Saturday, March 27, 2010

Google Fiber update #11: over 1,100 communities

Product manager James Kelly for the Google Fiber project through a blog post communicates that over 1,100 communities have responded to the RfI, issued February 10. "Over the coming months, we'll be reviewing the responses to determine where to build. As we narrow down our choices, we'll be conducting site visits, meeting with local officials and consulting with third-party organizations. Based on a rigorous review of the data, we will announce our target community or communities by the end of the year."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Google Fiber update #10: Candidate cities, towns, counties and states

This is the latest overview of Google Fiber candidates for today's deadline:
  • 233 entries across 45 states/territories.
  • States/territories: Hawaii, Michigan, New York, Washington DC.
  • States absent: Arkansas, Delaware, Mississippi, New Hamspire, North Dakota, Wyoming.
My guess: Jackson, Mississippi.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Google Fiber update #9: Wrap-up

Here's a follow-up to the Google Fiber coverage - and I'm sure we are missing a lot. Tomorrow is the deadline: March 26.

Open access. In the Netherlands, a Task Force of the Ministry of Economic Affairs recommended municipal funding to be granted to open access networks only.

1 Gb/s. Ars Technica has an article on the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Its open access point-to-point network is in fact a trial similar to Google's, running for one year. CPE is from Netherlands-based Genexis.

Cities. Since our previous update, we picked up another 32 towns planning an application. Multiple towns from California, Arizona, Michigan, Idaho, Iowa, Alaska, Georgia, Washington. Most conspicuous are Milwaukee and Detroit.

Overview. Looking back, we counted around 190 towns across 40 states/territories, as well as several counties and entire states/territories (Hawaii, Washington DC, Michigan, New York). States missing in the list are: Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Wyoming. States contributing the largest number of towns are:
  • California: 24 (ao San Francisco and several Silicon Valley towns: Cupertino, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale).
  • Michigan: 16 (ao Detroit).
  • North Carolina: 12.
It's anyone's guess now. I suppose Google's Minnie Ingersoll and James Kelly will have a hard time. There are no details yet beyond the original statement. The three states mentioned here may have a slighly higher chance, esp. California being the home state to Google. Apart from that, perhaps a city will be picked that shows a diverse geography and demographic, because Google intends the whole thing to be a trial of changing user habits on the availability of a 1 Gb/s connection. The survey mentioned here doesn't really seem to be relevant.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Smartphone bubble building

Mobile data has now surpassed voice traffic, according to Ericsson. At the same time, NSN reports that mobile broadband can be frustrating, as does Gomez in a whitepaper.

Page-loading can be addressed, but form factor will remain a problem. Up with the netbook/smartbook!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Google Fiber: update #8

Google's Fiber trial plans are drawing to an end. Applications are due March 26.
There are overviews available here and here, but nowhere as extensive as on this blog.

Open access: Not a word in the US National Broadband Plan, but you can read Herman's piece on the Amsterdam case here.

Cities and towns:
  • Michigan: Kalamazoo, Genesee County, Saline/Pittsfield, Ypsilanti, Canton.
  • California: Fresno, Mountain View, Long Beach, Berkeley, San Mateo
  • South Carolina: Spartanburg, Greenville County
  • Virginia: Richmond, Charlottesville
  • New York: Rochester/Monroe County, Tri-Lakes area (Harrietstown, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, North Elba)
  • Massachusetts: Worcester, Shrewsbury, Westborough
  • Indiana: Anderson, Chesterton
  • Other: Gainesville (Fla), Reno/Sparks/Washoe County (Nevada), Apple Valley (Minn), Pleasant Prairie (Wisc), Houston County (Georgia), Vancouver (Wash), West Des Moines (Iowa), Tulsa (Okl), Hickory/Newton/Lenoir (NC), Fort Collins (Col), Park City (Utah)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Google is becoming the Internet

Arbor Networks shows that Google represents more than 6% of all Internet traffic. Over 60% is delivered using direct peering. All that's missing is the last mile, and Google is working on that as well (muniwifi, a stake in WiMax-operator Clearwire, BPL-tests with Current Group, the Google Fiber FTTH project).

Looks like they are becoming the Internet.

Google's three-screen strategy coming together

In January, I wrote about Google's inevitable TV strategy here and here. Today the New York Times reports on plans involving Intel (SoC), Sony (TV, STB), Logitech (remote control) and Dish (test).

For widgets, either Yahoo! or Metrological could be contracted. Yahoo! seems an unlikely Google partner, after the Microsoft search deal.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Google Fiber update #7

Since the previous update, many more cities have launched plans to be included in the Google Fiber trials. A lot of activity in Virginia (Williamsburg, Hampton, Virginia Beach, James City County, York County, Albemarle County and Alexandria (see this post)). The state of Michigan is campaigning, and several towns independently (Birmingham). Next, several towns in Montana (Missoula, Bozeman, Butte), Missouri (Springfield, St Louis), Texas (Woodlands, Longview), North Carolina (New Hanover County, Wilmington), Pennsylvania (Allentown, Bethlehem), Florida (Leesburg, Palm Coast) and Iowa (Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Ames).

Other cities include: Tempe (Ariz), Boulder (Col), Petaluma (Cal), Memphis (Tenn), Bloomington (Ind), Louisville (Ken), Concord (Mass), Garrett County (Md), Galesburg (Ill), Renton (Wash), Gresham (Ore), Morgantown (WVa). In other words: large and small cities alike.

There's a short overview with videos here.

When it comes to 1 Gbps, wireless isn't standing still (see previous post).

Sunday, March 14, 2010

LTE breakthroughs coming

Three simultaneous efforts aimed at bringing about technology breakthroughs in wireless technology. LTE faces an uphill battle, because the shared nature of wireless technology forces upgrades to bring fiber ever closer to subscribers. Unless of course we are having a number of real breakthroughs here. I hope 'breakthrough' is the superlative to 'groundbreaking'.
  • BuNGee, as reported here: "The current next-generation technologies LTE and WiMAX support a mere 100Mbps/Km2 in ordinary cellular deployment. This is insufficient, in particular in dense urban areas where the market demand for wireless broadband access is the highest, thereby seriously jeopardising the wide scale uptake of IMT-Advanced technologies. BuNGee’s goal is to dramatically improve the overall infrastructure capacity density of the mobile network by an order of magnitude (10x) to an ambitious goal of 1Gbps/Km2 anywhere in the cell – thereby removing the barrier to beyond next-generation networks deployment. To achieve this objective, the project will target the following breakthroughs: 1. unprecedented joint design of access and backhaul over licensed and license exempt spectrum;2. unconventional below-rooftop backbone solutions exploiting natural radio isolations;3. beyond next-generation networked and distributed MIMO and interference techniques;4. protocol suite facilitating autonomous ultra-high capacity deployment.
  • NTU-NI Wireless Research Programme, as reported here: "bring the speed and quality of wireless network communications up to par with that of wired communications…[and] to develop wireless devices that offer ultra-high-speed mobile broadband services at virtually zero cost to the user"(...) "develop the next-generation wireless communication technologies which are cheaper, faster, more reliable and more pervasive." "(...) next generation of wireless communication technologies that are able to relay radio signals and scan for available 'holes' in airwaves without interfering with the incumbent users." "This project will not only bring about a technology breakthrough; it will also have a profound impact on current business models and inspire new designs for various wireless applications for the benefit of both mass-market and military users."
  • Alcatel-Lucent announces 'breakthrough innovations in wireless IP' here, for a press conference March 18, "to announce groundbreaking enhancements to its end to end LTE solution".

Verizon responds to ARRA in a predictable way

Dave Burstein reports in his newsletter that Veizon's FiOS buildout 'is dying'. Expansion into new areas is suspended. Verizon now focuses on areas where it already has agreements and expects to reach the 18 million homes passed by year-end 2010 - as promised before.

People are now complaining over being left in the dark, since 10 million Verizon customers may never see FiOS come to their premises. Such as those in Alexandria.

My comments:
  • You can't blame Verizon. This is how listed companies work. They have a focus on the short term. If you don't like it, change the system (ARRA is one answer, nationalisation is another).
  • Verizon is apparently seeking ARRA funds. Again, don't blame them. Looks like a sound business decision. This is exactly what you get when you throw government money at the market: it distorts the market and companies respond in a predictable way.
  • One thing the FCC should be looking at, is promises made by Verizon. In itself, it shouldn't be illegal to brake a promise, unless the promise itself got you funding or something like a regulatory holiday.
  • Another thing the FCC should prevent is Verizon trying to block Alexandria from building munifiber (should they want to), either with ARRA or Google funds.

Friday, March 12, 2010

And now for a word from our sponsor

FTTH is sooooo 2009, so we decided to do FTTO. You can order it here.

FTTO is three things: local access (not long-haul) fiber (not DSL or HFC) to business locations (not homes). We did 12 interviews, covering ~90% of the market. Top-down estimates in volume terms, topics surrounding FTTO and drivers & inhibitors.

Reggefiber's new CHQ

The new corporate headquarters of Reggefiber, located in Rijssen, made to resemble a fibre-optic cable cross-section. The company is named after a small river, the Regge, which flows nearby.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Google Fiber update #6: Duluth Mayor takes a cold dip

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Self-fulfilling prophecy

There's a famous quote, going something like this:

"Isn't it incredible that the news from all over the world always fit exactly into the newspaper?"

That's a reminder for people who claim that there is no need for more bandwidth, because nobody asks for it.

Google Fiber, update #5

Cities: Since the previous update, many more cities have sought publicity over Google's fiber plan:
  • In California (Merced, Ventua, Chico, Rancho Cucamonga), Massachusetts (Newburyport, Brookline, Fitchburg), Wisconsin (Superior, Appleton), New York (Tompkins County, Rochester), Michigan (Lansing, Flint), New Jersey (Jersey City, Montclair).
  • As well as Lehi (Utah), Burlington (Vt), Huntsville (Ala), Twin Ports (Minn), Palm Bay (Fla), Quincy (Ill), Des Moines (Iowa), Johnson City (Tenn), Prince George (Wash), Omaha/Council Bluffs (Nebr/Iowa), Columbia (Missouri), Bristol (CT), Asheville (NC).
Open access: Telecom NZ's former CEO, Theresa Gattung, has written a book on the events leading up to her departure in 2007, after the government forced separation between network (Chorus) and services. It will be published by Random House March 12. I wonder what went wrong there ....

Name changes: The Topeka Golden Giants changed their name to Google Golden Giants for the month of March. And the city itself wants to be known as Google, Kansas, for the same period. Sarasota (Fla) wouldn't stay behind and renamed City Island Google Island. Rancho Cucamonga (see above) finally is also in for a name change: Rancho Googlemonga.

Background stories: The subject is picking up steam, running up to the March 26 closing date for applications. See Ars Technica, Business Week.