Advertisement

Google Fiber is now taking sign-ups in “The Triangle” area of North Carolina, according to its Web site and a tweet by the company. Those sign-ups are available until Nov. 1 in Morrisville. Options include Gigabit Internet for $70 a month, and up to 100 Mbps for $50 a month. For $140, subscriber can choose the 1 Gbps option, plus TV service. Home phone can be added to any of the packages for $10 a month.

Time Warner Cable (now Charter) competes in the area for high-speed data customers.

The news comes at a time when the internet has been abuzz with conjecture about Google Fiber’s future plans about laying fiber and its ideas around wireless broadband. An FCC filing by Google on Aug. 5 set things off in which the company asks for authorization in that redacted document “to operate in and adjacent to the 3550-3700 MHz band that has been opened for innovative small-cell spectrum sharing by CBRS devices. Google requests authorization to operate on frequencies down to 3400 MHz and up to 3800 MHz so that [REDACTED]. Authority to operate in this range will ensure that Google has access to sufficient spectrum for experimentation while avoiding interference to incumbent operations.”

A San Jose Mercury News article also added to the hubbub when the newspaper reported that Google told two Silicon Valley cities that it is putting its ultra high-speed service plans on ice while it looks into a less expensive option.

In an equity research comment, Jennifer M. Fritzsche, senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, says they’ve been fielding a lot of questions recently about “the impact, the pull back or even sunsetting of Google Fiber.”

“As we have written, we believe recent news around Google Fiber many be more reflective of a 'course correction' than an abandonment its fiber strategy,” Fritzsche notes. “With its acquisition of Webpass, we do believe Google is considering how to use wireless for the last mile. Recall, the last mile cost (as well as the cost to wiring the home itself) can account for 50 percent of a fiber to the home build. But even if wireless is used for this last 200 feet or so, this essentially means that the fiber to the base station from which the wireless signal is carried needs to be that much more durable/robust. Put another way, fiber should still be very much part of the Google Fiber plan even with a wireless solution at the last mile.”

 

 

 

Advertisement
Advertisement