Oregon legislation meant to welcome Google Fiber to Portland has unintentional consequences

Google Fiber cities

The process of bringing Google Fiber to new markets is a lengthy and messy political one as we’ve seen since the initiative first started in mid-2012. Google’s map of potential Fiber cities shared just over a year ago is mostly unchanged save for the southeast region moving to the upcoming Fiber cities category earlier this year.

Local government in Portland, a potential Fiber city on Google’s radar, actually unanimously approved plans for Fiber shortly after Google shared its potential expansion cities. More recently, though, Oregon lawmakers have created minor road blocks ahead of Fiber’s possible expansion to Portland. The kicker here is that the proposed legislation was actually intended to make Portland more appealing to Google… Read more

Google testing new Fiber TV ad-targeting method based on viewing history

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Google has revealed that it is rolling out a new ad delivery process to its Fiber TV service in Kansas City. The company says the new ad-targeting process is similar to what it already does on mobile devices. Normally, television ads are sold based on entire markets, not the individual user. With this new ad-targeting method, however, local Kansas City advertisers will be able to target specific users with their advertisements.

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Google Fiber’s TV service likely won’t be posing a challenge to cable providers any time soon

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While Google’s fiber internet service is no doubt popular in the markets where it’s available, but the accompanying TV offering isn’t gaining nearly as much momentum. A report from Multichannel indicates that Google has only reached 29,867 video subscriptions, and 20,000 of those are from Kansas City, Missouri alone.

Google’s highest market penetration has been in Kansas City, Kansas, where 7,026 subscribers give it 13% of the market. In Missouri, those 20,140 subscribers make up only 10% of the market. The company has claimed 8% of the market in Provo, Utah, and just 5% in its Stanford market.

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AT&T launching GigaPower in Kansas City, exactly matching Google Fiber speed and price

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Google Fiber has been instigating the growth of fiber Internet in the United States for a few years, and now AT&T is feeling the heat more than ever. Announced at midnight last night, AT&T said it’s finally ready to start selling fiber Internet services in Kansas City and its surrounding areas (via The Kansas City Star). The company finished the rollout of 1Gbps “GigaPower” service in Austin late last year, and now it seems it’s finally time for AT&T to live up to its promise to bring the service to other cities around the country…

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Google opens Fiber signups in Austin, Texas

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 3.27.53 PMAfter revealing pricing last week, Google has today opened signups for Fiber in Austin, Texas. Google is starting its Austin rollout by opening signups in the southern and southeastern sections of the city. The company will expand the rollout to other portions of Austin “on an ongoing basis.” Both residents and small businesses in the pre-determined Fiberhoods can signup for the service today.

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Google reveals pricing for Fiber in Austin, sign-ups to begin next month

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Google today has finally revealed its pricing plans for Fiber in Austin, Texas. The company plans to open up sign-ups for the internet service next month in the city, and while it was previously believed that Fiber in Austin would cost the same as it does in Kansas City and Provo, the company announced today that there are some slight variations (via Multichannel).

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Google Fiber hookup gives Kansas City Starbucks WiFi 100x faster than normal – and community Chromebooks

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Google promised back in July that its deal to provide free WiFi at 7,000 U.S. Starbucks locations would include connections up to 100x faster than usual in cities with Google Fiber – and it has now started to deliver on that. The company announced in its Google Fiber blog that a Kansas City branch is now home to the fastest Starbucks WiFi in the U.S.

At the corner of 41st and Main Street, a Kansas City Starbucks is teeming with people writing emails, streaming music, sharing videos, and more. Now that same Starbucks—one of the busiest in Kansas City—is the first to be connected directly to Google Fiber, so anyone visiting the store can get super-fast Internet with their Pumpkin Spice Latte.

The technofest doesn’t end there, either …  Read more

Google Fiber launching in Austin this December, 3 months behind schedule

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Google Fiber is about ready to launch in its third city, according to The Wall Street Journal. The service is apparently about 3 months behind original schedule, and sign ups will be launched this December focusing on the south and southeastern parts of the city. The company’s original announcement touted “mid-2014″ for launch, but it looks like laying groundwork for a fiber internet service isn’t exactly an easy task.

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Expensive TV programming could be stifling Google Fiber’s expansion

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Despite its blazing fast data speeds, Google Fiber is off to a slow start. The web search king’s home internet and television services are only available in a few markets and while it may be expensive to organize a community install, a lack of infrastructure doesn’t appear to be holding Google Fiber back. It turns out that the need for television programming could be delaying Mountain View’s ISP efforts, as Google is dishing out large sums of cash in hopes of competing with established cable companies.

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Qualcomm exec named new head of Google Fiber

3eafe52The Wall Street Journal reports that Google’s ultrafast Internet service Fiber has a new leader running the show, and not just any new leader. Dennis Kish, a former executive at semiconductor company Qualcomm, is replacing Milo Medin to head Google Fiber going forward. The Journal reports that Medlin will remain “an adviser to the Google Fiber team,” but the Google vice president will begin work on other unspecified projects.

Kish was brought in for his operational expertise and will lead Google Fiber as the high-speed Internet and television service expands to new cities.

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Google shows off winning image-recognition system, likely to assist in autonomous car efforts

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Google has shown off its winning entry in an annual computer vision challenge whose entrants include both academic institutions and industry labs, and made its work available to other researchers.

In this year’s challenge, team GoogLeNet tasks, doubling the quality on both tasks over last year’s results. The team participated with an open submission, meaning that the exact details of its approach are shared with the wider computer vision community to foster collaboration and accelerate progress in the field …

Google cites its self-driving cars as one of the obvious applications of the technology. Read more