Sunday, January 31, 2016

Why Is Google Building Fiber?

In a article ArsTechnica discusses Google's expanding fiber footprint. They seem to have targeted 20 major US cities. Having been down this road a bit I wonder what they are doing.

1. Franchises: You must have a Franchise in every location, unless your political "pull" allows you somehow to avoid it. I have been there for 36 years, and I never found a way. Franchises are costly and a delay. Getting 20 Franchises in face of companies like Comcast can be overwhelming.

2. The costs of fiber are extraordinary. Verizon has walked away and they really know what they are doing. It was just not worth it.

3. Wireless can do better are an order of magnitude or less per customer.

4. All of this has been know for a decade or more. What does Google know that everyone else does not?

They cannot build it cheaper, cannot get fewer Franchises, cannot get cheaper pole attachment fees, cannot dig cheaper. So what is it? Just a way to get PR or is Google just wasting shareholders money? I suspect it is the latter but it is just my guess. After all, what do I know, I have only done this for 40 years! They just did a part of one friendly town, they must be smarter, they are Google.....