Crunch Time for Google Fiber

Welcome to the broadband and cable news roundup, Hump Day edition.

  • Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Access, writes in his blog that 98 "fiberhoods" (areas with 250 to 1,500 homes) have met their pre-registration goals as Google Fiber's first "rally" in the Kansas Cities hits the home stretch. Consumers in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., have until Sept. 9 to pay $10 to pre-register for Google Fiber, which will support 1Gbit/s broadband services and a video bundle. "If your fiberhood doesn't hit its goal, we're not sure if or when we'll come back again. So it's important for you and your neighborhoods to pre-register now, before the rally ends," Lo writes. So, no pressure, folks. Google expects to start lighting up services "within a few weeks" after the first rally deadline. Currently, the Hanover Highs section of Kansas City, Mo., and Greenway Fields in Kansas City, Kan., remain first in line for Google Fiber. (See Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag and How Long Will Google Keep the Fiber Flowing? )

  • The TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) Stream, a video transcoding device, goes on sale Sept. 6 for $130. When linked to a TiVo Premiere or the four-tuner Premiere Q box, Stream shuttles live and recorded video wirelessly to up to four mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads. This AllThingsD review found it impressive, noting that TiVo is also developing an Android-compatible app. It's expected that some of TiVo's MSO partners will eventually offer the new streaming device to their customers. (See TiVo's Stream for Every Screen and TiVo & Pace Debut Docsis 3.0-Powered Gateway .)

  • Sticking with TiVo, Sweden's Com Hem AB revealed in its second-quarter earnings presentation (PDF) that it will offer its TiVo-powered service to roughly 1.6 million homes in the second quarter of 2013 (Thanks to @TechWzrd for the tip.) Com Hem, which has a five-year exclusive with TiVo, is poised to be the first service provider to offer a TiVo box in tandem with an IPTV service. (See TiVo Makes IPTV Breakthrough at Com Hem .)

  • Cox Communications Inc. Director of Network Architecture Jeff Finkelstein tells IP&TV News that the operator is considering a content delivery network (CDN) to provide network DVR and IP video services, but acknowledges that the return on investment regarding CDNs is still unknown and remains a "big concern." He adds that the operator is also considering using switched digital video (SDV)-style methods for IP video.

  • Country Cablevision has begun to deploy a FTTH network in the rural mountain counties of Mitchell and Yancey, N.C. The deployment, which will feature more than 100 Clearfield Inc. (Nasdaq: CLFD) FieldSmart FSC 288 PON Cabinets, benefits from a $25.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service. Country Cablevision expects to start offering fiber-based services in early 2013.

  • ThinkAnalytics Ltd. has integrated pre-tagged metadata libraries for TV shows and more than 500,000 movies to its video recommendations engine for set-tops, tablets, PCs and smartphones. ThinkAnalytics creates its preference profiles by mining data from VoD usage and live TV channel surfing, but also from consumer tastes for non-video content such as books and games. Some of its bigger customers include Sky , Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED), Telenet and Unitymedia GmbH (now part of Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY)). (See Brits Rev Up Recommendation Engine.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • COMMENTS Add Comment
    craigleddy 12/5/2012 | 5:22:33 PM
    re: Crunch Time for Google Fiber

    I guess you've got to admire Google's hutzpah -- or its unique marketing plan, depending on your point of view. Pay us $10 or we won't come to your neighborhood (no I won't call them fiberhoods).

    What other service provider could get away with this? If Time Warner Cable or Verizon FiOS tried it, they'd get accused of redlining, favoring the rich and all sorts of other things.   

    shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:22:31 PM
    re: Crunch Time for Google Fiber

    We're in a phase where arrogance gets rewarded (Google, Apple, FB, Starbucks, etc.). We'll get over it, eventually.

    DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:22:30 PM
    re: Crunch Time for Google Fiber

    I love all the discussion of "redlining." That's what all service providers of all types do with all newer (more expensive) services.

    Was it a coincidence that Keller, Texas, is where Verizon first installed FiOS? Keller is Smallville minus the alien visitors. It would have been less subtle if they had chosen White Settlement.

    Anyway, Google is looking for the same sort of Keller-esque economics. They're not looking to build a sustainable infrastructure. They're tinkering so they can make money discovering how to staple advertisements to a new breed of applications. (Remember: As big as Google is, it only has ONE product and one way to make money.) The motivation suggests that they're completely self-interested. It is what it is.


    paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:22:29 PM
    re: Crunch Time for Google Fiber

    Which is why if we want ubiquitous FTTH or very high data rates we will have to make it a universal service.  Otherwise we will continue to have a patchwork based on where SPs see profit.  




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