What does the full Google Fiber + TV experience cost?

While Google Fiber is not coming to the Columbus area anytime soon, it’s definitely out there in several other metro areas, growing rapidly and offering low-cost high-speed services to small businesses and homes.

But what does it cost? Well, some of the suburbs of Atlanta, including Decatur, are getting the expanded Google Fiber service, and the published rates might make you cry. For example, here’s the most expensive package you can buy:

Google Fiber 1000 + TV = $130/mo

  • Up to 1,000 Mbps upload and download speeds
  • Download an HD movie in 40 seconds
  • 220+ TV channels, HD included
  • Record up to 8 shows at once
  • No data caps
  • No rental fees for your Wi-Fi router and first TV Box with HD DVR

I don’t know about you, but I pay $90/mo for a 50/5 Mbps download/upload service (although those speeds are rarely seen) with zero TV features and unofficial data caps that will trigger a bad response from my carrier if I trip over them too many times.

Based on Google’s published prices, I could get double the download and 20X the upload speed for about half what I’m paying today. Yikes. Someone is making a lot of money, but isn’t building out the services my community wants or needs.

Broadband links 2016-07-04

Happy Independence Day! Here are some recent news story on broadband developments around the country. In the list are communities declaring independence (you saw that coming, right?) from slow, poorly-supported, and inadequate broadband.

Rural broadband development in Massachussetts and Minnesota

Last week the PBS NewsHour broadcast a 10-minute story on the struggles of rural and small-town Internet users trying to get reasonable broadband services in their region. The problem is familiar even to suburban residents here in Dublin, Ohio — carriers look down their noses at developing high-speed broadband services in areas when the projected profits are not high enough to please Wall Street investors (who invariably prefer obscene profits over the comfortable profits of utility operators).

The solution? Develop local and regional broadband services that serve multiple towns and counties and do it without carrier ownership (though carriers do connect these players to the broader Internet upstream). Examples cited include much of western Massachussetts and a farm-focused organization based in rural Minnesota.

While Dublin isn’t exactly rural (anymore), the broadband situation described sounds very familiar: lack of competition, insufficient speed, and inadequate infrastructure investment by the big carriers whenever they sense less-than-stellar profits. Broadband solutions are not flowing from Wall Street, so community investment — in limited partnership with carriers — appears to be the only way to ensure economic growth through resident retention, improved education, increased property values, and more.

Ammon, Idaho can show Dublin how it’s done

As Dublin thinks about how it can build and/or encourage a next-generation small business and residential broadband service, we should consider what’s been happening in a small town out west, as reported in the attached 20-minute video.

Ammon, Idaho has built out a municipal broadband platform the carriers refused to build, claiming it was unprofitable. Instead, the city built their own fiber network initially for safety, security, and other community services, but then expanded, bringing businesses and carriers to the table once the fiber build-out was mostly in place.

Financially, technically, and culturally it made a huge difference. In fact, Ammon is now growing faster than their neighboring city, which lacks fiber broadband. And fiscal conservatives (which are the vast majority of voters in rural western towns like Ammon) have supported the moves for economic growth reasons and because carriers can still participate in providing services to business and residential customers.

In fact, carriers now have faster access to customers at lower cost and compete on services and price. As noted in the video piece, having the city build out broadband for carrier access is similar to having the city build out roads for use by FedEx, UPS, and other package carriers.

Be sure to watch the video. What if this were Dublin? What if DubLink were just the beginning and the next wave is to follow the Ammon model? What if customers could switch carriers at any time? What if high speeds were based on municipal fiber? What if broadband access and performance were no longer an issue for any home in the City?

For additional information:

Broadband links 2016-06-26

news-icon-2Here are the latest broadband-related stories from around the web, with a little contextual commentary. Links are posted regularly to our Twitter account (@DublinBroadband) if you’d like a real-time feed.

Broadband News 2016-05-12

Periodically we’ll share top news stories on broadband Internet topics from around the Internet. Have a story to recommend? Share it in the comments, tweet it to us, or contact us.

Internet outages and early termination fees: Frontier customers get shafted // ARS TECHNICA
Florida’s Attorney General has issued formal requests for concessions from Frontier Communications for customers across the state following tremendous problems after Frontier took over big parts of Verizon’s copper and fiber infrastructure. The AG is seeking refunds and major service repairs at all levels of technical and customer service.

fccConsumer groups press FCC on privacy regulations covering broadband Internet // POLIMEDIA
A coalition of a dozen consumer advocacy and privacy groups are demanding congressional and regulatory action to protect consumers against the asymmetric power broadband providers have over consumer privacy (or lack thereof). The formal letter included: “Consumers can choose to subscribe to a website or online service, but if they are to remain connected to jobs, health care, education, and the global economy, consumers have no choice but to use a [broadband] service. If consumers cannot trust their broadband provider to protect their content and personal information, the result could be an erosion of consumer privacy and chilling of online speech.”

Cable lobby group: Broadband competition is bad for customers // ARS TECHNICA
A lobbying group paid by smaller cable carriers is pressing the FCC for relief from recent demands for a more competitive broadband landscape. The new competition requirements were aimed at Charter and were included in the conditions for the Charter / Time Warner Cable merger approval. Basically, Charter is required to build services in some areas already served by competing broadband carriers, thereby generating more competition for customers by forcibly opening up some markets. The smaller carriers are most upset by these requirements because, as stated by one of the Republican commissioners at the FCC: “[U]nless Charter chooses to exclusively overbuild areas served by Comcast, which I find highly unlikely, Charter’s increased broadband market share will come at the expense of smaller competitors.”

google-fiberGoogle Fiber is just getting warmed up // BGR
In this case BGR summarized a much larger feature report by re/code (Google Fiber is the most audacious part of the whole Alphabet) in which it’s revealed that the Google Fiber division of Alphabet has some big wireless Internet plans coming, mostly because they’ve run into such big problems deploying fiber. Fiber has lots of regulatory, political, and physical costs and makes deployment very slow. So Google is experimenting with new wireless technologies, including some 28GHz frequency systems. Those frequencies are far higher than typical 4G / LTE systems, so their range is much more limited, but their throughput can be much higher. Google’s strategy, according to BGR: “Google’s core services rely on people having fast, reliable service. It rightly sees that incumbent ISPs have for years failed to do that and is taking matters into its own hands.”

starryThis guy has an idea to deliver cheap, super-fast internet to your home // TECH INSIDER / BUSINESS INSIDER
One of the key concepts of the next wave of broadband deployment is that wireless may be a faster/better way to reach more customers, boost competition, and reduce costs of mass deployment. In this case, it’s a millimeter wave wireless technology being developed by a startup company called Starry. It requires new gear in the home (that has to sit outside the walls of your home), but they hope to “…offer two tiers of speeds for customers, with the entry-level plan delivering about 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download speeds. The top-tier plan could deliver speeds up to a gigabit per second.” But don’t get excited yet — the signals may require line-of-sight and may only reach perhaps 200 meters from the source tower. Real-world testing starts this summer in Boston.

Consumer Internet carriers scored poorly in 2014. And again in 2015.

Ouch. Things haven’t gotten much better for Internet carriers in the customer satisfaction department. After a horrible 2014 survey showing, 2015 wasn’t much better (PDF) and there may be no relief in sight as Charter just got approval to gobble up Time Warner Cable.

TechRepublic has the survey news here:

New report shows most people still hate their broadband provider, opens door for new disruptors

Presuming the City of Dublin follows through on recent proposals (which we fully expect), a survey specifically for Dublin residents may be coming soon, some of which will involve resident satisfaction, and we hope you’ll help us provide input when the time comes.