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After Years Waiting For Google Fiber, KC Residents Get Cancellation Emails (arstechnica.com) 64

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Some Kansas City residents who have been waiting years for Google Fiber to install service at their homes recently received e-mails canceling their installations, with no word on whether they'll ever get Internet service from the company. KSHB 41 Action News in Kansas City, Missouri, "spoke to several people, living in different parts of the metro, all who have recently received cancellation e-mails," the station reported last week. "The e-mails do not provide a specific reason for the cancellations. Instead they say the company was 'unable to build our network to connect your home or business at this time.'" While Google Fiber refuses to say how many installations have been canceled, KSHB said, "there is speculation the number of cancellations in the metro is as high as 2,700." "The company says it has slowed down in some areas to experiment with new techniques," such as wireless technology, the report also said. Google Fiber is still hooking up fiber for some new customers in parts of the Kansas City area. One resident who had his installation canceled is Larry Meurer, who was seeing multiple Google Fiber trucks in his neighborhood nearly two years ago, in the spring of 2015. "I'm left wondering what's going on," he told KSHB after getting the cancellation e-mail. Meurer lives in Olathe, Kansas, one of the largest cities in the Kansas City metro area. Residents only five houses away and around the corner have Google Fiber service, the report said. But Meurer said he and several neighbors who never got service were "terminated."
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After Years Waiting For Google Fiber, KC Residents Get Cancellation Emails

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  • by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @08:18PM (#54078615)

    why spend billions of $$$ to run wires when you can use someone else's network to sell your stuff?

  • Austin too (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 20, 2017 @08:32PM (#54078677)

    Not just residents of KC that were sold a pig in a poke by Google. Look at a map of the Austin roll out, after many years very little coverage. Weak sauce.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Google is too embarrassed to put a map anywhere on their Austin Fiber site [google.com]. I dare someone to find one. Sure you can plug in your address BUT find that map I embedded below hosted by googleusercontent . . .

      This was extracted from the Interactive Map on [googleusercontent.com] myStatesman.com [mystatesman.com]

      To put in perspective, zoom out twice on the '-' button and switch to Satellite view, drag image until Southpark Meadows is bottommost and see just how LITTLE coverage of the Austin metropolitan area is provided by Google Fiber. Nothing North o

    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      I moved from far NW Austin (near 183/620) back to NE San Antonio. I will likely get Google fiber not much later, and ATT fiber sooner than I would have in Austin.
  • Likely what is happening is the number of people signing up is lower that Google finnancial analyst would like or is in within acceptable targets, so they are investing in other areas. As time goes by and the inevitable desire for quality broadband increases (bluntly old luddites die of and are replaced by internet aware millenials, just one example), so they will increase investment in areas which will shift from low take up to high take up. When you a are wiring a whole country, that means, whole regions

    • Re:Low Takeup (Score:5, Interesting)

      by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @08:51PM (#54078783)
      That's a Comcast or Verizon tactic, not a Google tactic. Google is *NOT* wiring the whole country as you say... Just Kansas City, so their tactics can be different. In fact, that was the whole point of the Google Fiber initiative.
      • Re:Low Takeup (Score:5, Interesting)

        by roninmagus ( 721889 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @08:55PM (#54078827)
        Google Fiber was abandoned just as the FCC made it illegal for ISPs to use the demographics of their subscribers for advertising purposes. This tells you what the purpose of Google Fiber was.
        • however that ruling was just (or soon to be) reversed so... why the cancellation e-mails now?
          • however that ruling was just (or soon to be) reversed so... why the cancellation e-mails now?

            Uncertainty. The rule could easily be later reversed a Google left holding the bag; I'm guessing Google found the cost of building out wasn't worth the investment and so bailed after the initial test. Next step is probably to sell the infrastructure to an incumbent ISP and move on to the next big idea.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by skam240 ( 789197 )

          A also took a dump right when it happened. Since, as you suggest, events with similar timing are linked, how does my shit factor into this?

    • More likely, is that an incumbent carrier is making physical access nearly impossible.

  • I hate to rub it in like a jerk, but I got mine. Two years ago, in Austin, GFBR announced and TW offered 300Mbps/20Mbps service for $65/mo. Then, GFBR took forever to roll it out, so TW raised the price fo $75 and then $95/mo. I downgraded to 200M/20M and bought my own modem to keep the price to $80/mo. Now GFBR is here and I get 1000/1000 for $70/mo. TW keeps sending me offers to come back... sad.
    • Sooner or later Google will get out of the business entirely and sell off their various operations to other ISPs. Odds are good that in your area they will sell out to TW, as the largest ISP in the region.

  • by orlanz ( 882574 ) on Monday March 20, 2017 @09:52PM (#54079091)

    Honestly, it's something we have come to expect of Google. They take a fail cheap fail fast approach to everything. So they try a lot of different stuff but also cancel almost everything. It's a good strategy as far as staying innovative and profitable.

    But from a customer dependability view point Google has earned being at the bottom. You really can't build on top of google services and stick around. Eventually they will shell it and you will lose everything. This culture of theirs also makes it hard for enterprises to take them seriously. We are looking at Chromebooks and there are all these corner cases that Google has just never really thought about. They never built the services with an enterprise mindset. They just don't seem to know what a standard enterprise's needs are. Similarly they don't seem to understand the user's need for dependable and predictable services either.

    • They also don't seem to understand that if you run a streaming service, you need to curate your catalog, and listen when your users report errors. There are countless cases of artists with identical or even just similar names being lumped together, despite being wildly different. I have reported dozens of these cases over the last couple of years, but none of them have been fixed.

      Compare this to Spotify, who generally fix these types of errors within a week or two after receiving an error report.

  • ... is how the other ISP(s) in the area are handling this news, and how those other IPS(s) treat customers outside of this geographic area. Comcast's Latest Speed Upgrades Reach Kansas City, Minneapolis [dslreports.com]
  • Honestly, the purpose of Google Fiber seemed to be all over the map, worse, they only wanted to put it into communities that had little use for that much broadband.

    After turning Detroit down, flatly, even with a considerable market, Dan Gilbert invested in an effort that has brought world-class internet speeds to Detroit. They now provide the backbone for tech startups and established companies coming to Detroit.

    If Google couldn't figure out there was a market in Detroit and move on it, then it becomes obvi

  • by Streetlight ( 1102081 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2017 @12:49AM (#54079761) Journal
    Perhaps Google has discovered the costs of installing fiber to the home and it's a lot more than they first thought. Now Google will find out the cost of operating and maintaining their systems and those that have their service may find the price of continued subscriptions may go up, but I don't know that for sure. In addition, Google has reduced the number of folks involved in fiber operations, supposedly to investigate some kind of RF method for delivery of very high speed Internet and TV. How's that working out? I'm not anxiously waiting to see.
  • Before Google Fiber nobody in this area was offering affordable 100Mbps, much less gigabit. Now there are multiple carriers offering it at near-Google prices. They cracked the market open.

    • The problem is that they only helped broadband adoption in a handful of areas. There are still major urban metros (like Seattle) that still have crummy broadband options.

      We really need more community broadband projects! Let the cities figure out the issue themselves instead of being beholden to Big Cable and Big Telco for access.

    • And yet, still 25 times slower than Korea for five times the price.
  • RTA: "The company says it has slowed down in some areas to experiment with new techniques," such as wireless technology, the report also said
  • Anyone who thinks that a wireless solution can compete with fiber in the long run, is having a pipe dream.
    • by rfengr ( 910026 )
      True that. Any neighborhood with shade trees and non LOS to a tall, central structure and kiss mmWave goodbye.

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