Friday, October 16, 2015

Google Fiber Service Established South of Ben White.

Well, here we are 10 months later. We DID NOT get Google Fiber first in our town, so phooey on Google! This blog is going to carry on as a journal of our experience with GF once we finally have it.

Lots of folks in surrounding neighborhoods have sharp words to say about the fiber installation contractors leaving their yards in disarray and failing to inform them in advance that they were coming. Pets getting loose when gates are opened, cables being screwed diagonally across people's fences - who aren't even customers! I hope this all gets cleared up quickly.

As for us, today a truck towing a spool of what very well may be fiber parked in front of our house, ripping branches down from our shade tree. Then they moved to the other side of the street. This truck, and a car accompanying it is marked "360 Utilities, Safety - Performance - Satisfaction", haha.

If this is one of the contractors putting up fiber, then they're working on the poles now. Another team will come later to install our custom-length fiber from pole to a new box on the outside of the house. Finally, another team will bring our inside equipment and connect the external box to our internal router.

Once we see that everything has been working well for a week or so, we'll cancel our Time Warner Cable, and re-sell our nice new DOCSIS 3.0 modem to someone who can use it!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Google Posts Fiber Jobs Across USA

Perhaps a clue to what is to come; Google Fiber posts job openings in each of the cities previously listed as being potential Fiberhood cities. Be their next "City Manager", "Community Impact Manager" and "Plant Manager" in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, San Antonio and San Jose.

Read more about it on Slashdot: Job Postings Offer Clues to Future of Google Fiber

A footnote to AT&T's bluff to halt "Gigapower" rollouts until the FCC rules in their favor about net neutrality: This token service was already approaching a stallout, and we believe they're just using net neutrality as an excuse. AT&T has already recanted. Gigapower will only ever serve a relatively tiny percentage of AT&T customers, and is a cheap bargaining chip to use to obtain Google Fiber's lucrative express permit approval process, and also to get out of providing service to less profitable regions, as has been their agreement in return for monopoly standing.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Time is NOW!

Today, Google began accepting $10 deposits. Google has divided Dawson Neighborhood into 5 separate regions, and each needs to make their goal for fiber installations to begin there. If Google does not have enough deposits by the deadline (June 4), then someone else will get their Gigabit Fiber first!

Log in to Google using your main email account, go to to check your address, and then click the "Sign Up By June 4th" button to begin!

Don't Wait! Do It Now!

I spoke with Google Fiber Customer Service this afternoon, and they were really great! Our call got dropped and they actually called me right back!

Some updates on the pricing; the "free" Basic tier will be charged a bit of tax on either the lump $300 installation fee, or the 12 equal payments during the first year. It'll be about $27/mo. The Gigabit Tier is billed at a flat $70/mo with no fees or taxes. The TV Tier is billed additional monthly taxes and fees which are imposed on all television subscribers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Google Fiber Austin Prices Are Released

Google released it's prices for Austin, TX today and they are in-line with what we've been expecting!

Basic Internet will cost a one-time fee of $300 (+T&F), prorated over a 12-month period. Download speed will be 5Mbps, but upload speed will be only 1Mbps. It's been written elsewhere that they will provide this tier for 7 or more years.

Gigabit Internet will cost $70/mo (+T&F), and the $300 construction fee will be waived if you keep the service for at least a year. It will also come with 1TB of online storage which is shared between your Google Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos accounts. You will be able to upload at the same speed as you can download. 1Gbps = 1000Mbps.

The top tier, Gigabit + TV includes everything from Gigabit Internet plus 150 channels for $130/mo. It's been written elsewhere that this comes with a tablet PC to use as a remote control, and additional "TV tuners" will cost $5/mo.

If none of those tiers is a perfect fit for your needs or budget, consider at least getting Basic Internet. I'm hoping Google will eventually provide a half-gigabit symetric service for perhaps $50/mo. You might also get Gigabit Internet and share it with your surrounding neighbors to split the cost.

Apartment and condo dwellers can appeal to their property managers to have Google Fiber installed too. A few years from now, apartments with Google Fiber will be the standard. Those without it will be the ones left un-rented when school starts in the fall, haha.

Read a bit more about Google Fiber in Austin here:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Google Fiber Launches! South Side gets Gigabits in December!

Our long national crisis is nearly over... for South Austin at least! Austin's own Stacey Higginbotham attended a meeting held at Google's Austin office to educate the local press. Details divulged were in line with what we have been expecting:

For "free" Google Fiber at 5x5Mbps, the installation fee will still be $300, payable over 12 monthly installments. Those customers will enjoy a decent connection for the next 7, perhaps 12 years without further expense. That's about $3.57/mo for a term of 7 years! The price of Gigabit Fiber was not confirmed, but in other cities it has been $70/mo. Split that with your neighbor if it's too much for your budget to cover alone*. Google Fiber can also come packaged with TV service for around $120, and you can rent as many tuner boxes as you require for $5/mo each. Google is already talking about upgrading their network to offer 10 Gigabit connections in coming years!

Unlike AT&T, Time Warner or Comcast, Google will NOT interfere with your Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, Vudu, iTunes or other subscription Internet movie providers. There are also hundreds of sites showing free movies. Say goodbye to "buffering... buffering...."

Google is not providing a phone service bundled with Fiber, even though they have offered a very good one for years now. Google Voice offers free calls throughout the USA and Canada, and one cent a minute in many foreign countries. News of Google Voice shutting down has not come to pass, though it has been phased out of Gmail and into Google Hangouts. It's mainly designed for use with a PC and headset.

For folks who have a perfectly good house phone and prefer a physical handset, Obi will continue to support their line of network gear that bridges Google Voice to your favorite Princess phone. As low as $40 dollars, and the size of a pack of playing cards, it is easy to configure and well worth the price even if Google Voice shuts down a month or two later. Your PC does not even need to be on to use it. We have one and love it.

Google will NOT interfere with your alternate choice of Vonage, MagicJack, RingCentral, Ooma, or other Internet phone (aka "VOIP") providers. Your Obi will work with most of them, too. Rates are so low that you'll want to spit fire at the land-line phone company! For instance, we were looking at one plan that cost $8/mo and included 300 minutes.

The result is that you can have Internet, TV, and phone service for a price other Internet providers cannot beat.

It's important to remember that we need to show our interest in the service for Google to give us priority. They will skip us if there aren't enough customers in our neighborhood (they call them "fiberhoods"!). Please visit the following address in your browser, check your address, then provide your email address to receive updates. My email has never been misused by them for spam or such. In fact, they mailed me a free T-shirt several months ago!

*Sharing your service is certainly against the Terms of Service, but I think Google will look away if there's a chance to get your neighbor hooked on Fiber too. They'll want to get their own house installed. You'll find the incredible speed worth the money even if you end up paying the full bill later. Whether you decide to share over wifi or run a cable to your neighbor next door, you can hire a local tech like myself to consult and plan your installation.