fiber Stories June 25, 2016

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In this week’s top stories: Specs for the rumored HTC ‘Sailfish’ Nexus device leak, more on the OnePlus 3, Google’s new Prompt two-factor feature, we review Sony’s Xperia X, and much more.

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fiber Stories April 14, 2016

A Google Inc. Fiber display is shown at the Google office in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Google's presence in Washington is necessitated in part by the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Justice Department inquiries into how the company obtains and uses private data. Additional privacy and safety concerns are likely to arise from Google projects in the works, including nose-mounted Google Glass computers and self-driving cars. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

We heard earlier this month that Google was planning to offer Fiber customers the option of a wireless service within its existing coverage areas, but a Re/code interview suggests that the company also sees wireless as a way to extend its reach beyond cities.

In an interview with Re/code, Access CEO Craig Barratt, who oversees Fiber, said the company is working on connecting wireless towers to existing fiber lines, and that it is “experimenting with a number of different wireless technologies” to make that happen.

Barratt said that adding wireless into the mix was a way to extend Google’s high-speed broadband service to areas where laying down optical fiber wouldn’t be economic …

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fiber Stories February 22, 2016

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Google Fiber, part of Alphabet’s Access unit, is up and running in four cities and work is underway in another six. Fiber’s expansion into Huntsville, Alabama will be slightly different in that Google will be using the fiber network that the city is already building.

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fiber Stories February 3, 2016

Google will provide free gigabit internet to everyone in public housing where Fiber is deployed

As part of giving back to the community, Google is providing free gigabit internet service to residents in all public housing where Fiber is deployed. This is a change from an announcement last year where only some in public housing would get free Fiber.

fiber Stories November 30, 2015

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Craig Barrat was previously Google’s SVP of “access and energy,” but now he leads an Alphabet unit as CEO. That unit is called Access and Energy, and includes Google’s Fiber division as well as several other access and energy-related products (as Google’s Ruth Porat noted in its Q3 2015 earnings call). Now, thanks to an extensive profile of Access today out of Re/code, we have a little bit more of an idea of exactly which projects fall under this group… expand full story

fiber Stories October 28, 2015

Google names Oklahoma City, Jacksonville and Tampa as potential Fiber cities

Google Fiber is slowly but surely gaining momentum, and the Mountain View company just last month announced that it began exploring Irvine, Louisville, and San Diego as potential cities for the service. Today, it looks like there are three more cities being added to the “maybe one day” list (which is definitely an upgrade from the “who knows” list most cities are still on): Oklahoma City, Oklahom, Jacksonville, Florida, and Tampa, Florida.

Google says these “growing tech hubs” have a “strong entrepreneurial spirit”:

That’s why today, we’re inviting Oklahoma City, OK, Jacksonville, FL and Tampa, FL, to explore bringing Google Fiber to their communities, as we did last month with three other cities. These growing tech-hubs have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to small business growth. Their list of accolades is long—from Jacksonville’s title as a top 10 city for tech jobs, to Tampa Bay’s #2 spot on the list of best cities for young entrepreneurs, to Oklahoma City’s recognition as the #1 city to launch a business. One of our goals is to make sure speed isn’t an accidental ceiling for how people and businesses use the Web, and these cities are the perfect places to show what’s possible with gigabit Internet.

There are currently 3 Fiber cities, and 6 that are definitely on the way. This announcement leaves us with 9 cities that Google has designated as potentials, with the other 6 being Portland, San Jose, Irving, San Diego, Louisville, and Phoenix. Now, Google is going to start the “joint planning process” in collaboration with the three new cities’ local leaders to study their respective communities. Now it’s just a waiting game for those lucky enough to reside in these cities.

fiber Stories October 1, 2015

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Google’s recent reorganization under its parent company Alphabet Inc. will bring about several changes for its smaller startup companies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Those smaller companies, such as Nest, are known as “bets” in Alphabet and will have a significantly higher amount of freedom than before.

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fiber Stories September 10, 2015

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Google today has announced that it will begin “exploring” the expansion of Google Fiber to three new cities. The company announced in a blog post that it will begin working with city officials in Louisville, KY, Irvine, CA, and San Diego, CA to plan the launch of Fiber. The announcement of Fiber coming to San Diego makes it the largest city for the service to date. Previously, San Antonio was the largest city with plans for Fiber.

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fiber Stories August 26, 2015

Google (Alphabet?) Fiber arrives in Olathe East, Kansas

Following a trial period in Palo Alto, Kansas City was the first city to get Google Fiber. Today, Google (Alphabet?) has announced that its offerings in Kansas City are expanding, as some addresses in Olathe East are now eligible for Gigabit Internet + TV.

As you may be aware, Google founder Larry Page said when Alphabet was launched that Fiber would become its own subsidiary under the newly-formed conglomerate, sitting independent of Google with its own CEO. For now, the company is still operating under the Google Fiber name.

If you’re a resident of the Olathe East area and have been patiently waiting for access to Fiber, you can now head over to the Fiber website and give it your address. If your residence is located within the blue area shown below, chances are that you’re now eligible.

fiber Stories August 10, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 5.27.03 PMWith the announcement that Google has completely reorganized its entire business under a new parent company called Alphabet, there are still many questions floating around about what products belong with what companies now.

Thanks to Google’s SEC filing, we’ve got some answers on that front.

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fiber Stories August 5, 2015

Google announces Fiber coming to San Antonio, the ‘largest Fiber city to date’

Google has announced today that the company is bringing its Fiber Internet service to San Antonio, the second city in Texas to get the service and the company’s “largest Fiber city to date”:

Fast growing cities need Internet speeds that can keep up with their progress. For the 1.4 million residents of San Antonio, one of the biggest and fastest growing cities in the country, this is truer than ever. Which is why, today, we’re proud to announce that Google Fiber is coming to San Antonio—the largest Fiber city to date.

Rollout of Fiber even in the Austin area — which has been an official Fiber city for quite a while — has been very slow, and Google says that it is only just now entering the “design phase” of building out Fiber in the San Antonio area. It’s going to be a while before residential customers can actually get on board.

Most recently, Google announced  that it is launching a program to bring completely free internet access to public and affordable housing residents in four of its Google Fiber markets — part of President Barack Obama’s ConnectHome initiative. San Antonio was recently selected for ConnectHome as well.

fiber Stories July 15, 2015

Some in public housing to get free Google Fiber connections through the ConnectHome initiative

Google announced today that it is launching a program to bring completely free internet access to public and affordable housing residents in four of its Google Fiber markets. The initiative is part of President Barack Obama’s ConnectHome initiative, which hopes to bring broadband connections to low-income households in communities across the United States…

The web is where we go to connect with people, learn new subjects, and find opportunities for personal and economic growth. But not everyone benefits from all the web has to offer. As many as 26% of households earning less than $30,000 per year don’t access the Internet, compared to just 3% of adults with annual incomes over $75,000. Google Fiber is working to change that. Today, in all of our Google Fiber markets, we’re launching a program to connect residents in select public and affordable housing properties for $0/month with no installation fee.

Google says that the program aims to bring Internet to children and families living in homes under the assistance of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This currently includes 27 communities, four of which are Google Fiber markets where the Mountain View company will be able to contribute: Atlanta, Durham, Nashville and Kansas City. Google says it’s coming to future Fiber markets as well.

fiber Stories July 13, 2015

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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.

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fiber Stories April 17, 2015

Google finalized a deal to acquire Surprise, Arizona startup Athena Wireless Communications in February of this year, according to reports. The company has been around for several years and has spent much of that time building wireless LTE and small cell technologies that can move data at gigabit Fiber-like speeds. The acquisition is an obvious one for a company such as Google that is continuing to build out its Google Fiber infrastructure and has plans to announce its own MVNO… expand full story

fiber Stories April 2, 2015

Comcast has come out today to announce that they’re prepping to beat Google Fiber to Atlanta—but they’re not just going for par; the company wants to one-up the offerings of Google and AT&T by introducing previously unheard-of 2Gbps residential Internet service. It will be “the fastest residential Internet speed in the country,” the infamous media conglomerate says. expand full story

fiber Stories March 23, 2015

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… expand full story

fiber Stories February 16, 2015

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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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fiber Stories January 27, 2015

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We told you yesterday that Google was planning to bring Google Fiber to a handful of new cities, and today the Mountain View company has officially announced the expansion of its gigabit broadband service to Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

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fiber Stories January 23, 2015

Google Fiber cities

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. expand full story

fiber Stories December 1, 2014

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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fiber Stories November 4, 2014

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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 …  expand full story

fiber Stories October 16, 2014

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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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fiber Stories June 1, 2014

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According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Google is planning to spend more than $1 billion to expand internet access to unwired regions of the world with a fleet of satellites. According to “people familiar with the matter,” Google this time around is hoping that it can overcome financial and technical problems it has faced in the past with this goal.

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fiber Stories May 19, 2014

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Tom Wheeler — the Chairman of the FCC, the federal commission currently in the middle of a firestorm surrounding net neutrality — today praised Google for its checklist of requirements for cities to meet that are interested in working with Google to roll out fiber networking.

Google’s checklist includes various measures and decisions that help enable the company to quickly add their fiber services to a city or municipality. Wheeler specifically cites this as something that the FCC should look into, as it effectively cuts through red tape and speeds up deployment of faster service: expand full story

fiber Stories April 16, 2014

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Earlier this week, a job listing emerged regarding Google Fiber in New York City. This led many people to speculate that Google was working to launch its fiber network in the Big Apple. Fiber rollouts have been sparse so far, with the service only hitting a few markets, including Austin and Kansas City, so the idea of it launching in a city as massive as New York was certainly surprising. Although the company did recently announce a larger-scale rollout to nine new metro areas.

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fiber Stories April 15, 2014

Job listing hints at Google Fiber plans for New York City

Google recently announced plans to expand its Google Fiber Gigabit internet and TV service beyond Kansas City & Austin to 34 more cities and it looks like it also has plans for New York City. Geek.com points us to a job listing looking for a regional sales manager based in New York that would “manage multiple teams that evangelize Google Fiber services to MDU (multi-dwelling apartments and condos) and large SMB owners.”

You will hire and manage a team that proactively reaches out and and articulates how Google Fiber Solutions can help make their work more productive. You will excel at team development, sales training and market strategy, while cultivating a strong base of new clients and working with fellow technical Googlers to devise solutions to meet customer needs.

Google has slowly been rolling out its Gigabit Google Fiber service starting with Kansas City and Austin since first unveiling Fiber back in 2012. In February, it announced plans for its biggest rollout yet including upcoming launches scheduled for Raleigh Durham, NC, Atlanta, San Jose, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Portland, and many surrounding areas. New York would be a big one to add to the list, but Google has yet to confirm any official plans. 

fiber Stories April 3, 2014

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According to a new report from The Information, Google has been exploring the possibility of providing its own wireless network in cities where Fiber, its ultra high-speed broadband service, exists.

After thrusting itself into competition with U.S. cable operators, Google is inching closer to competing with wireless carriers, too.

Google executives in recent months discussed their hope to offer a full-fledged wireless service in markets where it offers Google Fiber Internet and TV service, according to two people who have discussed the matter with Google. Such an offering would mean Google customers in places like Kansas City, Mo. could get voice and Internet access through their mobile devices wherever they go.

While the report seems to be vague on specifics, it suggests that a potential Google-operated wireless provider could use WiFi access spots built on Google Fiber’s gigabit broadband and rely on another wireless provider in the area to provide service to cover the gaps. expand full story

fiber Stories February 26, 2014

Google-WiFiSan Jose Mercury News reports Mountain View City Council last night approved a new five-year deal with Google that will see the company revamp its aging free WiFi network in the city: expand full story

fiber Stories July 31, 2013

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After a brief announcement back in June that it had partnered with Starbucks to offer free, unlimited music through its new Google Play All Access streaming service, Google today announced that it will soon be supplying WiFi to all Starbucks locations in the US. That also includes its new gigabit Google Fiber internet service where available:

When your local Starbucks WiFi network goes Google, you’ll be able to surf the web at speeds up to 10x faster than before. If you’re in a Google Fiber city, we’re hoping to get you a connection that’s up to 100x faster.

Up until now, AT&T provided free Wifi access to Starbucks customers in the US (and T-Mobile before that), but it appears that will no longer be the case following the roll out of Google’s networks in the coming weeks.

Google plans to start rolling out its new Starbucks networks next month and hopes to have all 7,000 US locations up and running on its networks within 18 months. Google noted, “You’ll know your new network is ready to go when you can log in to the “Google Starbucks” SSID.” expand full story

fiber Stories July 22, 2013

As much as people wish it would change, Google Fiber is only available to a select group of cities, which means that the rest of us are stuck with other alternatives, like Verizon FiOS. Today, Verizon has announced its fastest tier of FiOS to date, but it’s still not as fast, or cheap, as Google’s offerings. Dubbed Quantum, the plan offers theoretical download speeds of 500Mbps  and 100Mbps uploads. For comparison’s sake, Google Fiber offers one gigabit both up and down.

Where Verizon’s offerings really differ, however, are in price. FiOS Quantum requires that you have a “double play” package, which starts at a whopping $309.99 a month. For a “triple play” bundle, which in includes phone service, the price jumps to $329.99. Both those packages also require a two-year contract. Google Fiber, on the other hand, costs $70 a month for just internet, and $120 for internet and TV.

The 500Mbps/100Mbps plans are available “in parts” of every existing FiOS market, with Verizon looking to bring it to more places soon.  expand full story

fiber Stories June 27, 2013

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Google is one of the consortium members behind a new 28Tbps undersea fiber link connecting China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and Brunei with Japan – where it connects to the existing transpacific fiber to the U.S. The total length of the link is 5,530 miles.

The six fiber pairs have a combined capacity equivalent to simultaneously streaming three million HD videos. That’s quite a lot of bandwidth.

While most of the investors are local telecoms companies – China Telecom, China Mobile, Hong Kong’s Donghwa Telecom, Globe in the Philippines, SingTel, and TOT in Thailand – Google has its own reasons for wanting the link …  expand full story

fiber Stories May 24, 2013

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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. expand full story

fiber Stories April 23, 2013

Google Fiber TV remote app for iPad released

Google launched its Google Fiber TV for iPad app today allowing Google Fiber customers to transform their iPads into QWERTY keyboard, TV guide yielding TV remotes.

For the past month, our Fiber TV customers have been able to control their TVs with any recent Android device. Using the Fiber TV app from the Google Play Store, they can search for programming, browse listings, and select shows or recordings with just the touch or swipe of a finger. Now, iPad users can enjoy this simple, intuitive experience, too.

This should come as great news to tablet owners in Kansas City, Austin, and Provo.

Google Fiber TV for iPad is available for free in the App Store.

(Source: Google)

fiber Stories April 16, 2013

Google Fiber speeds already doubled by Japanese ISP

Google Fiber’s 1Gbps Internet service, billed on launch as “100 times faster than broadband”, has already been beaten by Japanese ISP Nuro, reports Engadget. Not only is this twice as fast as Google Fiber, it’s also twice as fast as most local-area Ethernet connections. Japanese subscribers can get the service for 4,980 Yen ($51) a month.

fiber Stories November 26, 2012

Update 1: Hmm. Despite a press release on PR Web this morning, AllThingsD just reported that Google did not buy ICOA Wireless:

We have yet to hear from a Google rep on the record. But people within the company say that contrary to a press release posted on PR Web, Google has not bought ICOA,  a Rhode Island-based player in public Wi-Fi Networks. Shares of ICOA, which are traded on the OTC “pink sheets”, are up sharply this morning.

PR Web also took down the press release. The old link now redirects to the website’s Recent News page.

Update 2: The Wall Street Journal just contacted two ICOA executives who then commented on the matter:

Erwin Vahlsing, Jr., ICOA’s chief financial officer, said in an email that an online press release claiming Google had acquired ICOA for $400 million “is false.”

In a separate email, George Strouthopoulos, ICOA’s chief executive, said the company “never had any discussions with any potential acquirers.” He said ICOA will report the incident “to the proper authorities.”

Google just announced that it bought Wi-Fi provider ICOA for $400 million, while noting the buyout continues to diversify its “portfolio of companies,” according to a press release from PR Web.

In regards to ICOA, Google called it “a provider of Wi-Fi to high traffic public locations,” and it further said, “ICOA is a leading vertically integrated, neutral-host broadband wireless Internet network provider.”

ICOA essentially powers high-traffic places like airports and restaurants, and its network supports 802.11x technology and plays nice with most Internet service providers. Oh, the Wi-Fi provider is also a partner with Boingo. Interestingly, Google worked with Boingo earlier this year to provide the same hotspot solution to other high-traffic locations across America.

Google’s venture into the wireless space is further interesting when you take into account its Google Fiber Project in Kansas and recent rumors that it’s partnering with Dish Network to launch a wireless service.

We contacted Google for a comment and will update when more information is available.

Check out the full press release below.

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fiber Stories November 21, 2012

Currently available in Kansas City, Kan., Google Fiber has proved to be a disruptive new service from the folks out of Mountain View. The service not only offers groundbreaking Internet speeds “100 times faster than broadband,” but also a radical new television service that offers content from a slew of sources: broadcast TV, cable, Netflix, and other Internet services. Google offers three plans: free Internet with a $300 construction fee, $70 per month for Gigabit Internet, and Gigabit + TV for $120 per month that includes a Nexus 7 to use as a remote control.

While we’ve seen brief encounters with the service, BTIG Research (via AllThingsD) has now given us a solid hands-on of the Google’s Fiber TV offering. The research group uses still shots to explain the features; but nonetheless, by the end of it, you’ll probably wish Google Fiber was available in your area. You can check out the video below to see the 905.28mbps down and 794.59mbps up speeds and how the Nexus 7 and TV interfaces work off each other.

Full video below:

fiber Stories November 16, 2012

Regarding the Google-Dish tie up that was reported last night, we just got word that this is really happening. While the details haven’t been finalized, Google is already deep into development on plans to roll out the service and have it live by mid-late 2013.

Google plans to make the service data-only with voice and SMS only being used as VoIP services, likely with Google Voice. Google of course already has its ISP feet on the ground with its Fiber rollout on the Stanford Campus and its just-opened Kansas City network.

Google is launching its Glass head gear next year and would benefit from total control of the network.  Without full control, Google is seeing its Voice and Wallet services being blocked by carriers, specifically AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

Dish has previously said on numerous occasions that it would like to build a wireless network with the wireless spectrum it has acquired since 2008, but the company wants a partner to help fulfill this endeavor. As the Wall Street Journal noted in its report from yesterday, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said potential partners include companies that would like to be in the industry and currently don’t have a wireless sector.

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