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.
In the American Broadband Initiative Milestones Report out today, 20 federal agencies pledge to simplify and accelerate the process for service providers to deliver broadband into America's countryside.
A HIMSS Analytics survey, sponsored by Spectrum Enterprise, identifies five patient experience initiatives to where healthcare providers can boost the customer experience and bring in higher margins using advanced broadband networks.
Partner ecosystem is getting more diverse and Calix relies on broader base of service providers to sell, support and use its software- and cloud-based offerings, President and CEO Carl Russo tells analysts.
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.
Consumers are buying millions of IoT devices, from smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent entertainment setups and furniture. Yet many of these devices remain isolated because home users are uncomfortable connecting them to each other – or even their WiFi. After all, their WiFi network was probably designed only to handle a few laptops, a gaming system and a couple of smartphones. Now, demand on the network is surging and even though you're delivering 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, that doesn't necessarily mean the broadband power is in the right place or reaches every corner of a home.
Even if WiFi coverage is sufficient, typing is not on trend. Voice is far more natural, easier and faster. Using a TV keyboard is archaic when more and more households have access to cloud-based voice services, like Amazon Alexa. This webinar will explore how service providers can create a comfortable, truly smart home for consumers – simultaneously driving up margin and loyalty.