Fiber infrastructure cost too high even for Google

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dlfl, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Google is having second thoughts about expanding its fiber networks:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/go...ly-cable-plans-looking-to-wireless-2016-08-14

    To paraphrase: "the rent is too damn high!". It's natural to whine and moan about the lack of HSI competition in huge regions of the USA but we need to take into account build-out costs that are daunting even for big-bucks Google.

    Unfortunately the alternative Google is considering (wireless) doesn't look all that promising as a general solution.
     
  2. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

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    That is bad news but not unexpected. Are any companies going to be able to profitably build fiber networks in new markets?
     
  3. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    Google Fiber came, dug up my neighborhood halfway, and then stopped. No work in over a month. Fiberduct is sticking out of the ground in random places. They broke my mailbox, cut power to my street, and my yard is a mess. This is all worth it, if they are actually going to complete the job, but it is not clear when that will be.
     
  4. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    Fiber will still be key. It just appears that many locales are proving difficult getting it to the neighborhoods. If Google can find a way to do it wirelessly with similar performance, I'm sure they will go that route. But that doesn't mean Google will stop using Fiber. It is just the last mile that may change.
     
  5. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    I've always been skeptical about the Google project. Most people don't need really HSI so it comes down to price competition. To try and divide a finite market into pieces for DSL, cable and Google fiber has always been questionable, imo. Cutting costs by going the last mile via wireless MAY make sense provided it works well.
     
  6. tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

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    At some point, (when investors have all forgotten MCI), some new hot startup will come around with a fiber everywhere model, attract big investors to pay for it, then go bankrupt, but the fiber will still be there, and whoever picks up the pieces will get it for 10 cents on the dollar (just like Verizon got MCI's network).
     
  7. jth tv

    jth tv Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand why costs so much if they can use telephone poles like the do around here. Buried yeah, I can see that costing a lot. But stringing cables ?
     
  8. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Fiber can be very profitable if done right. Verizon is seeing a payback in 10-11 years on FIOS, which is excellent in the telecom world. The problem is that Wall Street has a short attention span.

    Google has a much harder time, since they aren't an incumbent monopoly like Verizon. Verizon already has access to everything, and can just pop fiber up in the same way that they would upgrade a copper telephone cable. They need video franchises, but for phone and HSI over fiber, it's very easy from a regulatory perspective, and they know how to run everything, it's just a lot of actual work running the cable.

    That says literally nothing compared to other systems of delivery. If you discount the last mile, then EVERYTHING is fiber. VDSL uses fiber to the cabinet, and in the most extreme AT&T/Frontier installations, tops out slightly below a mile of copper, and that's probably not providing 25/3 broadband per se. Cable is all HFC, and more often than not has fiber less than a mile from the end user. Comcast has fiber farther from me than any other ISP option (Frontier or a local overbuilder), and even that is at most 3/4 of a mile. In many cases, they have fiber closer than even AT&T/Frontier VDSL.

    The point of fiber is FTTH. It can get murky if you have a robust copper system within a MDU, and you start looking at FTTB with G.Fast, or over Ethernet or something, where you're seeing 100-1000mbps, but fiber means FTTH. Actually having fiber at your house is a big deal.
     
  9. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    The problem is they cannot use the poles outright, they have to pay the electric utility to make room for fiber by putting in taller poles (other communications utilities typically use the lower portion of the pole). Not only are new poles expensive, but that work also POs the existing users as they have to move their wires to the new poles. So they balk and complain.
     
  10. UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps there's some large separation requirements that I'm unaware of. On my poles the Uverse/telephone and cable lines are about 2 feet apart and the electric about 15 above them. There seems to be tons of space to string another line below or above the cable/telephone lines.
     
  11. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    That's absurd, unless the electric utility is being a PITA. Here we have an overbuilder, and they are usually separated from Comcast by a little bit, but in some cases, they are almost right on top of each other. It probably helped that the electric utility that owns the poles built the cable overbuilder, so they didn't make up arbitrary rules about how to mount things to poles.
     
  12. rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    This is one of the reasons Google is very selective where they build out their service. Many local governments are in bed with the utilities and Google doesn't even bother with those cities when they consider an expansion.
     
  13. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    Well, I came home to a brand new mailbox yesterday, so that, at least, is progress.
     
  14. Rugged Ron

    Rugged Ron Member

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    Conductors are arranged according to the voltage on the cable. Spacing is dictated by the NESC (National Electrical Safety Code). That is why power is always on the top, followed by CATV, and telephone on the bottom. CATV carries a higher voltage than telephone. Fiber is supposed to be below telephone because it has no voltage. Spacing between the bottom power conductor and the next lower cable is 40". After that, communications conductors are to be 12" apart (if I remember correctly).

    There is a LOT of cheating going on out there. As you can see, pole space can be rapidly eaten up. Cheating goes on because the attaching utility doesn't want to pay the cost of replacing poles. Attaching without contacting the pole owner wherever they can find space is commonplace, even though it doesn't abide by the NESC. In the past, pole owners conducted periodic inspections to identify cheating, but this is rapidly going by the wayside.

    41 years as a power distribution electrical engineer.
     
  15. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    My electric poles have plenty of room - nothing on them but 2 power lines (telephone lines are buried) If anyone would like to run cable TV or fiber lines on them you have my 100% support :D
     
  16. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    You don't know what you are talking about.

    There is a safety dead space between electric and telecom. The only group allowed in there is the electric utility. Electric utilities are supposed to build a least cost system, so with minimal overbuild, and the telecoms complain if electric utilities try to build their own communications system in that safety dead space. Just look at the complains of Comcast and ATT in both Nashville and the Bay area.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/08/google-fiber-stalls-in-nashville-in-fight-over-utility-poles/

    Finally, many poles would have to be replaced to handle the additional loading from the fiber.
     
  17. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I think that's Google's plan. They'll still run lots of fiber but wireless tech (either what WebPass, which Google recently acquired, is using or millimeter wave wireless, which is still being developed) will keep Google from having to run the fiber lines to buildings. That will make rollouts much cheaper and faster.
     
  18. BrettStah

    BrettStah Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    We have fiber in our neighborhood already, via AT&T. Would Google have to run their own fiber if they wanted to offer their service here, or would they be able to use the existing fiber (presumably via an agreement with AT&T, much like how smaller DSL companies use existing phone wiring)?
     
  19. jth tv

    jth tv Well-Known Member

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    Don't they need power when they distribute within a neighborhood ? Convert from fiber to coax (or ?) that last mile ? Wouldn't they bring along some form of power ?
     
  20. hefe

    hefe Rebus Philbin

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    You wouldn't carry power on the glass. You'd have some sort of media converter at the end that is powered separately.
     

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