Even though Google announced in December of last year that sign-ups for its Fiber TV and Internet service were live to residents of southern and southeastern Austin, they’ve actually been opened and closed several times. Sign-ups are going live in the southeastern section yet again today, according to the official Twitter account for the company’s broadband cable and Internet subsidiary.
Remember ethernet? It’s that technology that can transmit an Internet signal to devices through a cable — so long as they have an ethernet port, that is. Many devices no longer do, to the dismay of a diminishing minority. But ethernet has its benefits, like not being susceptible to reliability issues when there are two walls between your device and your router and/or modem.
Google Fiber’s VP of access services Milo Medin says that while the company is a strong supporter of net neutrality, what consumers really need is legislation that enables greater competition in the broadband market. FierceTelecom reported Medin’s remarks in a keynote speed at the Comptel conference.
No consumers are seeing higher speeds than before the order was passed; no consumers are paying less for their Internet services than what they were paying for; no consumers are seeing higher volume caps that they had before; and no consumers have additional choice of providers than they had before.
Governments cannot legislate for better customer service, he said, but they can pass laws that increase competition in the market, and this is what will make the most difference to consumers … Read more
It’s been a long time coming for the Verizon Nexus 6, but several new pieces of information that popped up this morning and over the weekend (including a quote straight from a Verizon customer service representative) suggest that the device should be seeing a public launch—at least via Internet sales channels—on March 12th. We now have some information on pricing as well, and it looks like the device might just be shipping with Android 5.1 on the Big Red… Read more
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…
Update: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is planning to announce Google Fiber expansion to four new cities: Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Nashville, Tenn.
Both Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina have long been listed as potential Google Fiber cities, and Ars Technica reports that these cities could be the next to offer the super high speed Internet and TV service with announcements expected next week and construction possibly beginning as soon as April. Read more
According to a new report from The Information, Google is currently considering investing in SpaceX, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s privately funded company working to make advancements in space travel. Rather than SpaceX projects looking to enable low-cost space travel, Google’s potential investment, according to the report, would be to help “support the development of SpaceX satellites that could beam low-cost Internet around the globe to billions who don’t have it.”
Here’s a nice surprise for Shark Week! During a Cloud Roadshow in Boston, Google product manager Dan Belcher revealed some of the search giant’s extreme measures to protect its underwater infrastructure. The company will reportedly wrap its new subaquatic trans-Pacific high-speed internet cables with a Kevlar cover to keep them safe from shark attacks.
Vint Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist and general co-father of the Internet, stopped by The Colbert Report on Comedy Central to discuss the origins of the Web as well as where Cerf sees the Internet going forward.
During the conversation, Cerf noted that “about 3 billion people are online right now,” a number which is unimaginably larger than what the Internet was intended for when it was being developed for the military and academia, and Cerf says we have another 4 billion people to go with expanding online access.
While Colbert comically recommended dropping free AOL CD’s to developing countries to promote the Internet around the world, Cerf pointed seriously to the role of the smartphone in spreading Internet access to third world countries. Read more
The FCC has approved Google’s “white space” database operation. This will allow for the company to operate a wireless broadband network with unlicensed TV broadcast spectrum. There are currently 10 other companies working on similar networks, but Google is the latest to complete the Federal Communications Commission’s 45-day testing period. The database will keep track of the TV broadcast frequencies in use so that other wireless broadband devices can take advantage of what’s not being used.
“If a government communications system does not require spectrum at specific times, that spectrum can be freed up for commercial purposes during those times. With dynamic sharing, multiple users, including federal, non-federal and commercial entities, can all access available bands of radio spectrum,” Google wrote.
We’ve seen several reports of Google wanting to bring Internet access to emerging-countries, and the company has now announced a project that will greatly help it accomplish that goal. In a post on the official Google blog, Mike Cassidy announced the next “moonshot” from Google’s mysterious X lab, balloon-powered Internet access.
Google believes that it might be possible to build a ring of balloons that travel around the globe on the stratospheric winds and provide Internet service to the earth below. The company does warn us that this idea is still in the very early days of development, but says that it has built a system that uses balloons carried by winds at altitudes as high as planes and beams Internet at speeds as fast or faster than current 3G networks. Read more
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Google is now in the middle of a new project that will see the company develop wireless networks in emerging countries including sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Google plans on teaming up with local companies to develop the wireless networks, which are said to use airwaves normally reserved for TV, but will first have to get government approvals:
Some of those efforts revolve around using certain airwaves reserved for TV broadcasts to create wireless networks, but only if government regulators allowed it, these people said. Google has long been involved in public trials to prove the technology—which operates at lower frequencies than some cell networks, allowing signals to be more easily transmitted through buildings and other obstacles and across longer distances—can work. And it has begun talking to regulators in countries such as South Africa and Kenya about changing current rules to allow such networks to be built en masse.
The report mentions that Google is also “building an ecosystem of new microprocessors and low-cost smartphones powered by its Android mobile operating system to connect to the wireless networks,” although it didn’t offer up any other specific information on the devices.
It also points out a Google X project that takes advantage of “special balloons or blimps, known as high-altitude platforms, to transmit signals to an area of hundreds of square miles,” but it’s unclear whether or not the two projects are connected. Read more