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Nationwide Google Fiber Deployment Would Cost $140 Billion 327

An anonymous reader writes "For a lot of U.S. internet users, Google Fiber sounds too good to be true — 1Gbps speeds for prices similar to much slower plans from current providers. Google is testing the service now in Kansas City, but what would it take for them to roll it out to the rest of the country? Well, according to a new report from Goldman Sachs, the price tag would be over $140 billion. Not even Google has that kind of cash laying around. From the report: '... if Google devoted 25% of its $4.5bn annual capex to this project, it could equip 830K homes per year, or 0.7% of US households. As such, even a 50mn household build out, which would represent less than half of all U.S. homes, could cost as much as $70bn. We note that Jason Armstrong estimates Verizon has spent roughly $15bn to date building out its FiOS fiber network covering an area of approximately 17mn homes.' Meanwhile, ISPs like Time Warner aren't sure the demand exists for 1Gbps internet, so it's unlikely they'll leap to invest in their own build-out."
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Nationwide Google Fiber Deployment Would Cost $140 Billion

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  • by Rinisari ( 521266 ) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @04:07PM (#42227311) Homepage Journal

    $140 billion is 66 weeks in Afghanistan, according to costofwar.com.

    rate = 3.51199622774 #per ms
    fiber = 140000000000
    day = rate * 1000 * 60 * 60 * 24
    fiber / day
      => 461.3815805300829
    week = 7 * day
    fiber / week
      => 65.91165436144041

  • by neokushan ( 932374 ) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @05:04PM (#42227785)

    This is the part that I'm pretty sure Goldman Sachs hasn't accounted for. That whole "could cost up to $140Bn" thing sounds very inflated.

    Look at it this way. According to them, if Google spends 1/4 of its $4.5Bn it could equip 0.83million homes. That's $1.125Bn for 0.83million homes.
    On the other hand, Verizon has spent $15bn and equipped 17million homes. For google to pass 17million homes, using the above calculations, it would cost them $25bn. Those numbers don't make a lot of sense to me.

    Now factor in the above - that cities are clamouring for Google to come there and are willing to give them as much help, tax breaks and discounts as possible to encourage it and that $140Bn could potentially halve, or at the very least drop by 1/3. Still expensive for Google to network the entire country, but they only have to hit a small portion of it before the other cable companies feel the pressure and start rolling out their own fibre.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday December 08, 2012 @05:31PM (#42227999) Homepage

    Gigabit fiber to the home is quietly being deployed by Sonic.net [pressdemocrat.com] in Sebastpol, CA. It costs them about $1500 per drop, but they gain back the $20 per month they were previously paying to AT&T for access to copper. Customers pay $70/month for 1Gb/s Internet connections. 20Mb/s for $40. Sonic makes money on this, and is slowly expanding the service.

    The big players in cable hate Sonic, one of the last of the independent ISPs. Network neutral, EFF-endorsed privacy policies, no caching or "deep packet inspection". Just bits.

    Sonic isn't in the TV business. (They do resell DirecTV if you want that, but that comes in via a dish, not the Internet connection.) So they don't have any bias towards sending their own content.

  • Why so much? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi&evcircuits,com> on Saturday December 08, 2012 @05:39PM (#42228035) Homepage

    Countries like Sweden have been doing it for years at a much lower rate and they are way less populated than the US.

    How did we get phones and cable practically nationwide? How did we get electricity and water and sewage nationwide? Those are much more expensive investments than just blowing a fiber through a pipe. And fiber is already nationwide, there are fibers crossing the country in multiple directions, heck most phone companies have fiber in each street already.

    It doesn't mean you have to have fiber to every house. The existing copper will do just fine for the last couple of miles, you can get gigabit speeds on it already, the companies simply don't want to invest in the uplink and rather hoard the profits as they have been doing over the last couple of decades.

  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Sunday December 09, 2012 @02:08AM (#42231245) Journal


    I thought I would use your reply to post an interesting figure I calculated. Without a cap a 1Gbps pipe can pass 2.6 Petabytes per month. The pipe has a "natural cap" of 2,600,000 GB (NOT Gb) per month. Each way, both up and down. In the case of Google Fiber, this is per home. Google doesn't offer a "capped" option.

    TWC (the KC incumbent Internet provider) offers broadband caps in the range from 5 GB to 100GB per month, with no unlimited option. This is a range of from 1/20,000th to 1/400,000th the total monthly net bandwidth capacity offered by Google, per connection. Yes, the most bandwidth they offer is 1/20,000th of Google's offer. Since they don't have 20,000 subscribers in Kansas City, let alone 20,000 paying their maximum rate, one single Google Fiber $70/month customer could saturate their entire Kansas City network.

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