Optical/IP Networks

Google Fiber targets the rest of Des Moines

Google Fiber's ambitions in Iowa won't start and stop in West Des Moines.

About three months after the city of West Des Moines and incumbent cable operator Mediacom Communications reached a settlement that cleared the way for Google Fiber to build out services in the suburb, Google Fiber announced this week that it will extend broadband competition to the rest of Des Moines.

Google Fiber is in the "planning stages" and working with the city of Des Moines on next steps for starting the permitting process, Andy Simpson, GM of Google Fiber's central region, announced in this blog post. Construction should begin sometime later this year.

(Source: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)
(Source: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)

It's expected that Google Fiber's service slate in the city will mirror what it's marketing today in West Des Moines: 1-Gig symmetrical for $70 per month, or 2-Gig down and 1-Gig upstream for $100 per month. Google Fiber Phone starts at $10 per month. Google Fiber has phased out its original IPTV service and now promotes a set of virtual multichannel video programming distribution (vMVPD) services – Google's own YouTube TV, FuboTV and Dish Network-owned Sling TV.

Google Fiber's expansion follows a recent settlement between Mediacom and West Des Moines. MCC Iowa LLC, a subsidiary of Mediacom, had filed a suit against the city in December 2020, alleging that the city council approved a sweetheart conduit agreement with Google Fiber that violated state law.

The settlement, which reportedly includes West Des Moines shelling out $60,000 to dismiss the suit, provides Mediacom with access to conduit where it's needed, including the ability to overlash aerial network in other areas. As a result, Mediacom says it's in position to fast track a "10G" upgrade in West Des Moines that paves the way for multi-gig broadband service.

10G is a cable industry initiative focused on delivering symmetrical 10-Gig speeds along with enhanced security and low-latency capabilities via multiple access networks, including hybrid fiber/coax (HFC), fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) and wireless.

Mediacom hosted a "10G Smart Home" project in Ames, Iowa, back in 2020. CableLabs is scheduled to run a "10G Showcase" on April 27 in Louisville, Colorado, that will include tech presentations and live demos.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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