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Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) will tell the world more about its fiber-to-the-home buildout on July 26.

It says so here. And that's about all it says.

Why this matters
Everyone wants to see what Google will make of its fiber networks in Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. But all we have right now is the date, so it's not clear how detailed Google will get in terms of things people want to know, such as what 1Gbit/s to a home will cost, or whether pay-TV services -- competing with incumbent Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) -- are in the works.

Just because Google is announcing things doesn't mean it's done with the buildout. Note that in April, when half of Google's fiber huts were built, an official said it would be "a while" before the "to-the-home" part of FTTH was finished.

For more

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 5:27:34 PM
re: Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26

...there was this thing called the Full Service Network, built by Time Warner Cable. The few thousand families that had FSN could interact with their TVs, ordering pizza and postage stamps, and viewing movies on demand.


Now I'm not saying Google's FTTH network will quietly disappear in a few years, as the FSN did, but I'm wondering if it has any hope of living up to the hype and being anything more than what other FTTH networks are today.


Will a few K.C. families enjoy the media spotlight for a few days or weeks? Or will Google's grand experiment at building a next gen network actually show up the telecom/cable industry and offer genuine service and technology breakthroughs?


Inquiring minds want to know but wonder if Google will ever tell us.

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 5:27:31 PM
re: Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26 It was an expensive experiment, but on launch day, TW Cable thought this was their future-or that's what they told us at the time. The expectation was that the boxes would get much cheaper in volume and over time as most things do.
Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:27:31 PM
re: Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26

The FSN was an interactive TV/VoD tech trial that laid the foundation for the digital platform that  TW Cable eventually rolled out nationally... it was an expensive experiment, but not really something that was going to be deployed wide in that form (i.e., you can't make a business out of set-tops that purportedly cost $6K per unit).  You can check out a pic of the honkin' box that ran the FSN service here.


But agree that Google will have a hard time living up to the hype, but it will be interesting to see if any of their experiments, like the FSN's, turn into widely deployed products. JB


 


 

AESerm 12/5/2012 | 5:27:24 PM
re: Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26

Comparison seems a bit of a stretch. FSN was building a new platform. GOOG-KC is leveraging existing fiber optics for something very fast. But if there's more to it, we'll find out soon.

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:27:23 PM
re: Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26

Once it got beyond the prototype stage, it eventually became their future as digital video and TWC's Pegasus platform eventually took off, though it was no where near an exact replica of what they were testing.  I remember seeing a demo of the FSN in Orlando back in the day, and it was a  pretty amazing feat at the time... anyone got a screenshot of that carousel interface they used? JB

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 5:27:23 PM
re: Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26

The only purpose of the comparison was to highlight the hype factor. Yes, FTTH technology is not new but Google has promised to do something no one else has done before, to show telecom companies how it's really done - and now they need to live up to that.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:27:22 PM
re: Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26

You know I watch interactive video entertainment (digital) every day. That industry has really taken off.


Of course, its called video games. :)  And if you don't think there are games where you interact with the outcome of the storyline take a gander at Bioware.


seven

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 5:27:22 PM
re: Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26

I did at one time but I don't anymore. I remember being there for the launch, and interviewing one of the demo families. Those poor people were asked the same questions over and over again by reporters and had to keep smiling. At the end of the day, I don't think the world was ready for the services that were part of FSN -- at least not ready to pay more for them.


 

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 5:27:21 PM
re: Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26

Yeah, but you don't use the video game to order pizza -- or maybe you do?


 

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:27:20 PM
re: Google Launching Kansas City Fiber on July 26

 


Nope - I alt-tab out and do it via my web interface. :)


Same thing.  Which is the point.  The fact that people keep trying to merge interactive video with TV is odd to me given that this exact experience is available and usable daily.  I guess this is my point.  Why does it have to exist they way it was originally envisioned and not in the way that it actually exists?


seven


 

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