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Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag

Here's what's pushing the buttons of broadband and cable today.

  • Some people who live in apartments and condos in the Kansas Cities are having trouble pre-registering for Google Fiber, but Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) says it's trying to get this wrinkle ironed out posthaste. The problem: The pre-registration process for apartment-dwellers isn't completely automated, and Google's noticed that the apartment number doesn't get logged into the system correctly, so it's had to go to greater lengths to verify who is spending $10 to pre-register. "The process to fix this has been long and painful," Google acknowledged in a blog post, noting that it's been visiting "hundreds" of condos and apartments to obtain lists of unit numbers and chatting about it with property owners and managers. Getting pre-registered is important. Only the districts (Google makes us say "fiberhoods") that meet their pre-registration goals will get Google Fiber at the end of the first rally, which ends Sept. 9. Google Fiber tweeted Monday that 77 fiberhoods had met their goals. (See How Long Will Google Keep the Fiber Flowing? )

  • Alaskan cable operator General Communication Inc. (GCI) (Nasdaq: GNCMA) will begin to deploy TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)'s whole-home DVR set-up later this year, and expects to make it available across its footprint in early 2013. TiVo's initial multi-room offering includes its Premiere Q4 four-tuner gateway HD-DVR, the new TiVo Mini IP-only set-top, and TiVo Stream, a device that sends video to tablets and smartphones in the home via Wi-Fi. Later, GCI expects to be among the first MSOs to offer a version of the XG1 gateway from Pace plc that features a Docsis 3.0 cable modem, on-board video transcoding and the TiVo UI. GCI ended the second quarter with 122,500 basic video subs. (See TiVo's Stream for Every Screen and TiVo & Pace Debut Docsis 3.0-Powered Gateway .)

  • Charter Communications Inc. is working on a 300Mbit/s cable modem tier that would match up (at least in the downstream) with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s new top-end Quantum FiOS offering, says DSL Reports. Charter declined to comment. (See FiOS Speeds & Prices Take a Quantum Leap .)

  • The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) won't be giving the some of the nation's small- and mid-sized MSOs short shrift at the Cable-Tec Expo this fall in Orlando. As part of the opening general session on Wed., Oct. 17, the Society has teed up a panel that will concentrate on the challenges faced by Tier 2/3 MSOs, and feature Armstrong Cable CTO Michael Giobbi; BendBroadband VP of Technology Wade Holmes; Buckeye CableSystem CTO Joe Jensen; and Massillon Cable TV Inc. /Clear Picture Technical Operations Manager Kelly Rehm.

  • Steve Perlman's OnLive Inc. will live on after a newly formed company purchased the assets of the troubled cloud-based gaming service. But only about half of the company's staff are staying put. Some non-hired staff will be offered consulting gigs in return for options in the new company. OnLive, which claims to have 2.5 million subscribers, said an "affiliate" of Lauder Partners was the first investor in its new incarnation. The Gary Lauder-owned VC holds stakes in companies such as Aereo Inc. , RGB Networks Inc. and ActiveVideo

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    lightmonkey 12/5/2012 | 5:23:18 PM
    re: Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag

    So Google rolls out as an ISP in some flyover city and then can't register a few thousand people correctly; something that is web development 101.  This is news?  Honestly I find the fact that this deployment gets any ink at all rather astonishing.  It's yet another half-baked Google product idea that will just eventually die due to poor execution on Google's part (your news story is Exhibit A).  All that cash seems to be burning a hole in their pocket over there in MountainView.

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:23:17 PM
    re: Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag

    It's all part of the pain, even if Google's got a nice deal with the city. But, you're right, MDUs have been a special animal for any new entrant... even the FCC had to step in to balance the playing field and tear up the old exclusives. Or they could try the old fashioned way and just grease their way in. JB

    shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:23:17 PM
    re: Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag

    The FCC can't force building owners to allow everyone to run fiber/cable/whatever into their buildings -- even if exclusivity clauses are voided. Google will have to pay for that access, and something tells me 10 bucks a unit won't cover the key money.

    shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:23:17 PM
    re: Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag

    Not to mention the fact that it's the owners of multitenant buildings that control access rights, no matter how many $10 plunkers a particular building has. Back in the good old days of Broadband Bubble 1, CLECs carried around a lot of disposable cash to make those deals happen.

    shygye75 12/5/2012 | 5:23:16 PM
    re: Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag

    In Kansas City? I'm sure there are more powerful draws in that market than "We have Google Fiber!!!"

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:23:16 PM
    re: Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag

    They can't force access but it at least gives them a shot at getting in the door.  But makes me wonder if some MDU owners would use Google Fiber as a selling point to get tenants. JB

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:23:15 PM
    re: Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag

    Thanks, Seven. More proof that it's not exactly a trivial issue. JB


     

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:23:15 PM
    re: Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag <div>


    "In Kansas City? I'm sure there are more powerful draws in that market than "We have Google Fiber!!!"


    Sure, why not? Google's already trying to turn this into a popularity contest. JB


    &nbsp;

    </div>
    paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:23:15 PM
    re: Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag

    &nbsp;


    Jeff,


    &nbsp;


    This exact issue is what slowed Verizon down in NYC and other dense urban areas. &nbsp;That is why they started with suburban areas with airal plant an moved on to other spots later.


    seven


    &nbsp;

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:23:14 PM
    re: Google Fiber to Fix Apartment Snag

    Hence, a good reason for Google to have these&nbsp;this little chats with MDU owners and managers.&nbsp; They'll need to know soon if some of these buildings are off limits no matter what kind of magic Google&nbsp; Fiber is trying to spread around. JB


    &nbsp;

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