NEVADA CITY, Calif. October 27, 2016 – You may have read the recent announcement that Alphabet (now the parent company of Google) was stopping the rollout of Google Fiber’s gigabit internet networks. First of all, this announcement – in no way, shape or form – affects Spiral Internet’s gigabit 100% fiber optic internet network here in Nevada County. Our project was never connected to Google. Ever. We are moving ahead in a great way, expecting to break ground in spring of next year.
You also may remember that we did use Google’s announcement in 2010 to host a rally, parade and party. We wanted to see if there was interest here for this kind of network. Well, if you attended the event in March 2010, then you know that a nerve had been hit. Our community was ecstatic. If you didn’t, then it is worth watching the video we created at 95959google. We knew all along that Google would choose large metropolitan areas to deploy its networks. And it did. Fiber optic networks in Kansas City, Austin, and Provo are all under construction.
So, why did Alphabet decide to exit? The Washington Post has a good analysis in an article it posted earlier this week. In summary, Google Fiber was never going to be the cash cow that Google “search” had become. In order to bring in the returns expected by shareholders, there is no question that Alphabet needed to trim those (now separate) companies that were not highly profitable.
We don’t agree with the author that “… it may have been just a little ahead of its time …”. But we do agree that the “big incumbents made Google’s job harder,” as it chose cities where existing cable providers already offered the fastest speeds available – albeit not gigabit, and not over 100% fiber optic infrastructure. Spiral is building where cable internet is not available here.
The good news is that that hundreds of local/regional internet service providers and municipalities across the country, are constructing gigabit fiber optic internet networks. This is a direct result of Google Fiber’s brazen declaration in 2010 that symmetrical gigabit internet speeds are essential in our communities; much to the chagrin of the large telcos and cable providers.
The much better news is that building and offering service over gigabit fiber networks is a solid business model for providers like Spiral Internet. As a local company that owns its network, we will be able to bring customers exactly what they want in real time.
Say, for instance, the Nevada County Association of Realtors is conducting a workshop for 100 Realtors at its office. For a two-hour period, each person will need to be online. From our office, we can easily throttle up access from 1 Gbps (gigabits per second) symmetrical (downstream/upstream) to 10 or 20 Gbps. Bingo. Everyone has ultra-fast access, so the workshop training can proceed smoothly.
This is only one example of many exciting uses of Spiral’s new ultra fast network. Early on we said, “our future is bright.” It’s no longer in the future. It’s happening. Now.
CEO, Spiral Internet
As someone who lives in their first deployment region and — I thought — eligible for the free hookup (whatever the monthly rates might be after the hookup), I’ve been following this development closely from the beginning. I was disappointed to learn earlier this year that we are probably NOT eligible for a free hookup, because under the terms of their contract, they cannot offer that extra inducement to any customer who is already (nominally) served by Comcast. What irks me about that is that we are just barely served by Comcast, only connected to them at all because I prevailed on a Comcast service guy several years ago (who happened to be parked in neighbor’s driveway) to see whether he could hook us up. He said we were technically outside their range but he’d check the signal to our place anyway. He hooked us up but it’s marginal. I can’t wait to dump Comcast.
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