Residents were proud Google Fiber selected their municipality as one of the few targeted for what sounded like an amazing service. The beautiful Kentucky city, a mix of bourbon fortunes, equestrian empires and new tech capital, was a laboratory for Google Fiber. The provider blended proven deployment techniques like microtrenching -- where a cable is laid between six- and 12 inches deep -- and nanotrenching -- where cable lies only two inches below the surface, covered only by a rubbery seal instead of something more concrete.
Certain residents weren't happy with Google's deployments from day one. Some of the Belknap area installations were pristine, with fiber optic cables buried six-inches or more, but others appeared to have been taken over by a couple of bratty teens with their parents' shovels, pickaxes, very little strength and even less patience. How else to explain wires pushing out of the dirt and the disappearance of the rubber patching?
Google Fiber: Not Live, but Unplugged
By pulling permits, local business reporter Christopher Otts determined Google Fiber was mainly in the Highlands area of Louisville, Kentucky. (Source: Christopher Otts/Twitter/WDRB)
"When you're walking around the neighborhood, (the lines are) popping up out of the road all over the place," said Larry Coomes, a Belknap resident told WDRB in March 2018. "People are tripping over it. We had a neighbor who tripped over some of this rubber coming out of the road. You see cable coming up all over the place."
Given the expense, rebuilding the entire network in Louisville, is "just not the right business decision," wrote Google Fiber in a blog today.
It is the only way, however, to fix the problems Google Fiber created -- that old penny wise, pound foolish adage my Grandma was fond of saying, I suppose. Louisville did not simply take this glorious high-speed broadband from Google Fiber without giving anything in return. Other than being the experimental network for trenching techniques, the city also was blessed to be a civil law test case when AT&T sued Louisville after the city passed a one-pole law to simplify access for multiple providers.
"Louisville for many years basically begged @googlefiber to come, then passed the utility pole ordinance Google Fiber wanted, then spent $382,328 on contract lawyers to defend that ordinance in lawsuits from @ATT & @GetSpectrum, then permitted Google to cut seams in the streets...," tweeted Christopher Otts, business reporter with local news station WDRB.com.
Louisville got learnt. Google Fiber got an education at Louisville's expense.
"The lessons weíve learned in Louisville have already made us better in our other Google Fiber cities. Weíve refined our microtrenching methods and are seeing good outcomes elsewhere," the unattributed blog continued. That must be a great comfort to the good folks of Belknap development, who at least get about two months of free Google Fiber (if it's working, of course). Having been the rats in the lab, others benefit from their unconnected pain and ugly streets. That's nice.
It's not all bad, of course. Google Fiber's presence attracted a host of other providers to Louisville, just as it has in other cities. When it leaves, there's little doubt ex-subscribers won't need Google Search to find alternatives; competitors will vie for their business with attractively priced offers, bundles featuring everything from pay-TV to streaming to voice to gigabit to landscaping crews and mowing services for six months.
Oh, and lastly: That puppy called Google Fiber? He's now named Spectrum after his family heard about the cable operator's mobile plan. The pup shouldn't get too attached to his moniker though, as Verizon is teeing up an offer specifically targeted at this family. Poor dog.
The number and power of Britain's so-called altnets is growing, increasing access to fiber-based gigabit broadband for residents and businesses where incumbents such as BT, Virgin and Openreach did not deliver.
After NTIA asked for public comments on map improvements in October 2018, the FCC decommissioned the agency's broadband map in early December but did not say whether it will use any of the public's great ideas on its own (largely panned) map.
The case of Mozilla v. FCC is slated to begin in the D.C. Circuit Court on Feb. 1, marking what's expected to be the beginning of a protracted legal battle that may continue well into the 2020 presidential race.
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 Ė and we havenít 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, letís 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 Ė whatever it may hold.