Google Fiber Phone Rolling Out For Testing, Bundling Google Voice Features

By Horia Ungureanu

A number of Google’s high-speed Internet subscribers received invitations to an experimental telephone service, hinting that Google Fiber tests the waters of telephonic services.

Dubbed Google Fiber Phone, the service might remind observant users of another famous Google product, the Google Voice. Voice connects multiple telephones of a user (be it mobile or landline) into one unique phone number.

According to reports, Fiber Phone packs certain features from Google Voice, such as auto call screening and voicemail transcriptions. The call screening takes into account the time of day to function properly. Continue reading

Washington Law Would Let Counties Sell Broadband Service When Comcast Won’t

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Last year, we told you about Seth, who had recently relocated to Washington only to find out he might have to sell his new house because Comcast had lied to him about being able to provide the Internet connection he needs for his home office. And even though the county runs a high-speed fiber network not far from his property, current state law restricts consumers from buying access to that service. Recently proposed state legislation hopes to right that wrong and give counties the ability to serve residents when Comcast and others refuse to.

Current Washington state law allows for municipalities to own and operate broadband networks, but they can only sell wholesale access, meaning that customers must purchase so-called “last mile” service through a third party, even if it’s only a few yards from the existing fiber line to the house being connected. Continue reading

Kentucky to build 3,400-mile state-owned broadband network and a fight is brewing

Yet another US state is weighing up the idea of laying thousands of miles of cable to create its own broadband network.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that a group of telcos are pushing back against a proposed $324m network involving 3,400 miles of cabling, which would cover 120 counties in the state.

The construction phase of the project is tentatively set to be completed by the Fall of 2018, with a private company building and maintaining the state-owned network. Continue reading

Google Fiber bringing free gigabit internet to public housing in select cities | Android Central

Google has announced that it will be bringing its gigabit Fiber internet service to residents of public housing in all cities where Google Fiber is offered at no extra cost. Working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, along with local partners, Google will start the rollout in Kansas City, Missouri, its first Fiber city.

From Google Fiber:

Working side-by-side with the Housing Authority of Kansas City, we’re launching the program today at West Bluff, the first property to receive gigabit Internet as a part of this program. We’ve wired all 100 homes with Fiber, and families can sign up today to access the Internet at up to 1,000 Mbps. And through local ConnectHome partners, such as Connecting for Good and Surplus Exchange, they’ll also be able to purchase discounted devices and learn new computer skills.

While this initiative will come to Google’s other Fiber cities, the company is still working with groups in those other areas to identify which properties will need to take advantage of Fiber.

Source: Google Fiber

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CES 2016: Why the IoT needs fiber-optic broadband to succeed

There is a misconception that the Internet of Things requires a huge amount of bandwidth to the customer, and this panel continued to propagate that myth. 4K TV and telesurgery are not IoT applications. Most “things” connected to the network are sensors that require a small amount of bandwidth. Even aggregated, only a couple of Mbit/s of bandwidth is required even for video sensors. EBP mentions their SCADA network that consist of several sensors providing periodic small quantities of data in realtime. What is more vital to the IoT is latency and security more than broadband. Many IoT applications like SCADAs need extremely low latency in order to be effective. All applications require a focus on security. Many of the devices connected to the network will be inexpensive consumer devices made by several manufacturers. It is doubtful whether these manufacturers will have the expertise to implement adequate protection and encryption. The recent discovery of the vulnerability in the Ring doorbell is an example.

I can get by with a 56 Kbit/s modem for all of my IoT devices in my home if I exclude the video applications. Current network access technologies are sufficient to meet these needs. What is required for IoT are service classes different from best-effort to support the real time and near-real time applications. The fiber-based network is necessary to support the bandwidth and flexibility required over the long-term to support high bandwidth applications like multiple UHD video streams only my old colleague Kevin Morgan from ADTRAN properly addressed this need.

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A panel of fiber broadband experts speaking at CES 2016 in Las Vegas this week said the Internet of Things (IoT) will not only benefit from fiber-optic broadband, it will require it. Continue reading

FCC Narrowly Misses Its Gigabit Deployment Goal

by Karl Bode

Back in 2013, then FCC boss Julius Genachowski issued a “1 Gbps challenge”: basically a pledge to ensure there was at least one gigabit network operating in all fifty states by 2015. As we noted at the time it was kind of a show pony goal; notorious fence-sitter Genachowski was simply setting a goal he knew the industry would probably meet with or without’s government help, so that government could come in at a later date and insist it played an integral role.

Well, 2015 has come and gone, and while there is at least one gigabit network planned for every state, we narrowly missed Genochowski’s goal by most estimates:

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We combed through our archives and other online resources and, by our tally, at least one network operator has announced plans to offer gigabit service in every state. Not all of these networks are actually deployed or supporting service yet. But generally network operators don’t announce specific markets more than a year or two in advance of when they expect to deliver service.

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