

        So you are saying that:
              * cheap plans exist
              * companies hide the existence of these plans
              * people don't know about these plans and have no way to find out about these plans, and for some reason don't ask for these plans

        And from this you decide that the people are the problem, not the companies? Sure, that makes perfect sense. In related news, it's my younger brother's fault that he keeps hitting himself.

        • by acidfast7 (551610)
          technically, you guys keep voting pro-corporate officials who won't reform corporate law into office, which does kinda make it a problem of the people.
        • Yes, you are responsible for doing the research on what you buy. If you do not like that, move back in with mom and dad.

          tl/dr; version

          The company behavior is ultimately driven by the people. If the company can make more profit selling $300 plans with more than people need vs. a simple $40 plan with just what you need they generally will and must. The fact that they just hide these plans (legally) is immaterial as they are not hard to find (I asked how to get barebone service and they told me.) You are

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Who has allowed companies to behave this way? Voters, yes, but even more so, buyers.

    • What kind of subsidies does the provider receive? That should probably be priced in.
      • by acidfast7 (551610)
        none ... it's a international company and the difference is due to open market competition. last time I checked, I had 19 options for prepaid SIM cards, which keeps the market quite competitively priced. i'm still shocked that some people tout what T-mobile offers as a prepaid SIM (technically it may be true, but holy crap are the terms awful.) i just picked up a dual SIM phone (Nokia 206) though and i'll pick up a prepaid t-mobile SIM next time I'm in the states just to have a US number for my idiotic fri
    • By the time I'm done with taxes, fees, and the price hike after 3 months it's $95. I guess I can pay $50/mo for over the air if I want.
    • by ttucker (2884057)

      you guys get ripped off in the states. even the 300USD fee or "free" internet is kinda pricey. in frankfurt, i pay €30/mo for 50/1 service and 30 720p channels. the 50/1 service is only €19/mo with telephone for free. those prices also contain the 20% sales tax.

      The 50mbps down sounds interesting, but 1mbps up is total crap for such a large downlink.

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Saturday April 06, 2013 @09:15AM (#43377997)

    After years enduring the tender mercies of AT&T and Time Warner Cable, broadband consumers in Austin are feeling reamed. I expect competition will result in improved offerings and lower prices from the existing duopoly, as it has wherever municipal or other alternatives are available.

    I recently investigated upgrading my speed and just getting basic pricing information is difficult (AT&T) to impossible (Time Warner). So how much will it cost after the promotional period? "We can't tell you that, sir." Are you fucking kidding me?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Time Warner has been in "whatever the market will bear" mode on pricing. You MUST call in and threaten to switch in order to get a better rate, or else they just keep raising prices. It will take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours of waiting on hold, but it can be done.

      • by trampel (464001)

        Exactly.

        Our neighborhood terminated a negotiated deal with TWC last year, and people calling TWC for a quote received different offers. I head two different prices for the same package on subsequent calls.

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)
        Exactly, anyone who doesn't negotiate a price with Time Warner is a sap. I've got a friend who was paying $50/month more than me for LESS service before I clued him in on the fact that you can (and should) negotiate with them. And, yes, they will put up a fight. At first they'll try to deny they have any deals available, then they'll try to give you the shitty ones that keep you paying the same and just toss in some minor extras, then (usually somewhere around the 20-30 minute mark), they'll actually start
    • by Necroman (61604)

      It is good to point out the Austin has Grande Communications, which actually has pretty good service for the price. The problem is they have limited coverage.

      • by repetty (260322)

        It is good to point out the Austin has Grande Communications, which actually has pretty good service for the price. The problem is they have limited coverage.

        Grande coverage is so limited that no one I know has it -- not a single person. Maybe someone in Round Rock gets Grande but I know only a couple people out there and they use TW.

        No, effectively Austin has just two large ISPs providing service and controlling the market: TimeWarner and ATT. They both pretty much suck.

        • Until google fiber hits my area of the Kansas city metro area (this includes the suburb city's like Lenexa, overland park, and Olathe). It's either at&t(which i have) or Comcast(which i dropped because they kept dropping my connection every 5 minutes between 6am and 11pm.) I am in the same boat. But it could be worse. There are area's of the country where your choice is one of the following. at&t, comcast, twc, or verizon dsl.

    • My neighborhood HOA in Round Rock has the TWC signs out in the front and still keeps saying (not in any place that is written down) that it's illegal to have satellite dishes on your roof, Of course I do, and I dare them to make me take it down.

      None the less, there is no way to get good internet. It's suck with AT&T or suck with TWC. Hoping that Google fiber in "Austin" includes Round Rock somehow.

  • Will they have CSN Houston? that few systems have? due to the Astros playing hardball over pre sub pricing.

  • I live in Austin, and about a year ago I switched from AT&T DSL to TWC with a decent promo rate of (with taxes & modem lease) $56.66/month for 30 Mbps down / 5 Mbps up. I was expecting the promo rate to expire and my bill to increase by $25, but the other day, TWC sent me a nice letter stating that they are extending my promo rate for 3 months. That really surprised me. No negotiations or threats to switch or bitching. Maybe they heard that Google Fiber is coming to town, and are trying to take prev
    • by Bengie (1121981)
      You should have seen Charter drop prices from $75/m to $30/m within 3 days of another ISP announcing fiber. Too bad the naked 30Mb was only for new customers and for me to get the deal, I would have to bundle in a ton of extra channels and phone and a 2 year contract with a $300 cancellation fee.
      • by repetty (260322)

        You should have seen Charter drop prices from $75/m to $30/m within 3 days of another ISP announcing fiber. Too bad the naked 30Mb was only for new customers and for me to get the deal, I would have to bundle in a ton of extra channels and phone and a 2 year contract with a $300 cancellation fee.

        Wonderful story, and EXACTLY why I avoid long-term contracts with all of the energy that I can muster. Long-term contracts are great for service providers but very bad for customers, regardless of the "discounts" that they are promising you get. Once you are in a contract, you are their bitch.

        I want my service providers (not just ISPs but providers of all stripes) to wake up every morning, wondering what they will to do to keep my business -- I want to be a new, potential customer every day.

        --Richard

    • by hedwards (940851)

      With 30/5 service available, I'm not sure why Google is even bothering. Around here the best we can get is 7m/896k service and I'd gladly pay for something faster but that's the best that Centurylink can do. And that's just under double what was available 13 years ago when I got my first broadband service.

  • While some are rightly pointing out that residential service in Austin is actually pretty quick by US standards (max speeds of 50/5 for ~$115 per month) the real benefactors of this will be business clients. Time Warner Cable charges out the nose and any other orifice they can find if you are not at a residential address. 7/0.768 is priced at $100 per month with a dynamic IP with a 1 year contract!

    Also many are accusing Time Warner of not playing nice when it comes to peering and network neutrality, so th

    • by jdogalt (961241)

      the real benefactors of this will be business clients. Time Warner Cable charges out the nose and any other orifice they can find if you are not at a residential address ... Also many are accusing Time Warner of not playing nice when it comes to peering and network neutrality

      Note well that GoogleFiber also is well entrenched into the EVIL "business class" service tactics. Never mind that users at home VPN-ing into work, or trading their visual attention (aimed at google ads) for advanced computing services (gmail, ghangouts, et al) are clearly engaged in "business". I tend to believe that Google Fiber's current published FAQ that has business clients "contact us for details", instead of transparently publishing consistent data rates and prices, is in clear violation of the tr

  • I have gone from Texas.net dial up, to Grande Enterprise class fiber, and been an early adopter the entire way. I certainly hope to get this for my business on Guadalupe, or my home in Allandale near 2222 and Shoal Creek. My sister can get Grande South of 2222 a 5 minute slow walk from my house. 7 years later they have not jumped 2222. South of 2222 you can get it Central, and I currently have Grande at my business Game Republik at 40th and Guadalupe in Hyde Park. I can also get Uverse there, but not at

    • by bored (40072)

      My sister can get Grande South of 2222 a 5 minute slow walk from my house. 7 years later they have not jumped 2222

      Cause its part of the franchise agreements with the city. There isn't a single place in town where you can choose between TW or Grande, its one or the other. Basically, TW is in all the locations that were considered desirable and high penetration 25 years ago. Grande has the scraps TW didn't want.

  • First Verizon fiber, now Google? What's so damn special about Texas that is gets first launches of fiber networks?
  • I wonder how this will eventually change the topology of the net. Is Google implementing a new Tier-1 network down the center of the US?

    Pure speculation, as I have zero idea what their backend in these cities look like. But I'm hoping by tossing it out, I'll have either confirmation or a fast assessment that it isn't likely.

    • They started buying it up in 2005 or before, when all the long distance telecoms were going belly up and they could get it for pennies on the dollar of the installation cost. They have also been buying Peering points [time.com]. This is not just in the US, but globally. In 2010 they were rumored to have more network than all but two global ISPs [theregister.co.uk], and there is reason to believe that estimate was way low.

      The point of these purchases was to get out ahead of a deep pocket competitor (guess who) who might try and lock t

      • Now that this is a fairly old Slashdot post, I'll toss in a quick thank you for the information.

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