back to article Google Fiber goes full Wizard of Oz: We're not in Kansas any more

Looking back, it should have been obvious: when Google announced in 2011 that it would roll out its own super-fast internet service for just $70 a month, offering 1Gbps over its own fiber, it started out in Kansas. Another extravaganza that started in Kansas, in the very center of the United States, was the Wizard of Oz – the …

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If Google owns the fiber...

How does that impact their other businesses?

If you think about it... becoming an ISP may cause governments to reclassify Google and it may cause more regulations on their business and at the same time they could have attempted to do deep packet sniffing to get more insight in to your internet use. (As if they can't do that already.)

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Re: If Google owns the fiber...

Careful there. You might be getting closer to the truth of the matter. Re-classifying Google/Alphabet probably wouldn't go over well with them. Then there's the bottom line thing... bleeding money no matter how noble the cause isn't something corporations willingly do. Especially ones with a careful eye on the stock market.

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Re: If Google owns the fiber...

How does that impact their other businesses?

It doesn't. Google Fiber is a distinct legal entity - a subsidiary owned by Alphabet. You could no more classify the rest of Alphabet as an ISP because of Fiber than you could classify Virgin Atlantic as an ISP because it shares a name with Virgin Media!

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Boffin

@rh587 Re: If Google owns the fiber...

Silly boy, a wholly owned subsidiary offers some reporting, tax and legal protection. It doesn't stop Google err now Alphabet from being labeled a monopoly. It could force Alphabet to divest and split the company completely, however then it would whither and die. It would no longer be able to be a loss leader for Google to gain more data from its subscribers. Laying fiber isn't cheap and unless you're in a densely populated (read large city), your cost per subscriber isn't going to let you charge $70 for a gigibit line to the house.

Google fiber is going to have to show a profit at some point in time and relatively soon.

BTW Virgin Media VMED is a separate publicly traded company from Virgin Atlantic which is part of Virgin Group which is the privately owned company founded and controlled by Branson. Virgin US is now part of Alaskan Air. So your argument falls flat.

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Google handled the issue by splitting into separate operating companies.

It's not as if they don't face nasty lobbying right now. If they were vulnerable on this point, we would know by now.

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Anonymous Coward

It makes me wonder

I wonder if this decision has anything to do with the recent election.....

Google seemed to be very chummy with the last administration....

Not so much with the new one.....

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Linux

..and in other news

In case you haven't noticed Google is under siege at the moment in both the EU and soon the US. Perhaps this decision had more to do husbanding resources for the coming fight and focusing on their profit centers.

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Google-SpaceX axis brewing?

Google has a seat on the SpaceX board. SpaceX plans to deploy a satellite constellation that it hopes will bring global broadband internet coverage. See

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/11/17/elon_musk_at_it_again_4000_satellites_10bn_dollars/

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/21/google_fidelity_space_x_billion_dollar_investment/

Just saying.

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Happy

Can confirm

Google Fiber's most useful legacy may be that it shone a spotlight on the lack of real competition in the ISP market and flagged up the fact that Big Cable can do much more than it is currently doing if it's in its interests.

When a FTTP service started becoming available in my neighborhood about a year ago, I noticed that my existing Comcast Internet suddenly and magically got faster both in terms of latency and sustained bandwidth.

I switched to the new guys anyway because fuck Comcast.

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Mushroom

If only my country still had a brain...

Funny you should mention the Wizard of Oz. I believe it was a quest to find a heart, a brain, and a few other bits of humanity. While that story had a happy ending, this one surely won't -- my country lacks the courage, brains, or heart to take the bolt cutters to Google and break it up.

It is the role of the government to step in and break businesses that gain monopoly power, and it's pretty clear at this point that's what Google is. It's time to shut this down. If necessary, by marching the military in and burning the data centers to the ground -- though I should think there's a better way! When people start wondering if Google owns them, as in the whole of their personhood, we as a society have lost.

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Re: If only my country still had a brain...

May I suggest you don't open a Google account (or close yours) and use StartPage or DuckDuckGo for search?

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Unhappy

Minor correction

". . . so we're focused on making deployment more efficient and less intrusive"

s/intrusive/inclusive/

That was easy!

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Coat

Reminds me of a Soviet joke

A butcher put a sign in his window: "MEAT TODAY!"

Quickly, a line forms. After 2 hours, the butcher comes out and says. "Comrades, there is meat, but not as much as we thought. Will all the Jews leave the line."

There is grumbling, but a number of people leave the line.

Another 3 hours go by and the butcher comes out again and says. "Comrades, there is meat, but not as much as we thought. Will all those who are not members of the Party leave the line."

There is more grumbling, but a number of people leave the line.

Another 2 1/2 hours go by and the butcher comes out again and says. "Comrades, there is meat, but not as much as we thought. Will all those who are not veterans of the Great Patriotic War leave the line."

There is more grumbling, but a number of people leave the line.

After another hour, the butcher comes out again and says. "Comrades, there is no meat."

There is a lot more grumbling. Someone is heard to remark, "Those Jews! They get the best of everything!"

Mine's the fur with the astrakhan collar...

P.S. In case you're tempted, don't get too upset — I'm Jewish...

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Comcast is pretty bad

I am a comcast user and have been for 20+ years.

Kansas got the raw end of the deal becuase of Google. I know there are people desparate out there for cable but getting Comcast is a nightmare. Right now you just have lust in your hearts, but its better to have lust than broken promises from Comcast (aka Xfinity).

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