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Old 04-07-2013, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Texas
459 posts, read 638,664 times
Reputation: 216
Default Google Fiber Austin, San Antonio Fiber here?

It looks like Google Fiber is coming soon to Austin, which makes it great news for our neighbor up the 35.

Google Fiber coming to Austin | kvue.com Austin

So, given that San Antonio has a communication broadband network (via CPS Energy?), I wonder if our city shouldn't consider expanding and offering broadband service as a utility to its residents. Yes, they are taking steps to help universities, libraries and others to tap into it, but I am talking about offering it to residents.

Now, normally I would say let private companies compete, but like electricity and gas, broadband seems to be a natural monopoly, or at least an oligopoly and it is something that I think could work as a city service. For most residents right now, you have two players for broadband: at&t and the cable company. If you have Time Warner as the cable, you have two poor choices, with leadership to match that.

Yes there would be challenges such as legal and capital. I am sure cable and telecom would cry foul, but at least they would be forced to truly compete, instead of doing the bare minimum. If our recent sales tax had not already been allocated to the Pre K initiative, it might have been a great source of funds for something that could benefit everyone, and yet still allow for some level of subsidy for those in need, but another source of funds could be found.

This would be an investment in the future of all residents, and I think it may payback a faster dividend. A super fast broadband network is the type of service that also draws people to the city... and businesses.

Anyway, what do others think?

Last edited by datacity; 04-07-2013 at 09:28 AM..
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:49 AM
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Location: San Antonio
14,413 posts, read 20,489,693 times
Reputation: 9554
I think the city won't take the risk that doing that might lead AT&T to move the rest of its jobs out of the city. AT&T still has over 700 workers here.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:24 AM
 
622 posts, read 1,114,983 times
Reputation: 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by datacity View Post
It looks like Google Fiber is coming soon to Austin, which makes is great news for our neighbor up the 35.

Google Fiber coming to Austin | kvue.com Austin

So, given that San Antonio has a communication broadband network (via CPS Energy?), I wonder if our city shouldn't consider expanding and offering broadband service as a utility to its residents. Yes, they are taking steps to help universities and others to tap into it, but I am talking about offering it to residents.

Now, normally I would say let private companies compete, but like electricity and gas, broadband seems to be a natural monopoly, or at least an oligopoly and it is something that I think could work as a city service. For most residents right now, you have two players for broadband: at&t and the cable company. If you have Time Warner as the cable, you have two poor choices, with leadership to match that.

Yes there would be challenges such as legal and capital. I am sure cable and telecom would cry foul, but at least they would be forced to truly compete, instead of doing the bare minimum. If our recent sales tax had not already been allocated to the Pre K initiative, it might have been a great source of funds for something that could benefit everyone, and yet still allow for some level of subsidy for those in need, but another source of funds could be found.

This would be an investment in the future of all residents. A super fast broadband network is the type of service that also draws people to the city... and businesses.

Anyway, what do others think?
Actually a lot of San Antonio had three players for Broadband: at&t, Time Warner and Grande Communications.

That competition has us getting faster rates at better prices than some other significant areas of the country.

Grande has 30MB/s internet for $40, and now offers a plan at greater than 100MB/s.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Texas
459 posts, read 638,664 times
Reputation: 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo View Post
I think the city won't take the risk that doing that might lead AT&T to move the rest of its jobs out of the city. AT&T still has over 700 workers here.
Perhaps, but would not this type of initiative create jobs as well? Plus, unless at&t is abandoning its business here completely (U-verse, Wireless, POTS), it will still need to keep a substantial number of people physically employed here anyway. Given their investment here in U-verse, I would expect them to figure out a way to compete.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Brentwood
509 posts, read 272,479 times
Reputation: 825
I wouldn't be so quick to criticize Time Warner. While it's speeds may be slower than a lot of other places around the country, they don't have the same usage caps either. Comcast, Cox, Verizon and even AT&T all typically cap users at 300 GB a month of data usage in most parts of the country. That lets you watch about 1 HD movie and let one or two people do LIGHT surfing a month. It could be worse than Time Warner...
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:52 AM
 
1,645 posts, read 2,348,981 times
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In San Antonio, Grande is only available in limited areas, and I haven't heard anything about them expanding their territory here in several years. AT&T has made U-verse available in many parts of San Antonio, but there are still areas where they haven't expanded, and some neighborhoods where they do offer U-verse have pockets where it can't reach. I know AT&T is trying to phase out POTS & traditional DSL, but are they still expanding their U-verse territory in San Antonio? Industry pundits seem to think unless AT&T can go fully FTTP instead the current fiber/copper hybrid offering, U-verse will remain a compromised product.

That leaves a lot of people with a choice of either Time Warner, or AT&T with their 1.5, 3.0, or 6.0mbps max. DSL (depending on distance from the CO). I wonder if that would be enough of a potential customer base for Google to consider a fiber build-out here?
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Texas
459 posts, read 638,664 times
Reputation: 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty12 View Post
Grande has 30MB/s internet for $40, and now offers a plan at greater than 100MB/s.
Google offers gigabit Internet for $70 a month.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bspray View Post
I wouldn't be so quick to criticize Time Warner. While it's speeds may be slower than a lot of other places around the country, they don't have the same usage caps either. Comcast, Cox, Verizon and even AT&T all typically cap users at 300 GB a month of data usage in most parts of the country. That lets you watch about 1 HD movie and let one or two people do LIGHT surfing a month. It could be worse than Time Warner...
It was Time Warner that initiated the move to data caps, if you remember. Public outcry forced them to abandon that for the time being. I wouldn't be surprised if they introduced it again at some point in the future, and not just as an option.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:25 PM
 
4,082 posts, read 6,495,893 times
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Whole Foods.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:35 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
5,517 posts, read 5,737,146 times
Reputation: 9996
Quote:
Originally Posted by bspray View Post
I wouldn't be so quick to criticize Time Warner. While it's speeds may be slower than a lot of other places around the country, they don't have the same usage caps either. Comcast, Cox, Verizon and even AT&T all typically cap users at 300 GB a month of data usage in most parts of the country. That lets you watch about 1 HD movie and let one or two people do LIGHT surfing a month. It could be worse than Time Warner...
You can do a lot more than watch 1 HD movie and do some light surfing with 300 GB/month.

In my house, I have 3 computers, a kid who goes to virtual school, phones, tablets, game consoles and blueray all using the internet.

I downloaded 200 movies in December (that's what hubby wanted for Christmas, a hard drive full of a certain kind of movies) and everyone in the house was online as much as usual, and we went through 282 GB that month. That was with me downloading things pretty much around the clock. It was hard work to use that much data...I think 300 GB would be ample for most families.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:48 PM
 
2,122 posts, read 3,123,723 times
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I don't see this as an option. You're talking about having to come into San Antonio and running fiber optic cable all over the town. It took Ma Bell years to get fiber optics out here, like 2 years ago it finally arrived. Not a lot of residents including me is going to be receptive to having the yard dug up yet again. I already have a cable box, phone box, and an electric transformer in the back yard. This is where I live, it's not a freaking industrial park and another box in my yard is not acceptable. And if Google did decide to come to town, you think the other providers like AT&T won't pickup the speeds. I'm at 12M with AT&T and the internet and phone is less than the $70 a month Google wants for just internet. I don't see it as a bargain or an option. Google is not my friend in this case and I certainly don't want that political data generator hooked up to my house.
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