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Google denies Fibre UK launch plans

Google denies Fibre UK launch plans

Google has denied rumours that it is looking to launch its high-speed Google Fibre 1Gb/s service in the UK, despite press claims to the contrary.

Claims that advertising giant Google is looking to bring its ultra-fast Google Fibre internet service provider (ISP) business to the UK have been scotched, with the company stating outright it has no serious planning discussions in place.

Google Fibre launched in 2011, offering low-cost high-speed fibre-optic broadband connections in selected cities in the US. Users have a choice of a completely free connection running at 5Mb/s down and 1Mb/s up, or to pay for a synchronous 1Gb/s connection in both directions. The company also offers a TV package, which adds a 2TB digital video recorder (DVR) capable of recording eight separate channels at once, and bundles a Nexus 7 tablet in for good measure.

The extremely high speeds are the result of Google opting for a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) system rather than the fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) system used in the UK. The roll-out in the US has been slow and small-scale, with cities resorting to attention-grabbing tactics - such as Topeka, Kansas temporarily renaming itself to Google - to get on the waiting list.

Late last week, The Telegraph reported that Google has in talks with CityFibre to bring Google Fibre and its 1Gb/s bandwidth offering to the UK. The talks were well established, the paper claimed, until CityFibre pulled out over fears it would jeopardise its agreements with Sky and TalkTalk over similar high-speed fibre networks. While a disappointment, the suggestion was that Google would pick up discussions with another fibre firm to continue its expansion.

Google, however, says differently. 'We have informal conversations with other telecom companies all the time,' the company claimed in a statement to Engadget this weekend, 'but we've never had any serious planning discussions about bringing Google Fibre to Britain.'

24 Comments

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mattbailey 21st July 2014, 10:05 Quote
Bah. Humbug.
Phil Rhodes 21st July 2014, 10:07 Quote
Well, that's OK - now telecoms are privatised, obviously we'll get it for free, because the telcos will do it for us! We'll get the best possible system and there'll be no government subsidies to worry about!

Oh, no, wait.
Corky42 21st July 2014, 10:11 Quote
Between Google and Rupert Murdoch, that's like the devil and the deep blue sea.
Seems like CityFibre made a bad choice for the consumer, or is Sky and/or TalkTalk planning to release 1Gb/s connections ?
Gareth Halfacree 21st July 2014, 10:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Seems like CityFibre made a bad choice for the consumer, or is Sky and/or TalkTalk planning to release 1Gb/s connections ?
Yes; CityFibre is currently rolling out trial 1Gb/s connections in York.
Parge 21st July 2014, 10:21 Quote
No, Sky is not planning on launching their own 1GB connections anytime soon (outside of any partnership with cityfibre anyway). They currently use BTs fibre network, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The reason for this is that although wholesale costs when buying use of the network from BT are relatively expensive, its likely OFCOM will step in soon and regulate them , allowing Sky and Talk talk to either charge less, or give them away for free with TV packages etc. The only reason they aren’t regulated now is that the government want to encourage BT to build out the network, and its only fair to let them recoup the costs of that.
Anfield 21st July 2014, 10:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Between Google and Rupert Murdoch, that's like the devil and the deep blue sea.
Seems like CityFibre made a bad choice for the consumer, or is Sky and/or TalkTalk planning to release 1Gb/s connections ?

Nah, but BT is actually in the process of rolling out FTTH (on a very small scale and you pay thousands for installation).

Of course BT then still has the audacity to artificially cripple upload speeds and only allow 20Mb/s.

The UK isn't just stuck between a rock and a hard place for fast internet, we have to pay for the rock as well.
Phil Rhodes 21st July 2014, 10:36 Quote
Well, we have to pay for the rock twice, because the government will pay to build the rock then they'll give it, almost free, to a company, which will then charge us for it.

You know, like the railways, gas, water, electricity, and yes, now telecoms.

I try not to be a boring socialist on this issue but I'm not sure there's been a privatisation in the UK that hasn't been a complete and unmitigated disaster for the public. Obviously it's secured a few sinecure directorships for retired MPs, but that's OK too - it's not bribery if they don't pay you off immediately.
Parge 21st July 2014, 10:41 Quote
You lot complaining about the state of our infrastructure need a wake up call. I suggest moving to America where you pay £50 a month for ADSL.
cool_dude 21st July 2014, 10:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Yes; CityFibre is currently rolling out trial 1Gb/s connections in York.

Went on their site, how do you look at their cost per month for such connection?

Located in London, you'd have thought they'd cover London?

We really need fibre without the ridiculous line rental costs, what is it now £17 per month!
Maki role 21st July 2014, 11:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes

I try not to be a boring socialist on this issue but I'm not sure there's been a privatisation in the UK that hasn't been a complete and unmitigated disaster for the public. Obviously it's secured a few sinecure directorships for retired MPs, but that's OK too - it's not bribery if they don't pay you off immediately.

I don't really want to start up a large debate on the topic, but surely if you're complaining about the transition of state operated services to private businesses (which was handled by the government), why would it have been any better in the hands of the people who did a poor job privatising it?

If anything a chief issue is that there isn't competition. If anybody could just pop on over and lay a load of fibre and get a business going, things would be very different most likely.
rollo 21st July 2014, 11:30 Quote
Agree with parge, few of my friends in America pay $90 a month for a adsl connection. Crazy money considering how slow it is.

Norway and Sweden on the other hand, $90 would get you a 100mb/100mb line in most city's.
Phil Rhodes 21st July 2014, 11:56 Quote
Quote:
why would it have been any better in the hands of the people who did a poor job privatising it?

Because the people privatising it had more or less been bought. Anyone running it as a public service wouldn't have had the same motivations and pressures.

And, even if you don't like that idea, it would at least have been cheaper, if not better per se. Thinking particularly of the railways there.

Yes, the competition issue is a concern. This is why things that can't reasonably be subject to real competition, at least without ludicrous duplication of effort, are prime candidates for nationalisation.

P
Maki role 21st July 2014, 12:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes


Because the people privatising it had more or less been bought. Anyone running it as a public service wouldn't have had the same motivations and pressures.

The people running it as a public service would have no motivations and pressures. They'd have secure jobs in effectively a monopoly, why would they care about a thing? You see this happen all the time in government services. Look at how much bureaucracy gets in the way, it's incredible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes


And, even if you don't like that idea, it would at least have been cheaper, if not better per se. Thinking particularly of the railways there.

P

Thing is, would it be cheaper? The government wants our money just as much as any business, they just have more avenues of obtaining it. They may, for instance, reduce rail costs, but then increase fuel duty. Why would they ever need to innovate or fix issues? With no competition, there's nowhere else for people to go after all.
Phil Rhodes 21st July 2014, 12:23 Quote
Quote:
Why would it be cheaper?

I'm basing that on the assertion that:

1) £25 for a 30 minute train ride from here into London is an absurdist mime-show of a charging structure, and

2) Fares have risen considerably above inflation ever since privatisation, and

3) The government subsidy to the railways has quadrupled since privatisation, raising the question of whether it's legitimate to call it privatisation at all, and

4) If we want a high speed railway line, the government has to pay.

I don't necessarily disagree with you - I don't usually care much how things are funded as long as they're well run, and of course the largest private enterprises and publicly-run organisations tend to share many of the same problems. But I think it's fairly clear that privatisation has made railways more expensive.

To drag this back on topic, I get the impression telecoms are a rather different situation - although the pressures on infrastructure investment are broadly equivalent, the continued dominance of BT as an effective monopoly distorts things.

P
Gareth Halfacree 21st July 2014, 14:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cool_dude
Went on their site, how do you look at their cost per month for such connection?
From £250 a month, plus connection fee. Note that this is the cost for an uncontentious business connection; the trial that will see Sky and TalkTalk using CityFibre to run consumer connections doesn't have a price attached. They already run a gigabit FTTH network in Bournemouth, though: Gigler, between £25 and £50 a month for 1Gb/s down and 500Mb/s up. No unlimited packages, though: the £50 a month deal is 1TB, although there are no excess charges - you just get shouted at, throttled and/or kicked off the network if you keep exceeding it.* Half price for three months deal on at the moment, too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cool_dude
Located in London, you'd have thought they'd cover London?
Far too much competition in London. York, on the other hand - the council'll be offering 'em all kinds of benefits for using York as its testbed location.

* Turns out there is an overage charge, kinda-sorta: if you exceed your allowance, you'll get throttled to "much, much slower" (no firm figures attached to that - let's face it, my BT Infinity connection running at peak speed is "much, much slower" than a gigabit connection) until the next billing period unless you buy add-on data packs, with the minimum being £5 for 5GB. I couldn't see the full list of fees at a glance, but I'd hope the cost-per-gigabyte drops dramatically the more you buy.
Margo Baggins 21st July 2014, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anfield
Nah, but BT is actually in the process of rolling out FTTH (on a very small scale and you pay thousands for installation).

Of course BT then still has the audacity to artificially cripple upload speeds and only allow 20Mb/s.

The UK isn't just stuck between a rock and a hard place for fast internet, we have to pay for the rock as well.

Are you sure you are not referring to a fibre lease line?
S1C_S1D 21st July 2014, 15:54 Quote
I have BT Infinity FTTP and get >150mbps

Check out my background image for my website www.sicsid.co.uk to see my highest speedtest.

:)
Gareth Halfacree 21st July 2014, 17:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by S1C_S1D
I have BT Infinity FTTP and get >150mbps
Not bad at all! I'm on Infinity FTTC, and get ~74Mb/s down and ~19Mb/s up. Apparently they're moving to a new VDSL variant which will allow a rough doubling of speeds at some point in the not-too-distant future, so that'll be nice - and get me closer to your FTTP performance.

The nicest thing, though? It appears to be genuinely unlimited. I've put over a terabyte through so far this month, and I've not heard a peep.
RichCreedy 21st July 2014, 20:15 Quote
no he is talking about BT Ultrafast Infinity
ccxo 21st July 2014, 22:35 Quote
Most of the Openreach/BT rollout is FTTC but their is 150,000 FTTP lines, Fibre on Demand is the product that costs a few thousand as its a custom build.
cool_dude 22nd July 2014, 06:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
no he is talking about BT Ultrafast Infinity

Never knew 300mb was 'available' ...
Anfield 22nd July 2014, 10:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
no he is talking about BT Ultrafast Infinity

Correct.
S1C_S1D 24th July 2014, 10:05 Quote
I am signed up for Infinity not Ultra fast Infinity (that was not available when I signed up 2 years ago)
However when the BT engineers installed the kit they did tell me that they have been testing 300+ speeds but BT was reluctant to offer it as it would not be guaranteed and they would not want customers complaining.
I don't really care, its super fast and downloads are almost instant and streaming is smooth.
I might actually be the only person in the UK who is happy with his broadband.
JohnRogers24 25th July 2014, 17:48 Quote
Couldn't think of anything worse than having Google as my ISP.
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