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Google Fiber May Be Coming Soon, But At What Price?

Original post made by Jim Neal, Old Mountain View, on Apr 23, 2014

I was at the City Council Meeting tonight and after several hours spent discussing Dog Parks and Council Salary, the City Council finally got around to discussing the matter of Google's proposed fiber network, which in my opinion will have a much more far reaching impact than either of those two.

Google's demands of the City Council read as if Google is in charge of the City and that the Council is just another one of their departments! They gave the Council a deadline of May 1 to respond to Google's request for a checklist to be filled out in order to even be considered for this project.

Google also expects the City to turn over restricted utility information, fast-track the process, issue a single permit for the entire project, and respond to Google's permit request withing 10 days!

In exchange, Google will NOT provide information about how they intend to notify residents of changes, they have not informed the City about where the conduits will be installed and wants the City to agree to a 20 year lease to place the conduits before the sites have been selected(this will all be done AFTER the project has been approved)!

There also has not even been an EIR (Environmental Impact Report) done yet, but I suppose that will be done after the project has been approved also!

I am no fan of Comcast and on paper the Google proposal sounds good, but it reminds me of HSR (High Speed Rail) where we will get to see all the ugly little and not so little negative impacts only after all the wheels have been set in motion.

I also have to wonder, what's the big hurry? Google wants everything to be in place before the end of the year, which coincidentally happens to be before four new Council Members will be in place.

I read about what happened in Kansas City when they put this project through, lots of trees were reduced to stumps and they punctured a gas line resulting in people having to evacuate from their homes!

I have worked in the high tech industry for over 30 years and I know that whenever a new technology comes along, it is never perfect the first time through. I think it would make more sense to wait and see how it goes in other cities and benefit from lessons learned rather than being an early adopter of bleeding edge tech and suffering all the hiccups that are guaranteed to arise, not to mention the disruptions caused by the hundreds or thousands of not so little boxes, road construction, and tree cutting that will occur all over Mountain View.

The VTA is cutting trees for BRT Lanes, Caltrain will likely cut a few hundred for electrification, and no one knows how many will be butchered for Google's project! The Council always talks about how badly they want a tree canopy around the city, but after all this maybe we can rename the city "Stumpsville".

On the plus side, Google has promised the city 5% of gross revenues from the project so maybe that will make up for all the inconveniences that the residents will suffer. Follow the money.

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link
[email protected]

Comments (3)

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 25, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

I thought people might like to see these two links for more information about what happened in Kansas City:

Web Link (Article) (Video)

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link
[email protected]

Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2014 at 2:52 pm

I agree with you on this one Jim. Not that exactly this will happen anywhere else, but people somehow think the fiber optic fairy will waive a wand and fiber nodes and drops will magically appear. Lots of work involved, trees to be cut, vaults to be installed right in your way on the sidewalk, streets to be dug up.

ATT using twisted pair for their big new(er) service should be a clue. Anyone who was knows the history of past projects(Or WHO WAS ACTUALLY THERE,*ahem*) knows what is involved. Not sure why anyone wants to ignore the obvious other than it makes it easier to dump on Comcast.

I'm not sure why everyone has seemed to forgot comcast=att=tci/[email protected]=comcast/etcetcetc

Overall-- I lean towards let them do it.

People are going to complain no matter what. f'rinstance That "GIANT" sign that is at the Grocery Outlet on Alma.... you can't even see it until you get right up on the building because of all the telephone poles and cables all over that stretch of road....

Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 25, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@Sparty -- This is pretty much what I was trying to say in the other article. I'm not against the project per se, I just want to make sure that we have all the facts and details and know about all the potential problems ahead of time so we don't end up with a big mess.

I'm also concerned about what future pricing will look like if this becomes a near-monopoly like he one we have now. I remember when cable was less than $40 a month. Now most bills are close to $150 because you almost have to get the bundled service (internet/phone/basic cable) and they charge you for the converters and everything else they can think of, and that is BEFORE they get you for the premium channels. They also charge you if you want sports packages, international channels, etc.

I'd like to see this slowed down a bit to see if we can get some other Fiber competitors in the door. I think competition is good and in the long term will drive prices downward.

Jim Neal
Candidate, Mountain View City Council
Web Link
[email protected]

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