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post #1 of 54 Old 07-26-2012, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Google unveils ultrafast Internet/TV in Kansas City

Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:01pm EDT

By Carey Gillam and Yinka Adegoke

(Reuters) - Google Inc made its foray into the market for bundled Internet and television services on Thursday, promising access speeds more than 100 times faster than those of traditional U.S. cable and telecommunications companies.

The Web search leader unveiled its ultra-high speed Google Fiber service in Kansas City, Missouri, and could start installations in September, executives said. Google hopes to roll out the service to other cities later.

"Access is the next frontier that needs to be opened," Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said. "We're going to do it profitably. That is our plan."

"We are at a crossroad," he added, noting that Internet speeds had leveled out for broadband since around 2000. "We at Google we believe there is no need to wait."

Google Fiber's ultra high-speed connections and television offerings are aimed at surpassing those of current providers, allowing users to search live channels, Netflix, YouTube, recorded shows and tens of thousands of hours of on-demand programming. However, no phone service is available.

"The phone is really a 1940s thing. Why have a landline? It's sitting there, you use it once every two weeks," Pichette said.

Google said it also intends to roll out product packages for businesses, but would not provide details.

Google Fiber includes more than 100 networks and costs $120 a month for a package of TV, 1 gigabyte per second Internet speeds and 1 terabyte of cloud storage.

The package includes popular networks owned by major media companies such as Comcast Corp's NBC Universal, Discovery Communications and Viacom Inc. Premium movie networks are available from Liberty Media's Starz for an extra fee.

But it excludes several major TV names, such as News Corp's Fox cable channels; Time Warner networks like CNN, TNT and TBS, as well as Walt Disney Co cable channels like ESPN and Disney children networks.

Google executives said the company is still in negotiations to add more content.

"They need to be able to offer something that is everything people have now and more," said Ben Schachter, an analyst with Macquarie Research.

"People are going to have high expectations for this. The worst thing they can do is come out and disappoint."

Google is also offering an Internet-only package priced at $70 a month. The download speeds would be around 1 gigabyte a second, according to Google executives.

Google is charging a $300 installation fee, saying consumers should treat it as a "home improvement" cost.

The initial service area includes central Kansas City, Missouri and all of the city of neighboring Kansas City, Kansas.

This market is dominated by Time Warner Cable Inc, which charges $99.95 for its fastest Internet-only service there. Google Fiber would be 20 times faster.

Time Warner spokesman Justin Venech said the second largest U.S. cable operator had a "robust and adaptable network" and welcomed the competition.

FEATURES AND FREEBIE

Google Fiber includes such features as the ability to record eight TV shows at a time and store up to 500 hours of high definition programming. Users can choose to use a tablet or smartphone as a voice-activated remote control.

Google is offering its Nexus 7 tablet with the Google TV app to early users of the service.

Google said it is setting up a 6-week "rally" for consumers to vote on where the first fiber communities, or "fiberhoods," should be installed in the Kansas City area.

Consumers must pay $10 to register their household online for service. About 50 "neighbors" will need to register in order for their area to be eligible for installation services, according to Google executives.

Whether or not consumers will embrace the new offerings remains to be seen. But officials said they are confident Kansas City will be a showcase of success for a larger rollout.

"Google is a very different company," said Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Access. "And this is not a short-term project."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/26/google-fiber-kansas-idUSL2E8IQAGZ20120726

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post #2 of 54 Old 07-26-2012, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Google Fiber launches in Kansas City

Trial includes HD channels, superfast broadband

By Andrew Wallenstein

Google has put Kansas City on a high-fiber digital diet.

The tech titan finally took the wraps off its long-anticipated "experiment" Thursday to offer an entire city a combination of Internet and TV service after installing a 100-mile fiber-optic network capable of broadband speed far faster than what's commonly available in the U.S.

A 1-gigabyte-per-second broadband connection and a tier of 161 TV channels will be available in parts of both Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., for $120 per month; the broadband alone goes for $70. Signing up also comes with a $300 "construction" fee, though that fee is waived for subscribers who ink two-year contracts.

Video service comes with an Android-powered Nexus 7 tablet that serves as a remote control; a set-top box capable of voice-recognition search; a network DVR with 500 hours of storage; VOD titles, and channels accessible across both Android and iOs devices.

Google Fiber will also have HD channels, some of which will be provided by major programming providers who are licensing nets including MTV, Discovery Channel, USA Network, Hallmark Channel, and Starz. However, there are significant omissions including ESPN, HBO, TNT, AMC and Fox News Channel.

The venture all but puts Google in the MSO business albeit on a limited basis. Though Google hasn't talked about its plans beyond for the offering beyond Kansas City, the trial allows the company to get a sense of the technical complexities of video and broadband delivery before committing to a wider rollout.

Google Fiber will find itself competing for subs with local multichannel incumbents Time Warner Cable and AT&T. Google will find itself facing lower-priced rivals with better channel lineups in Kansas City, but the hope is that the combination of superfast speed and slicker gizmos like the tablet and DVR will make it worth the premium to consumers.

The 1-GB broadband speed is roughly 100 times faster than what the average cable modem provides. What's more, Google Fiber will not impose caps on usage even as metered billing becomes more common among Internet service providers across the country.

Kansas City beat out over 1,000 U.S. cities for the rights to Google Fiber, which Google first announced over two years ago.

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118057108

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post #3 of 54 Old 07-26-2012, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus Carr View Post

Google unveils ultrafast Internet/TV in Kansas City
Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:01pm EDT
By Carey Gillam and Yinka Adegoke

Time Warner spokesman Justin Venech said the second largest U.S. cable operator had a "robust and adaptable network" and welcomed the competition.

Ha!

I guess that's why they lobbied so hard in NC to prevent independent municipal fiber competition like Greenlight in Wilson, NC from spreading.


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post #4 of 54 Old 07-26-2012, 04:59 PM
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No content deals with Time Warner, FOX, Disney/ABC, AMC Networks or BBC America.

I know it's still early, but they're going to have to bring all that in to really stand a chance. They have everything else imaginable.
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post #5 of 54 Old 07-26-2012, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

Ha!
I guess that's why they lobbied so hard in NC to prevent independent municipal fiber competition like Greenlight in Wilson, NC from spreading.

Time Warner has less to be scared of than AT&T.

Who in their right mind is going to pay more for U-Verse with less than 1/10 of the bandwidth (not even counting the caps and overages) and a likely inferior HD picture.
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post #6 of 54 Old 07-27-2012, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by oriolesmagic View Post

Time Warner has less to be scared of than AT&T.
Who in their right mind is going to pay more for U-Verse with less than 1/10 of the bandwidth (not even counting the caps and overages) and a likely inferior HD picture.
The same people who watched stretched SD on their HD monitors instead of actual HD, maybe?

Or maybe it's just people who have cable companies that suck, but can't (or don't want) dish service, which would still require a seperate internet service provider. Never underestimate the appeal to most customers for a bundle...


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post #7 of 54 Old 07-28-2012, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Disney/ESPN, Fox, Turner And HBO In Talks On Google Fiber TV

Media Companies Absent from Internet Giant's Initial IPTV Lineup in Kansas City Area

By Todd Spangler -- Multichannel News, 7/27/2012 10:14:33 AM

Google is in discussions with programmers including Disney and ESPN Media Networks, Turner Broadcasting System, News Corp.'s Fox and HBO about carrying their cable networks on the IPTV service it is launching in the Kansas City area, the companies confirmed.

On Thursday, the Internet giant opened up registration for its ultra-fast 1 Gbps broadband service and Google Fiber TV -- which initially will have 161 channels, lacking big networks such as ESPN, Fox News Channel, HBO and Turner's TNT, TBS and CNN.

"Without the full suite of traditional cable channels, it is doubtful Google will be able to attract core TV viewers and get them to switch from traditional cable," Sanford Bernstein senior analyst Craig Moffett wrote in a research note Friday.

Moffett speculated that the absence of key cable TV networks may be "simply a matter of a failure to reach a mutually acceptable affiliate agreement."

Google's Fiber TV service will be priced at $120 per month, bundled with the 1-Gbps fiber-to-the-home Internet service. The TV portion includes a 2-Terabyte DVR to record up to 500 hours of HD programming and a tablet-based interactive program guide, provided on a free Nexus 7 Android-based tablet.

The TV service's channel lineup includes NBCUniversal's USA Network, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and Syfy; Viacom's Comedy Central, Nick, MTV, BET and CMT; Discovery Communications' Discovery, Animal Planet, TLC and OWN; A+E Networks' A&E, Bio and History; Showtime Networks' and Starz Entertainment's premium channels; and Scripps Networks Interactive's Food Network and HGTV.

Also included are MLB, NFL and NHL networks, NBC Sports Network and NBC's Olympics channels, and 3net, the 3DTV network joint venture from Discovery, Sony and IMAX.

Turner, in a statement, said, "We've had several productive conversations with Google regarding the test launch of their fiber network in Kansas City. Consistent with how we approach our business, we continue to explore opportunities with all of our partners on new models and technologies that allow for expanded distribution of our leading brand of networks and content within the Turner portfolio, regardless of screen size or platform."

The Google fiber network -- which the Internet company has described as an "experiment" -- is not currently available. Consumers in Kansas City, Kan., and central Kansas City, Mo., must pay $10 to register their interest in getting the FTTH service; Google said it will initially connect homes only if there is interest among at least 10% of the residents in a neighborhood.

Google Fiber TV includes local broadcast networks. Moffett noted that the signals ABC, NBC and Fox are provided by local affiliates rather than the national broadcast networks themselves, "as per normal retransmission-consent policy."

Comcast's NBCUniversal properties are included in the Google Fiber TV lineup, which Moffett said would be expected given the FCC's NBCU merger conditions that Comcast make NBC programming available to competitors, including online competitors.

http://www.multichannel.com/article/487829-Disney_ESPN_Fox_Turner_And_HBO_In_Talks_On_Google_Fiber_TV.php

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post #8 of 54 Old 07-29-2012, 03:04 AM
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Enjoy !

We need google fiber to expand and offered in more cities like where I live in San Diego CA. ASAP !
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post #9 of 54 Old 07-29-2012, 03:40 AM
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I too would like Google Fiber in America's finest City.

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post #10 of 54 Old 07-31-2012, 02:51 PM
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This (http://fiber.google.com/about/)

HD never looked this good A bigger pipe means less compression. Luckily, Google’s ultra fast Fiber network has more than enough bandwidth to ensure you get HD in all its glory ... with nothing left behind.

Has me wishing it would come to my town ASAP. I wonder if they'll simply pass on the high bitrate MPEG-4 feeds from C/Ku band? That and I'm tired of paying $70/month to Centurylink (formerly QWEST) for a12mbs/896k connection. The upstream speed especially is terribly limiting.
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post #11 of 54 Old 07-31-2012, 04:20 PM
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I third that motion for America's Finest City to get Google Fiber
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And the FOUL!
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post #12 of 54 Old 07-31-2012, 08:15 PM
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I think Google has the potential to have the greatest TV experience. Tons of bandwidth is the only way to do IPTV well, and with 4K coming soon, then having a 1Gb pipe is what is needed. I find it funny that there is so much noise about a great new Apple TV. However, with standard internet speeds (i.e., under 20Mb), what could an Apple TV do that I can't already get with a high-end LCD or Plasma connected to Directv? I don't think very much.
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post #13 of 54 Old 07-31-2012, 11:25 PM
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what could an Apple TV do that I can't already get with a high-end LCD or Plasma connected to Directv? I don't think very much.

You could do wireless mirroring from iPad or laptop directly to Apple TV connected to your screen. You might find that useful or not, I like it a lot. New 10.8 system does that beautifully from my new retina display laptop. It is so easy and works really great. As for the Apple TV alone, you could rent movies, watch Netflix, YouTube or some other channels. And for $ 99.00 for it hardly anything could beat that, particularly if you take in account integration with other devices. Sure you could achieve similar things with some other device, but not with same ease or simplicity.
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post #14 of 54 Old 07-31-2012, 11:29 PM
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I would switch to that internet speed in a heartbeat. As for the cable lineup, what is missing I do not care much anyways.
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post #15 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 07:13 AM
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As just another drone who is forced to suffer with ATT's abysmal "Elite" 6 mbps service (really 3-4) I would jump on this like it was a wheelbarrow full of gold bars. It's still shocking to me that such a huge portion of this country suffers with abominable internet speeds.

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Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #16 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 07:22 AM
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If you're only getting 3-4 mbps with AT&T you need to complain, loudly. You should be getting around 5.4-5.8 if the wiring and distance from CO are good.
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post #17 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 08:17 AM
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^Yeah, been there, done that.

"sir, that's a PEAK figure, the speeds can be (significantly) slower during high usage."

What are "high usage" times? Ask ATT?

I see 3-4 mbps speeds at 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning.

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Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #18 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 08:33 AM
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I would love for that to come to the Orlando, Central florida area ASAP. I kinda fgured they would have rolled it out in California or New York first

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post #19 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 08:47 AM
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Count me in for that here in Minnesota. Kind of refreshing to see a state in the Midwest get a new feature like this first. Hope it spreads fast!
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post #20 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 08:50 AM
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Local TV & radio here in KC gave this a lot of publicity. Unfortunately the suburbs aren't included yet. There are other competitors sprinkled throughout the city but my neighborhood is still under a TimeWarner monopoly--$137.38/month for internet and basic HD cable. They charge $9/month to rent the cable box that delivers their service and another $11 for the harddrive (DVR) inside of it. Digital tier is $8. (What other tier is there?) And I'm paying $5 for a franchise fee. WTF is a franchise fee and why should I pay for it? My industry (finance) is constantly hammered on fee transparency. Where is the regulation for the cable industry?

TW is fat, lazy and overpriced. If Google internet speeds really are that fast and they have the TV channels I want (i.e. TCM, BBC America) I'm all over this. C'mon Google!

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post #21 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

^Yeah, been there, done that.
"sir, that's a PEAK figure, the speeds can be (significantly) slower during high usage."
What are "high usage" times? Ask ATT?
I see 3-4 mbps speeds at 3 in the afternoon or 3 in the morning.
James

How does 700kbps sound? That's all I can get. frown.gif And I guess it's not potentially profitable enough for ATT to install a RT near my neighborhood. I'm guessing you are limited by distance, and they are not honest enough to tell you. If you can get into your router, it will indicate what max speeds it can do on your line. I believe that's how the ATT techs know such things.

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post #22 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

As just another drone who is forced to suffer with ATT's abysmal "Elite" 6 mbps service (really 3-4) I would jump on this like it was a wheelbarrow full of gold bars. It's still shocking to me that such a huge portion of this country suffers with abominable internet speeds.
James

And that is why monopolies are bad.
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post #23 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 11:57 AM
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The article says that Kansas City's fastest internet only service is currently almost $100 bucks a month, so I am guessing that K.C. is a good introductory market because they can come in and offer vastly faster speeds at 30 bucks less per month. This is an obvious no-brainer switch for anyone in that area who is currently signed up for the slower, more expensive TW offering.

Here on the other side of the state (I live in Saint Louis), the situation seems to be a bit different. We have 15Mbps from charter at 20 bucks per month, 30Mbps for 30 bucks a month, and there may be a faster package for a bit more (had a heck of a time trying to search Charter's website). But my point is that although Google speeds would blow Charter speeds completely out of the water, there would be at least a 40 dollar per month premium for the increase in speed. And for most people, 30Mbps is enough. It's certainly enough for streaming the highest quality transfers from Netflix and Vudu. Heck, 15Mbps is enough for that. In short, here in my city, we already have enough speed so that the bottleneck is on the vendor servers, not on our ISP. And we're paying less.

As much as I would love the faster speeds, right now I don't see this being cost competitive in my city except for people with the most bandwidth intensive operations. (although it would be a lot more worth it if Netflix and Vudu started streaming closer to actual Blu-Ray quality audio and video -- Vudu comes the closest with their 1080p transfers but it's still not BRD).

If it were available, I might sign up anyway, just to try it out. I probably would not pay for their TV package, however.

I'm a free OTA guy.

Unfortunately, given the competition from Charter, I don't see Saint Louis being on the Google roll-out list anytime soon.


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post #24 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 01:27 PM
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Hoping this comes to the greater Chicago-land area.
It will good to have another competitor to drive prices into the more affordable range (at least without having to take land-line phones).

For me this could be a good price point for truly high speed service with a modest/useful quantity of programming
(getting a bit tired of these "promotional 3-pack bundles" currently available from Comcast and ATT-UVerse)

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post #25 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 02:28 PM
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You could do wireless mirroring from iPad or laptop directly to Apple TV connected to your screen. You might find that useful or not, I like it a lot. New 10.8 system does that beautifully from my new retina display laptop. It is so easy and works really great. As for the Apple TV alone, you could rent movies, watch Netflix, YouTube or some other channels. And for $ 99.00 for it hardly anything could beat that, particularly if you take in account integration with other devices. Sure you could achieve similar things with some other device, but not with same ease or simplicity.

That may be true, and maybe Apple will even come out with a 4K retina display. The problem though, is bandwidth. Even with airplay, the best iOS software, airplay, etc., if you are stuck with a standard cable connection for internet, you are going to only get one stream of marginal HD quality programming, at best. With Google, they are starting with the ability to have 8 indepedent 1080P streams, and presumably there is the bandwidth to cover 4K content whenever that comes available.

So again, the biggest hurdle Apple TV faces (and likely why they don't have one yet), is that outside of a few places that have 500Mb to 1Gb speeds, most of the US just isn't ready yet for IPTV. IPTV can only be a true competitor when it has A) all the good content (Google still has a ways to go, Apple has forever to go) and B) when you can stream as many channels as you like (just like you can with any cable or Sat TV provider, as many homes have multiple TV's and/or want to record multiple live shows at one time).
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post #26 of 54 Old 08-01-2012, 09:44 PM
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Every time I see this topic's title, I think, "It was only a matter of time before Google entered the breakfast cereal market."
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We have 15Mbps from charter at 20 bucks per month, 30Mbps for 30 bucks a month, and there may be a faster package for a bit more (had a heck of a time trying to search Charter's website).

This certainly highlights the disparity in Internet access around the country. AT&T charges $20 a month for 1.5 Mbps DSL in California.
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post #27 of 54 Old 08-02-2012, 03:45 AM
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I wish AT&T's 1.5 Mbps DSL was only $20 here.

 

As it is, it's $33.

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post #28 of 54 Old 08-02-2012, 10:02 AM
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$20?  $33?  I'm in AT&T country but over three miles from the CO, so I can't get DSL from AT&T nor from anyone else at any speed for any price.

Google Fiber won't have such "a spot here, a spot there" limitations.
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post #29 of 54 Old 08-02-2012, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I wish AT&T's 1.5 Mbps DSL was only $20 here.

As it is, it's $33.
Wow! I have always heard about USA internet issues, but it is worse than I expected. You can get 100Mbs for 30$ in most of EU and Asia. Good to see that google is taking the step forward. Now other have to follow and bring the price down.
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post #30 of 54 Old 08-03-2012, 12:40 PM
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Does this have any "futureproofing" implications if you're building a new home or finishing a room?... such as placing fiber optic cables in walls and/or ceiling.
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