After spending recent months experimenting on ways to reduce rollout costs and accelerate deployment, Google Fiber expects to introduce its service to more cities later this year, the company's recently named CEO told Fiber Connect 2017 attendees this morning.
And increasingly, those subscribers rely on the ISP for broadband access but not content, said Greg McCray, who today celebrated his three-month anniversary as head of Google Fiber Inc. In fact, between 60% and 70% of its new subscribers purchase Internet-only services, he said. That's good news for Google Fiber, given the cost of content (and the company's relationship with YouTube).
"We've seen a big rise, just in the last few months, of people choosing just our Internet-only offering, just wanting 1,000 megabits then they will choose their own over-the-top streaming services where they can personalize and package it to their viewing, their entertainment needs," said McCray. "There's a definite trend that consumers want to be able to pick and choose and package things and not be told by service providers how to do it. We're always going to offer what our consumers want and we already have a linear TV offering, but I expect we're going to see over-the-top be a much bigger player and I think that's good for consumers and that will help manage cost of video content a lot better."
Dialing in on details
Google Fiber -- which recently unveiled a partnership with Huntsville, Ala. -- has spent the past several months testing new deployment techniques designed to curtail the expense and time associated with fiber rollouts, McCray said.
"As an example we're doing a lot in shallow trenching so we don't have to worry about the poles, we don't have to go three or four feet boring underground. We've been doing narrow trenching," he added. "We've been working with our fiber cities, with the communities and city managers, getting permits and trials much, much, much faster and with a lot less disruption to the neighborhoods and communities."
The company also is reviewing wireless technologies to resolve last-mile or last-yard complexities, said McCray. Google Fiber is testing out these approaches in its existing fiber cities, fine-tuning the methods and tools, before undertaking new subscriber regions later this year, he said.
In addition, Google Fiber is focusing on self-installation so it reduces technicians' time and cost and further enhances customer satisfaction.
"As you know, much of the industry grew up in a monopolistic period. You could build things, take your time and get it done and be sure you were going to get your cost-plus back," said McCray. "We're in a competitive over-building environment and we need to come up with some newer techniques -- and we are. That's what we're attacking, and we're experimenting in different markets for cost-reduction, speed and less disruption to the community."
Like its competitors, Google Fiber also hopes the Federal Communications Commission will make available one-touch make-ready rules, trim bureaucracy and speed up pole attachments, he noted.
More than a half-million Irish residents expected to have fiber broadband by 2020. But Ireland's National Broadband Plan has not even begun — and government officials today postponed any agreement again.
In a new report and searchable database, Broadband Now discovered fiber is the is the least expensive technology powering subscribers' connections. But the poorest, most rural residents pay the most for connectivity, regardless of underlying infrastructure.
As Vice President of Global Healthcare at AT&T, Maria Lensing oversees the telecommunications operator's technology and professional services offerings across the spectrum of medical providers, from solo practitioners and walk-in clinics to giant hospital chains, medical-device vendors and consulting firms. Lensing also sees more interest from traditional service providers -- cable and telecom operators looking to expand or build relationships with their own medical communities, perhaps as an adjunct to smart-home successes or standalone.
Lensing, who took on this role almost a year ago in May 2018, oversees both the sales and technical teams responsible for developing growth initiatives for AT&T's Global Healthcare business -- including products, services and industry-specific solutions. She also very actively promotes business minority inclusion, education and female empowerment programs and has been recognized both within and outside AT&T. Some awards she's received include "Top 40 Under 40" and "Super Woman in Business" from the Memphis Business Journal.
Join Maria Lensing, VP of Global Healthcare at AT&T, on Tuesday, April 23 at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. PT, when she's the guest on BBWN Radio, hosted by Broadband World News Editor Alison Diana. Register now!
So far, the agenda includes a discussion of technologies such as fiber and 5G; defining the needs and solutions for a widely diverse range of customers; partnering for success in a typically slow-moving, budget-constrained market; learning and dispersing best practices from other verticals and within other business groups; promoting diversity and female empowerment when so many say they're doing so but so little has changed; and what she hopes to accomplish in another year in this role.
Register and post your questions for Maria on BBWN Radio's easy-to-use chat board. We will get to as many questions as possible. Please post questions before and during the broadcast. Once you've registered, you will be led to the chat board page. Talk to you on April 23!
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
Just when you thought the answer to your next technology direction question was clear, the noise around multiple new technology options fills the Internet and airwaves. Multiple 5Gs are being deployed; there's CableLabs' 10G initiative; the ITU and IEEE are toiling around 50G PON – and we haven’t even talked about Wi-Fi6 yet! Is any of this real, do you have to pay attention or can you just let the dust settle and then decide?
Since waiting is often not the best option, let’s demystify technology options, their impact on your business, and how to prepare for whatever the future brings.
In this webinar, Service Providers will learn:
Current state of 5G and how it affects everyone, not only mobile network providers.
Latest technologies being developed and how they will benefit their networks and subscribers.
How to prepare their networks for the future – whatever it may hold.