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How Google Fiber Could Do Some National Good, Or At Least Scare the Carriers 163

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-off-your-duffs-and-invest-in-awesome-internet dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Within hours of Google announcing that Austin, Texas would be the next lucky recipient of its Google Fiber initiative, AT&T released a statement indicating that it was willing to build a high-speed broadband network in the city, too. 'AT&T announced that in conjunction with its previously announced Project VIP expansion of broadband access, it is prepared to build an advanced fiber optic infrastructure in Austin, Texas, capable of delivering speeds up to 1 gigabit per second,' read the statement. But there's a not-so-slight catch: AT&T wants whatever conditions Google received from the city of Austin. Google itself has provided precious little guidance about its future plans. 'We are still in the very early stages of it,' Google CEO Larry Page told media and analysts during the company's Jan. 22 earnings call, according to a transcript. 'Obviously, we are going to a small number of people and so, but we are excited about the possibilities.' But if Google Fiber keeps expanding, it could compel AT&T and other infrastructure providers to boost their broadband service and offer it on more reasonable terms — nothing like some competition to make things a little better for the collective customer base. In that sense, even if Google Fiber doesn't expand into a national program (and imagine the costs of that), its existence will still do some larger good."
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How Google Fiber Could Do Some National Good, Or At Least Scare the Carriers

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  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:27PM (#43416961)
    AT&T's statement sounds like they are setting up a law suit to prevent Google from supplying what they have so far refused to supply. I can see their lawyers saying "We did not get the EXACT same deal, so it's unfair and must be stopped. Our client can't go forward with investments until the matter is settled." Once it's "settled" there is no reason to invest.
    • AT&T as the example but all CableCo's have their own massively nice 'deals'. I.e. Monopoly over the area of service.

      And with that massive incentive to build and provide service...they haven't. Funny how places are jumping at the chance to be given actual service.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AlphaWolf_HK (692722)

        One thing to keep in mind though is that so far, Google is going wherever the regulatory hurdles are the smallest and cheapest. That means it is possible that if we lowered these burdens, we could see better broadband deployments.

        Verizon apparently stopped expanding mainly because the local regulations were too burdensome to make it profitable, so they changed their focus to other ventures.

        • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:59PM (#43417249)
          Actually Verizon stopped expanding because they made a deal with ComCast to not encroach on each others territory.

          Google "Verizon Comcast mutual deal" for a plethora of links about it. Just as many of those links show people were worried it would mean less incentive for them to increase their service areas...guess what happened?
          • by DewDude (537374)
            Are you sure you're not talking about the wireless deal? That was between Verizon Wireless and Comcast; along with other cable companies. My understanding of that situation was that in exchange for the wireless spectrum; basically prevents Verizon Wireless from only offering Fios in the oh-so-coveted "Homerun" packages. This went down because some cable companies decided they wanted the homerun packages so badly; they were going to start their own wireless carriers. The problem is; they know nothing about t
        • > That means it is possible that if we lowered these burdens, we could see better broadband deployments.

          Fine, but let's not forget the biggest and most important regulatory hurdle of all -- the ability for a new company to come in and build new infrastructure along public right-of-way. Deregulating a de-facto monopoly or duopoly is how you end up with neo-feudalism.

          In this case, the role of government (local) is simple -- lay fiber from end users to a few locations where any third party can purchase rack

          • by evilRhino (638506)
            This would be a smart thing to do, but the companies that own the existing hegemony have very successfully blocked local communities from laying down fiber through lobbying.
            • Exactly, and that was the point that's important... more often than not, the companies lobbying the hardest for deregulation are the same ones fighting the hardest to excuse themselves from any mandates to provide any level of service, while simultaneously fighting to make sure that nobody *else* can provide the service/infrastructure they don't want to provide, either.

              In a purely rational universe, AT&T's dream should BE for municipalities to shoulder the capital cost of laying fiber everywhere, so the

    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @07:39PM (#43417521) Journal

      Not like this is the first time that's ever happened [freeutopia.org]...

      Truth is, the carriers/cablecos go out of their flippin' way to sue if there's even the faintest glimmer of competition, from nearly every source.

      Personally, I'd vote in (as officeholder-for-life) the first politician who put in a law requiring at least two competitors for each type of ISP access (2 cable, 2 DSL, 2 fiber, 2 wireless, 2 whatever-they-think-up-next), with no monopolies.

      • by davros74 (194914)

        Yeah, because that really worked out well for the cellular companies.

        You need to turn the clock back about 30 years. The way you get corporations with natural monopolies to act in the best interest of the public rather than themselves is through REGULATION.

        Yeah, yeah, socialism, blah blah. But natural capitalism does NOT work in these kinds of markets that require massive infrastructure with high barriers and costs of entry for new businesses. Free market does not work here. Companies have no incentive to

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by patchmaster (463431)

          The free market works fine. The problem is you don't have a free market. There are three or more levels of government with multiple agencies, each with their own agenda, all creating barriers to entry (i.e. regulations). If it was just a matter of paying for right of way and building the infrastructure you'd see loads of competition. Admittedly, the cost of entry is high with systems like land lines, cell phones, and wired internet, but you would see it happening a lot more without all the regulations and c

          • by evilRhino (638506)
            For telcos there aren't low barriers to entry, easy ability to switch providers, or perfect information. Without these, there can be no free-market. If wireless were completely deregulated, there would be no more industry because each company needs the FCC to prevent competitors from jamming their frequencies.
        • Yeah, because that really worked out well for the cellular companies. You need to turn the cock back about 30 years.

          Hmm, cell phones went from suitcase sized devices in the trunk that cost $3 / minute to a fully capable computer in your pocket with unlimited everything for $35 / month. You say that's the result of deregulation?

          Stop and ponder that for a minute. You might have just taught yourself something.

          • by hjf (703092)

            "unlimited everything" is not true, and the service is NOT available everywhere except "most cities and towns" (there are plenty of spots with no coverage even in freeways), and in a lot of cities you get a lot of dropped calls since, well, "for most people, it works. so the problem is not us, it's you".

          • by Gizzmonic (412910)

            Check out the cell phone prices and broadband infrastructure in those Eurosocialist countries compared to the US. You may teach YOURSELF something.

      • by bryan1945 (301828)

        I don't think you mean "require," but rather "allow." Unless the government is going to pay for a company to lay down cable/fiber, how do you make a 2nd company put it in if it doesn't want to?

  • AT&Ts model (Score:5, Funny)

    by spagthorpe (111133) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:28PM (#43416963)

    1Gbps speed for the first 2GB, then $10 per GB after. Or maybe they'll just throttle you down to 6Mbps for the rest of the month.

    • Just remember, speeds UP TO 1Gbps. So anything above 0bps would technically fit the bill in AT&Ts book
    • by Imagix (695350)
      What's bad about this statement is that it makes it sound like 6Mbps is horrible..... 56kbps on the other hand....
      • by kesuki (321456)

        56kbps was half way decent when i last used it. i wanted faster but with hardware compression of headers and full content text would send at 114kbps and computers then were mainly shipping text. with online drm and online updates and streaming media though things have changed. to stream you need a bit more bandwith but 6Mbps is fine really you only need 3Mbps to stream standard definition. hdtv takes more but giving one individual user 1gbps is a nightmare if they get struck with a virus that is 0day.

      • I had 6Mbps back East. It was pretty usable, but if you're paying for 1Gbps it's an insult.

        I pay for and get 60Mbps now, but it's data capped, so I'm allowed just under 15 hours of that speed a month (720 hours in a month). Every other option in my area is also data capped, but slower. This whole system is fucking bullshit.

    • by tc2k11 (2024600)
      hahahah. I'm in Australia with Telstra fibre. 100Mbit down / 5Mbit up with 100GB cap (counted both directions). Go over that cap? get shaped to 128kbits. yep. it feels like the internet stopped.
      • Iceland here...

        100 Mb/s down 100 Mb/s up 240 GB cap, get over that, same cap, yep internet stops :P

        HOWEVER they do not cap or count domestic traffic, so domestic proxies are a godsend!

        This is during a high usage time: http://speedtest.net/result/2502948610.png [speedtest.net] though i do max 100 Mb/s on torrent all the time, up and down :P

  • by iggymanz (596061) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:28PM (#43416965)

    we already paid AT&T and other telcos for national broadband back the 90s; they don't deserve nor do they get the same deal google does. they need to provide what we paid them to do (the thieves used the money to buy up competitors)

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @07:05PM (#43417291)

      we already paid AT&T and other telcos for national broadband back the 90s; they don't deserve nor do they get the same deal google does. they need to provide what we paid them to do (the thieves used the money to buy up competitors)

      The problem is not laying down fiber or building infrastructure: The problem is that nobody else can because of contractual agreements. And who's fault is this? Not the federal government. In fact, not even the state government. The primary malfactor here is municipalities. Take away their ability to ink exclusive contracts, and this whole issue would dry up in a few years. There's agreements still in force from the 90s saying they'd deliver "broadband internet" of 1mbit/s as long as they have exclusive rights to lay cable and stuff for 20 years.

      Even in cases where the agreements aren't exclusive (larger cities, mostly, who have more negotiating power), there is still so much red tape, and so many different layers of bureauacracy to get through before any actual work can be done, that companies smaller than Google have no hope of ever breaking into the market. This is an artificially-created monopoly created not by the telecos, but by municipalities.

      You want broadband internet? Crush city hall and hand control over to the state or federal government. Take these small-time politicians out of the mix.

      • Do you honestly believe that the state and the feds are any less corrupt? After all, they all got ahead through machine politics on the local level, eventually taking the show on the road. You can't win any other way. The telcos would prefer one stop shopping in DC, and in truth Washington is protecting their national monopolies. I mean, who owns the backbone? How many tier 1 providers are there?

      • by Lendrick (314723) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @08:09PM (#43417725) Homepage Journal

        Absent some meaningful campaign finance reform, I don't expect state and federal politicians to stand up to the telcos any more than local ones do -- in fact, I'd honestly expect less. When municipalities try to set up their own (cheaper, faster, self-funded) broadband networks, the telcos go to the state government and try to get them shut down, because apparently the fact that they aren't trying to make a profit gives them a big advantage against for profit companies, which, interestingly, is the precise opposite of the usual argument given in favor of free market capitalism.

        That being said, if Google manages to push this out into the news and people start exerting sufficient pressure on their state lawmakers, it's possible that something positive might come of it. It's amazing how much flooding congressional offices with calls and letters and accomplish.

      • by stonewolf (234392)

        I live just out side of Austin (groan... there goes my property value...) and I've been watching this mess for a long time. Austin started to build a network like this one back in the '90s. Then the telcos used their pet politicos to get a law pass in Texas that makes it illegal for a City to build its own network. That was the end of high speed Internet hopes for cities in Texas. Then, AT&T. Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast got pissed off because the cities were requiring them to build out what passed

        • by DoctorBit (891714)
          When I read your column, I remembered this post from Robert X Cringely back in 2001 where he solved a similar problem:

          http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2001/pulpit_20010628_000421.html [pbs.org]

          Not sure if this would help, but it's certainly an idea!
          • by kermidge (2221646)

            That's a good read, and thanks to your memory. Love me some good ol' boy engineering.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            Holy mother of fuck, he overspent.

            I buy wireless routers with external antenna connectors at yard sales and flea markets. I have two WRT54GS units, of different versions, total cost $20. And you can get yagis on eBay for $20 each.

            Even if you buy everything new, you should pay a LOT less than what Cringely did, just by buying shit that makes sense. Airport? How about a Linksys running Tomato?

      • by ewhac (5844) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @08:52PM (#43418041) Homepage Journal

        The problem is not laying down fiber or building infrastructure: The problem is that nobody else can because of contractual agreements. [ ... ]

        Well, yes, that's part of it, but there are other hurdles as well.

        For example, one of the reasons Kansas City got picked is that the municipality owns the poles. More precisely, as I recall, KCK owns all their poles, and KCMO owns many (most?) of the poles, with the rest owned by AT&T.

        Another "problem" is local environmental regulations. I put "problem" in quotes because avoiding unnecessary environmental damage is a laudable goal. However, accomplishing this goal is usually a huge pain in the butt -- EIS reports take months to compile, and then can be challenged by essentially anyone for any reason. Where and how are you going to trench? Are there any legacy pollutants in the dirt? How will you handle that? What happens if you discover a culturally significant site while digging (e.g. Native American burial ground)? Will you need to disturb the protected osprey nest sitting on the seventh pole along the 400 block of Horton Street? What kind of fiber bundle are you pulling? Will it leach toxic materials in the heat/rain/snow? How much noise to you intend to make while doing this? Will the city have to re-route traffic around downtown while you're trenching?

        So, yeah, it can be a huge pain in the neck even without factoring in whiny incumbent competitors.

        • Several years ago, just this very thing was used to shut down a fledgling ferry-boat service among the Hawaiian islands, so the parent is definitely not kidding. Google "Hawaii Superferry".
      • Tell me more.
        Indiana already did this, removed the ability for local cities & counties to regulate these matters.
        Internet progress has not improved.

        Your opinion is in conflict with the facts.

    • by tooyoung (853621)
      Even if they provide equal or better, they've lost me. When you have absolute control and abuse your customers, why would they even entertain sticking with you when the playing field becomes level? You've already proven your customer service at that point.
    • by stonewolf (234392)

      Yep, I was working for SBC (now known as AT&T) during the time you are talking about. SBC used the money to buy AT&T after buying everything else they could find that was worth buying, and that was cheap enough to buy.

    • by malbosher (795323)
      that"s heresy one must not speak false of our corporate elders. good point, but i'm sure some corporate sycophant will try to rationalize your point..
    • by boristdog (133725)

      Exactly. ATT & others have proven they don't care.

      Telcos got BILLIONS from the federal government to improve rural broadband in the 90's and 00's. I live 20 miles outside Austin city limits. I STILL only get dial-up from the telcos, I can't even get shitty ISDN. I have to use a radio wireless service (run by a small business 30 miles in a small town in the other direction) to get even 1mbps internet service.

      In short, fuck the telcos, fuck Time Warner, who won't run a cable down our road even with hu

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:28PM (#43416969)

    What Google is doing is ruining the profit margins for AT&T by introducing a little something called "competition". This is, in many ways, a bad thing.

    Show some respect for your elders and stop rocking the boat, Google. Know your place and stay there.

    • by stonewolf (234392)

      Ruining it? You must be joking.... Or, merely naive? Forcing AT&T to increase performance while decreasing price might, must might, reduce their profit margin from nearly infinite to something you can compute with long double precision. Remember AT&T used to make over 1200% profit on caller-id. And that was computed using the special accounting rules that only AT&T and the baby bells get to use.

    • It should be interesting. Google's profit margins are 2 to 4 times as high as AT&T's, and the companies are comparable in size. If Google's higher margins are due to superior efficiency rather than being in a different market, a price war means AT&T's demise.
      • Google doesn't actually have much infrastructure out there and it's been able to cherry pick where to start building out (ie expect a high rate of return from the beginning.)

        I'm not saying Google can't undercut AT&T in the long term, but it's going to take a very long time, and the figures will start looking worse if Google tries to build out into the suburbs.

  • The city of Austin already stated that Google got no special considerations or incentives to offer the service. I hope everyone leaves AT&T and Time Warner in droves. Unfortunately the installation extends only to the city limits, I live just outside. Would snap it up in a flash.
    • Same here. The development i live in is across the street from the city limits. The only thing available here is Time Warner cable, but it's been pretty good and i get 45meg down and 5 meg upload.
  • "Equal Terms" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Qzukk (229616) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:35PM (#43417043) Journal

    City: "Ok, no franchise contract anymore"
    AT&T: "Umm, ok, maybe not so equal terms."

    • Re:"Equal Terms" (Score:4, Informative)

      by QuantumRiff (120817) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:59PM (#43417251)

      In my state, they "supported" a lot of legislators, and franchising of telecom is now handled by the state. Less candidates to "support" that way, I guess.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      City: "Ok, no franchise contract anymore"

      We need this on a national level.
      The patchwork of local regulations and subsidies has not worked out for the USA.
      Even in a big city, you might end up in a building with only 1 choice for tv &/or internet.

      And if we can't get the private companies to compete, we should lay the infrastructure ourselves.
      Leave it under the control of a federally chartered corporation and lease access without preferential treatment.

  • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:38PM (#43417069) Journal

    Since most people can't move to where Google Fiber is being deployed they have to wait for it to come to their current location. This might not ever happen. So the ISPs in that area only have to react IF Google announces a move into their market. They don't have to do anything before because they have an absolutely trapped and captive customer base. People can't shop around for ISPs because that would involve changing residence, and few people have the means to relocate on such a whim as internet speeds.

    So unless Google announces a country wide deployment, and means it, the ISPs are just going to keep sitting on their hands, claiming customers don't want faster speeds [bgr.com], or that it would simply cost too much to deliver it to them.

    • most people can't move to where Google Fiber is being deployed

      It appears sglewis100 disagrees with this premise [slashdot.org]. I'd like to see some arguments either way about choosing where to live based on availability of telecommunications service. For example, It might be easier for people who are already looking for a job to make this a consideration when deciding where to apply.

      • I'd like to see some arguments either way about choosing where to live based on availability of telecommunications service.

        You won't get an argument, not here anyway. Everyone here checks to see what their internet options are before they move. The problem is, we can't all just up and start a new life a thousand miles away where Google has fiber. Or FIOS, etc. We're anchored to our jobs, our families, our friends. So our options are geographically limited to about a hundred miles in any direction from where we live now. If it's outside that bubble (and for many, it's smaller), it can't be considered because of more important th

    • *IF* google built a fiber network in one of the nicer Chicago suburbs, I'd move as fast as I could. I wouldn't even sell my current house, I'd just find a nice house in the suburb and put an offer down the same week.

    • It takes a giant, ancient company like AT&T 5-10 years to make big strategic decisions, hiring consulting firms to analyze this and that, then another five years to actually build out fiber in a big city. So they have to decide this year to start getting off their asses if they don't want Google to potentially slaughter them several years from now.
  • by roystgnr (4015) <.roystgnr. .at. .ticam.utexas.edu.> on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @06:52PM (#43417197) Homepage

    Seriously, what else could *possibly* motivate AT&T to announce "Austin" rather than one of the hundred other similar markets they could be moving into? Are they looking forward to making half as much revenue as they would if they entered a city with no gigabit competition? Are they proud that they'll be increasing the maximum speed available to Austinites by 0% rather than increasing the maximum speed available in another city by 9900%?

    Of course not. They're showing Google, "moving in on our turf won't be profitable, because we'll try to undercut you every time you make a move, so you might as well give up and leave us with our oligopoly."

    It'll be fascinating to see what Google's response (both in terms of words and actions) will be. Does "don't be evil" include "don't concede to evil"?

    • by BBTaeKwonDo (1540945) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @07:35PM (#43417501)
      Came here to say the same thing. I'll add that AT&T is probably planning to use dumping [wikipedia.org], one of the classic anti-competitive behaviors.

      In classic dumping, the incumbent (AT&T) offers the service at price calculated to drive the competition out of business. Given Google's $60 billion in current accounts (as of GOOG's last 10-K), I don't think this plan will work. If Google were structured normally and started losing money, the shareholders would start pressuring management to pull the plug on the broadband ventures. However, given GOOG's two-class ownership structure, shareholder pressure is minimized. So Larry Page can keep this up just as long as he pleases (as long as GOOG continues to make money in its other ventures).
      • by ultracompetent (2852717) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @08:14PM (#43417779) Homepage
        I don't think Google cares if AT&T undercuts them. They are not doing this to become a profitable ISP, they are doing this to shake up the last mile provider so that they can upgrade internet services to their customers and market new google products and better gather data for their ultimate customers; advertisers. If Google fiber takes off and goes national, Google wins. If Google wakes up the ISPs and forces them to compete with better broadband nationally. Google wins and will shut down fiber .. That's the end game .. faster internet, better google service. Doesn't matter who delivers it....
        • by MrDoh! (71235)
          I was thinking this too, but the amount of demand for Google Fiber here, shows it can be a very nice revenue source in it's own right. When I hear 'they just want a pipe to deliver ads' I re-read their announcements and look at what they're delivering and see all their existing free products offered faster, and new tv services as being obvious to everything else they offer.

          Where I think every other telco will have a huge problem isn't just the speeds offered, but the back end infrastructure. If you were

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      Frankly given a choice between a Google network and an AT&T network at the same exact speed and I'd take Google so fast those fuckers at AT&T's heads would spin. I can't think of a more universally hated company than AT&T except maybe Monsanto. Almost no one uses AT&T by choice. They've been loathed by their customers for decades, long before the internet or cell networks. There was a skit by Lily Tomlin on SNL one night that summed it up, she called them "the phone company." They've b

      • by jezwel (2451108)

        I can't think of a more universally hated company than AT&T except maybe Monsanto.

        Ha! You must've missed that Electronic Arts was named the most hated company in America for the second year in a row. Both AT&T and Monsanto were included in that poll, though I cannot find the graphic right now that gave us the showdown.

        As an Australian, I'm just hoping that enough people vote for the political party at our federal election that is currently deploying fiber to the home for 93% of our premises . One highly regulated provider wholesaling to any number of retailers using a new ubiquito

    • by mcvos (645701)

      It'll be fascinating to see what Google's response (both in terms of words and actions) will be. Does "don't be evil" include "don't concede to evil"?

      For Google, I get the impression that it does. They have a tendency not to back down, even if backing down seems more profitable in the short run. Google looks at the long term.

      I bet Google doesn't even care much about the profitability of their fiber. They just want more people to use the internet more. That increases the advertising pie that's still Google's main source of revenue.

      And that's really the core of Google's business model: while everybody else is fighting over pieces of same the pie, Google ju

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I live in one of the older neighborhoods in north-central austin, and I cannot even get reliable DSL from AT&T at home. Some of the newer neighborhoods in west and northwest austin do have the choice of AT&T uverse, but not mine, even though the AT&T fiber runs down the railroad easement at the end of my street. I have exactly 1 choice - Time Warner, and while the performance of my TWC service is very good when traffic stays within the TWC austin network, the downlink bandwidth going to the in

  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @07:04PM (#43417275) Journal
    I'll care more about what AT&T wants and needs when they manage to make an Internet connection that stays on steadily for more than six hours at a time. Around here, both AT&T and Charter are notorious for cutting off when the wind gets too stiff.
  • According to the city of Austin the only "deal" google got was priority permit handling. So yeah, man up AT&T.

  • Reality vs Fantasy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @08:27PM (#43417871)
    I suspect that the vast majority of the carriers are only vaguely nervous about this, in that they have deluded themselves with pat on the back surveys that somehow manage to show that their customers have few complaints and are generally either loyal or not motivated to switch. The reality is that you would be hard pressed to find an area in North America that wouldn't leap onto a service like Google fiber if their local rates remained as they are.

    No doubt there are a few in the cable/telco industry who are quaking in their boots not just because they realize the clear and present danger to their profits but that they know their own companies are bloated and that where a new upstart will be lean and profitable at much lower prices the old companies will have to cut to the bone to remain profitable.

    My guess is that the big old companies are thinking that google can't be everywhere that quickly and that places like Kansas are just quirky experiments that Google will abandon. They might even have done calculations that show that what Google is doing is impossible.

    A great example of this would be when Germany was allowing the free market to compete for long distance. The incumbent telco basically swore that long distance would go from the present $1 per minute to at least $2 or more per minute. Within 18 months it was down to around $0.05 per minute. I am not sure that the incumbent was actually lying; really wrong but from his position sitting on his old school business model was just so distorted that he lived in a whole other universe.

    If Google Fiber comes to my town I am all over that in a second.
    • by ewhac (5844)

      A great example of this would be when Germany was allowing the free market to compete for long distance. The incumbent telco basically swore that long distance would go from the present $1 per minute to at least $2 or more per minute. Within 18 months it was down to around $0.05 per minute.

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the incumbent telco in Germany used to be government itself (through the post office)?

  • by Hamsterdan (815291) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @08:36PM (#43417927)

    But the ISPs are. They have no incentive to offer speed or unlimited usage. More and more people are cutting the cord for TV and phone lines. Bring me a nice fast and unlimited (or higher than the ridiculous 60GB limit in Montreal), and I'll manage with OTA and online streaming. I just to live long enough to see *real* competition in Canada

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      I don't have a problem with paying for usage. I just wonder why they charge so fucking much per gigabyte. Is 1000% profit really necessary?

    • Well, here in the USA Things like AT&T's "U-Verse" do benefit directly from better infrastructure, it's essentially IP-TV. Additionally, Google may not produce much content, but they do own Youtube... I dropped $2 to rent 'The Matrix' via Youtube to test it out. Seemed pretty good. About the same as Netflix.

      The problem is that it's getting cheaper to deliver the data, and yet the prices are going up. Why? Because it's cheaper to oversell existing bandwidth than to build out infrastructure and

    • by JigJag (2046772)

      not sure if Montreal qualifies, but check out Teksavvy [teksavvy.com]. Minimum offer is 300 GB limit, can upgrade to unlimited.

  • We start to see the mythical benefits of "deregulation". With real competition, a real free market, consumers win. Too many industries that claim they are operating in a free market are really extracting maximum profits from a "fixed" free market.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Wednesday April 10, 2013 @10:28PM (#43418689)

    The most likely outcome is that AT&T, Comcast etc will take some of their money (including potentially money they were given by the government supposedly to build high-speed broadband) and use it to lobby federal, state and local governments to get Google stopped.

    • I wish give me a huge payout to lobby them with. Hell, I'll even give 99% of it back as campaign contributions. Fuck, I don't even have a political agenda or demands!

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