Google Fiber is coming to Austin, according to leaked press release, reports The Verge. Neither Google nor the City of Austin have announced the news.
Instead, Gig.U, which is described as a coalition of univeristies promoting the expansion of next-generation broadband technologies, released word of the Fiber expansion in a press release that was obtained by Engadget before being pulled down.
Today, Google announced it will add Austin, Texas to the Google Fiber project, joining Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri as American communities that have the power to bring next generation networks home. Gig.U, a coalition of three-dozen research university communities working together to support educational and economic development by accelerating the deployment of next generation networks.
Google and the City of Austin are expected to announce tomorrow, April 9, that Google Fiber will be coming to Austin, although both parties declined to provide details on what will be announced.
VentureBeat says the announcement could involve expanding Google’s gigabit broadband Fiber to Austin, or the city could announce plans for a new Austin-based Google campus, or even some partnership to involve the city with a new Google service.
Google Fiber launched in the Kansas City area back in July. Currently, Kansas City is the only Google Fiber location, but Google chairman Eric Schmidt has previously stated that this is not a side project for the company — implying that Google Fiber could launch elsewhere in the future.
Google is offering three different packages in Kansas City:
- The Gigabit and Fiber TV service will cost $120 a month and will include 1Gbps connectivity on the upstream as well as downstream. There is no data cap. It also comes with 1 terabyte of Google Drive cloud storage. You’ll also get a brand new Nexus 7 tablet that you can use as your remote control.
- Broadband, internet-only. It will cost $70 a month and offer 1Gbps downloads and uploads. It will also provide the 1 terabyte of data storage, as well as a network box for offering the service.
- Free Internet. It is geared toward the 25 percent of the Kansas City area people who may not have broadband. It will be offered for a limited time for those who pay for the $300 fiber installation and and will include 5 Gbps download speeds and 1 Gpbs upload speeds for seven years.
Google has brought competition to the comfortable cable/phone duopoly of AT&T and Comcast. Xfinity Blast!, Comcast’s cable modem service, will now get download speeds of up to 50 Mbps (formerly 25 Mbps), and Extreme 50 customers will now receive speeds of up to 105 Mbps (formerly 50 Mbps). Blast! is $58.95/month multi-product or $72.95/month standalone. Extreme is $99.95/mo multi-product or $114.95/month standalone.
Time Warner Cable, the second-biggest cable company, offers a top rate of 50 megabits for $99.95.
Bernstein Research estimated that Google has spent around $87 million so far on fiber deployment, and that it could cost $11 billion to deploy 1 Gbps service to another 20 million homes. Some $38 million will go into Kansas City, Kan., and $46 million into Kansas City, Mo., with the cost per home respectively at $674 and $500.
Connecting those homes is another matter. A broadband-only service will cost Google $464; those taking double-play of broadband and pay-TV services will cost Google $794 to connect, says TechCrunch.
But, with the need for mobile carriers to supply broadband to thousands of small cells in cities across the nation, cities may be in the catbird seat. States are also installing fiber.
The Massachusetts Broadband Institute provides underserved businesses, schools and municipalities with affordable broadband. Last week, Governor Deval Patrick lit the first section of a new 1,200-mile fiber-optic network that will bring high-speed Internet access to underserved areas of western and central Massachusetts. It’s the first segment of a new 1,200 mile MassBroadband 123 network bringing broadband to 51 out of 120 community institutions from Springfield to Sandisfield, Mass.
New York is testing a way to lay more fiber, partnering with Verizon, to use a technique called micro trenching, which digs narrow, shallow channels between sidewalks and street curbs. Verizon says the technique, typically used in suburban and rural areas, holds promise as a way to expand broadband capacity in urban areas.
The 12-month pilot, based on an agreement between Verizon and the city’s Department of Transportation and Department of IT, is intended to test the feasibility of micro trenching fiber cable throughout the city.
New York’s CityNet experienced interruptions in service, despite a system of redundant fiber optic rings. The $95 million CitiServ project has confounded agency officials, with DoITT struggling to migrate old systems into the new data center.
Outgoing FCC Chairman Julius Genachoski issued a “Gigabit City Challenge,” last month, calling for all 50 states to have at least one community with gigabit internet by 2015.
The FCC cited research from the Fiber to the Home Council, noting that there are currently only 42 communities across 14 states being served by ultra-high-speed fiber Internet providers. In the coming months the FTTH Council will be launching a series of initiatives aimed at helping all communities get ultra high speed broadband.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced that the City of Seattle has reached an agreement with broadband developer Gigabit Squared to develop and operate a fiber network for Seattle with speeds up to 1 Gbps.
The network, called Gigabit Seattle includes three pieces: Fiber directly to homes and business in twelve demonstration neighborhoods, along with dedicated gigabit broadband wireless connections to multifamily housing and offices across Seattle, and next generation wireless cloud services in its 12 neighborhoods.
Chicago was the first recipient of the Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program where the University of Chicago, communities like Woodlawn, state, city and county government, as well as hospitals and schools combined with the private equity to fund the Gigabit Squared project.
Chicago is trying to encourage private investment in completing a high-speed fiber ring that would link existing and emerging tech centers and provide free WiFi in parks.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has estimated it would cost $5 billion to $10 billion just to wire the nation’s “anchor institutions” with fiber-optic cable. Bringing fiber to every US home would cost in excess of $100 billion. According to a Goldman Sachs analyst, the cost of nationwide fiber-to-the-home is $140 billion.
Fiber cost Verizon about $4,000 per home to connect, before it halted FiOS buildout. Fiber to the Home generally costs consumers over $100 per month, with penetrations around 20%.
Of course the cheapest route to broadband is wireless.
The wireless spectrum with the longest range and penetration is the 600 MHz band, with over 120 MHz now becoming available. That UHF spectrum is currently controlled by television group owners – who use it without paying one dime to the US Treasury. The FCC is required to raise money to pay off the $25 billion FirstNet first responder LTE network.
If 40 MHz of the 120 MHz were available for unlicensed use – and dedicated to both communities and citizens – perhaps $100 billion could be saved. With 40 Mhz, cities should be able to deliver 150 Mbps or more on each sector, covering 10 square miles.
Portland says it is shovel ready for FTTP having completed a business case and feasibility study as well as a Staff White Paper that summarizes why Portland is ideal for FTTP a couple of years ago.
Portland, with 137 sq miles, calculated that bringing fiber to the home to everyone would cost $470 million. But some 15 wireless 600 MHz towers (even at $200K each), totals $3 million. Add another $2 million for fiber backbone and management.
That’s 1/100th the cost of fiber.
I don’t know about you, but I could live with ubiquitous 10 Mbps wireless for $19.95/month. Fiber is expensive. Wireless is cheap.
Congress should do the math.
Related Fiber Optic articles on Dailywireless include; Seattle’s Gigabit Fiber CityNet, Chicago Announces Free WiFi in Parks, Google Fiber Launches in Kansas City, Google: Fiber to the Home?, Small Cells for Cisco, Sprint to use Light Radio for Small Cells, Street light Provides Wi-Fi, Cell Coverage, Hotspot 2.0, RUS Awards $1.2B for Broadband, City Fiber Strategies, US Broadband Sub Count, Hawaii Plans Broadband Initiative, Unlicensed Muni Broadband: Take Two?, Ten Largest Data Centers, The Fiber Utility, 1 Gbps Fiber Comes Home,