Category Archives: Google Fiber

The latest news from the Google Fiber team

Webpass heads to the Emerald City


Today, Webpass announced that it's ready to move into Seattle, one Ethernet-wired building at a time.

The company has made great progress in the Emerald City, identifying the first building where it will provide high-speed Internet service, and hiring a General Manager to lead the local team.

Webpass will provide blazing-fast Internet (up to a gigabit per second!) to residential and business customers, starting with Fifteen Twenty-One Second Avenue, a 40-story tower located above Pike Place Market. They expect to add many more buildings throughout the city, and, starting today, residents of other apartment and condo buildings can reach out to express interest in bringing Webpass to their home.


Leading the Seattle team as General Manager is Craig Friedson, a 20-year Seattle resident and telecom and Internet industry professional for nearly 25 years. Craig’s industry expertise, combined with his local knowledge, will be a great asset to Webpass' new home office in Seattle.

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Webpass Seattle Launch Team
Customers can learn more here, or at 1-800-WEBPASS.

Posted by Charles Barr, founder, Webpass

Google Fiber Lifts Off in Huntsville


Huntsville — a.k.a. Rocket City — is truly a place on the rise. Nationally known for its strong science and technology presence, Huntsville is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and quickly becoming a destination for diverse, creative and entrepreneurial minds. Today, we are proud to announce Google Fiber is officially lifting off in Rocket City.

As of this morning, customers in North Huntsville can sign up for Google Fiber’s superfast Internet, TV and phone service. Residents and small business owners in this part of the city now have access to Google Fiber’s superfast Internet.

We’re excited to bring our service to more and more Huntsvillians, so be sure to sign up at fiber.google.com/cities/huntsville to be among the first to receive updates and future announcements.

Residents in North Huntsville can now sign up for the Fiber 1000 + TV, Fiber 1000, Fiber 100 or Fiber 100 + TV. Customers can also add a Fiber Phone to any of these packages, providing a great voice experience with all of the features of Google Voice, including very low international calling rates.



Huntsville just gets it. Mayor Battle and the city’s leadership understand what unlocking the true potential of the Web with fiber Internet can do for a city, its businesses and residents. As an enterprising city, Huntsville explored new ways to connect residents and small businesses and is building a municipal fiber network through Huntsville Utilities. Google Fiber is the city’s first tenant and will lease part of the network with a non-exclusive arrangement, which allows other providers to lease fiber from the city as well.

Across the country, there continues to be incredible demand for gigabit Internet. While we continue the process of building Google Fiber networks in cities like Kansas City, Austin, Nashville, and others, we’re always looking to new approaches to get people connected. Leasing  the infrastructure in Huntsville rather than building from scratch allows us to bring Google Fiber to even more people, and even faster.

Huntsville has a vibrant network of nonprofit and community organizations working to make the city a better place to work and live. We have been proud to work hand-in-hand with many of these organizations, such as the US Space and Rocket Center, to advance our priority areas of digital inclusion, STEM education, and supporting entrepreneurs and nonprofits.

We are excited to see North Huntsville be the first area to be connected with Google Fiber service, and to see the impact that ultra high-speed broadband can have on everything from economic growth to education to public services and more.

Gigabit speeds can be the foundation for continued innovation and growth for a city. We can’t wait to see what’s possible in Huntsville!

Posted by Caroline de Gantes, Head of Business Operations, Huntsville

Google Fiber Community Impact Report



From the earliest days of Google Fiber through today, we’ve seen the transformational power of local partnerships and how access to super fast Internet - and all the tools that come with it - can drive progress in communities. From tech hubs and entrepreneurs, to low income families and seniors, those with access and training can leap over the digital divide.

Today, we’re excited to share an in-depth look at findings from our work in the community through our new Community Impact Report. This report looks at how, through collaboration with local partners and nonprofits, some of the communities in need of more internet access have had the opportunity to thrive in an increasingly digital world. The full report, with national and local data can be found here.



Through a variety of efforts, including programs focused on science, math, engineering and digital literacy, we’ve experienced amazing progress toward digital equity. Together with our local partners, we’ve seen:

  • Over 1 million people reached through the work of Digital Inclusion Fellows
  • 206,000 Children and families served by STEM-focused programs supported by Google Fiber
  • 115,000 Hours of digital literacy training 
  • More than 1,910 Families living in public housing with access to no-cost Gigabit Internet
  • Over 200 Nonprofit partners and community organizations with free Gigabit Internet through our Community Connections program

None of this would be possible without our strong local collaborations with community programs, nonprofits and housing authorities. These community leaders are doing some great work to help bridge the digital divide in their own backyards.

For example, in Austin, together with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) we connected three properties to Internet access at no cost. With that connection, HACA resident Christeen Weir graduated valedictorian of her high school and is now pursuing a biomedical engineering degree at UT-Austin. She credits the HACA and a Google Fiber connection with helping her achieve her dream to become the first person in her family to attend a 4-year college since she used it to help her research projects for school and fill out applications for scholarships.

In Charlotte, we opened up our Fiber Space and worked with local partner DigiBridge to host a Daddy Daughter Code-In. In a twist on the Father Daughter dance, we brought in local dads and daughters together with the purpose of getting more girls involved in STEM. Thirty father-daughter pairs built Lego robots, made binary code necklaces, and learned about 3D printing. Due to the popularity of the event, Google Fiber hosted a follow-up Daddy Daughter Code-In, serving over 100 parents and children over the course of both events.

Looking forward, our community impact work will continue to evolve as our business and technology does, and we’ll continue to focus on supporting high quality Internet and digital literacy programming for those who can benefit the most. With up to a gigabit connection, and local educational support, the possibilities go far beyond the bare minimum. Individuals will be able to get online to finish homework, find jobs, apply for college, and truly get connected.

Access’ Next Steps with Citizens Broadband Radio Service

If you’ve ever tried to make a call in a hotel or at a conference, only to realize there is no connectivity, or it is too slow to use, you understand the importance of having high capacity wireless networks. We have been working with operators and hardware manufacturers towards a radically new spectrum sharing technique to make bandwidth readily abundant and accessible in the U.S.

The shared spectrum approach is being applied to the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band (3.55GHz-3.7GHz). CBRS will allow large venues such as enterprises, concert halls, sports arenas, theme parks, shopping malls — and yes even hotels and conference centers — to easily deploy private, wireless LTE networks without spending billions to lease spectrum. This will enable more innovation in wireless applications and products going forward.


There are three requirements for the CBRS band to be ready for prime time: (1) a Spectrum Access System (SAS), as mandated by the FCC to manage spectrum sharing; (2) a robust hardware ecosystem; and (3) the deployment of wireless networks. Today, we’ve hit major milestones in the first two requirements: we’ve completed an end-to-end test of consumer devices connecting to CBRS base stations, and formed a trusted tester program to ensure interoperability between CBRS base stations and the Access SAS.

The availability of CBRS consumer devices isn’t so far off. In fact, we’ve demonstrated two device firsts in the band by showing end-to-end operation of phones using Qualcomm (Snapdragon X20 Gigabit LTE modem) and Spreadtrum SOC chipsets, as well as MiFi devices from Juni/Infomark. This is a major milestone for the CBRS band. While it will take time for CBRS phones to be pervasive in the market, MiFi devices provide an excellent bridge in the near term.

On the network hardware side of things, we are introducing the Trusted Tester Citizens Broadband Radio Service Device (CBSD) Program. Trusted testers can now sign up to run a series of self-service tests to ensure their base station equipment works with the Access SAS. The Access SAS communicates to these radios and provisions spectrum in the band in accordance with FCC regulations, and ultimately makes sure that the spectrum gets used fairly and efficiently. Our first batch of successful pre-testers include Nokia, Juni, ZTE, Sercomm, Ericsson, and Ruckus Wireless, representing a diverse group of manufacturers, with experience spanning from small cells to macro cells, as well as indoor and outdoor use cases. SAS certification is expected to happen this year, so we are building the foundation for  a functioning and collaborative environment now.

We’ll continue to work with industry leaders and new participants to realize the promise of shared spectrum, which we believe is the key to abundant and low cost wireless. The industry is ready for private LTE deployments, and this year has set the foundation for this, and future innovation.

See you at Mobile World Congress!


Webpass goes Mile High with the last mile

Webpass is adding a new pin to the map today: Denver. The company has identified its first apartment community to receive Webpass service. Residents across the Mile-High City, whose buildings are wired with Ethernet, will be able to contact Webpass and sign up for superfast Internet service — up to a gigabit per second!

To lead and grow our local business, we have hired General Manager, Roger Fitch. Roger has worked in telecom and Internet for nearly 30 years and brings plenty of local expertise to our new home office in Denver.

Webpass Denver launch team




Webpass is currently building out its local data center stack that will allow installation of point-to-point wireless radios to provide service to customers.

We can’t wait for Denverites to experience the difference of Webpass Internet — from a fast and seamless install experience, to high-touch, dedicated customer support. With Webpass, customers are connected with superfast speeds of up to a gigabit, perfect for cutting the cord or running your small business.

Customers can learn more about our service here, or contact 1-800-WEBPASS.

Google Fiber arrives in Raleigh: announcing customer signups and our new Fiber Space

Just five months after launching in Morrisville, today Google Fiber is accepting sign-ups for residents and businesses in the North Hills, midtown area of Raleigh. Those who sign up will have the opportunity to join the many Morrisville residents now using Google Fiber. If you live in the broader Triangle, check your address and be among the first to know where we go next, at fiber.google.com/triangle.
Google Fiber installation van, Raleigh skyline. Van art by Adam Dixon; photographed by Stephen Sugg

We’re also happy to announce the grand opening of our brand new Raleigh Fiber Space, in the historic 518 West Jones building in Glenwood South. Come step inside and take Google Fiber’s superfast Gigabit Internet and TV for a spin. Our first community event takes place this week during Raleigh First Friday. In celebration of our local artist community and to kick off Black History Month, we are unveiling the latest addition to Raleigh’s mural scene, created by Victor Knight, III, as well as some of his other works. Providing beats for the evening will be local legend, 9th Wonder. We hope you can join us!
Grand opening of the Google Fiber Space in Raleigh. Photographed by Aaron Lindberg

Finally, we’re continuing our work in the community to help those most impacted by the digital divide. We’re thrilled to share today that we’re preparing to serve our first Gigabit Communities property at The Oaks in the coming months. Gigabit Communities is a Google Fiber program that brings free gigabit Internet to residents in select public and low-income housing properties. We know that digital literacy is an important component of any inclusion program, so we’ve been working closely with nonprofits across the Triangle, including Code the Dream, The Forge Institute and ThinkHouse, and to support digital inclusion fellows at the Kramden Institute and the Triangle Literacy Council.

Raleigh residents in North Hills, midtown will be able to sign up for one of the following plans:


Eligible small businesses can sign up for one of three business offerings.

Our teams remain hard at work building one of the largest infrastructure projects in Triangle history and we can’t wait for even more customers in the Triangle to give Fiber a try. You can track our construction progress on our website: fiber.google.com/triangle. And if you live in an apartment building, while you’re there you can check out our Apartment Finder to see if your building is on track to get Fiber soon.

Happy surfing!




More places to grab gigabit, with Webpass

When you go to the Google Fiber map today, you will notice it has a new hue: Webpass green.

Since we announced that Webpass is part of the Google Fiber family last year, we’ve been working together in the cities both Webpass and Google Fiber share: Chicago, San Diego and San Francisco. Webpass has been offering superfast Internet service — up to a gigabit per second — in these cities for some time, and has the full support of Google Fiber to continue doing so going forward.

Customers in six metro areas — now marked by a green pin — may be eligible to use Webpass if their building has at least 10 units, and is wired with Ethernet cabling. Copper Ethernet wiring can allow for blazing gigabit speeds, making them an affordable alternative for building owners to install vs. coaxial cable or even fiber. Check with your landlord or property manager to see if you’re eligible to get up and surf with Webpass today.


 

Introducing the updated Fiber TV App


With so much great entertainment to watch this winter, we don’t want you to miss a thing. Which is why we’ve updated the Fiber TV App to help you find and enjoy all the entertainment you love.


The Fiber TV App already lets you watch some of your favorite TV channels live or On Demand. Plus you can use it to control your TV from your mobile device. With today’s update you can now play and record your favorite TV shows, sports, and movies with one tap. Here’s more of what you can do with the updated Fiber TV App.



  1. Catch up on your favorite shows. You’ll now find the next episodes from your favorite shows waiting for you as soon as you open the Fiber TV app. With one tap you can begin watching.
  2. Don’t miss the game. See what sports are happening right now, or are scheduled for later, then record them to your DVR with one tap. And you can set up your recordings no matter where you are, even when you’re out with friends.
  3. Find recommendations for what to watch. View personalized recommendations for live TV. That means you’ll know to check out that Fresh Prince of Bel Air marathon or a new show you might enjoy, like Designated Survivor.
  4. Get to your recordings quickly. The app now recommends recordings on your DVR to watch next as soon as you open it, so you can save time getting to the entertainment you love. 


We hope today’s updates make it easier than ever to find, record, and watch all the entertainment you love. The Fiber TV App will be updated for all our TV subscribers in the coming weeks. You can download the app from the Play Store for Android, or App store for iPhones and iPads.

Posted by Jared Nusinoff, Product Manager, Google Fiber

Advancing our amazing bet

Five years after announcing we’d bring Google Fiber to Kansas City, our vision remains: to connect more people to superfast and abundant Internet. At that time, Gigabit residential speeds were unheard of, built-from-the-ground-up Fiberhood designs and builds were as yet unproven, and a great customer experience simply didn’t exist. Since then, we have reshaped the landscape — these innovations are becoming more commonplace (which we all can agree is great for everyone, particularly for consumers!).


And thanks to the hard work of everyone on the Access team, our business is solid: our subscriber base and revenue are growing quickly, and we expect that growth to continue. I am extremely proud of what we’ve built together in five short years.



Now, just as any competitive business must, we have to continue not only to grow, but also stay ahead of the curve — pushing the boundaries of technology, business, and policy — to remain a leader in delivering superfast Internet. We have refined our plan going forward to achieve these objectives. It entails us making changes to focus our business and product strategy. Importantly, the plan enhances our focus on new technology and deployment methods to make superfast Internet more abundant than it is today.



These changes to our business and technology will have some immediate implications. Some of our efforts will remain unchanged, but others will be impacted. In terms of our existing footprint, in the cities where we’ve launched or are under construction, our work will continue. For most of our “potential Fiber cities” — those where we’ve been in exploratory discussions — we’re going to pause our operations and offices while we refine our approaches. We’re ever grateful to these cities for their ongoing partnership and patience, and we’re confident we’ll have an opportunity to resume our partnership discussions once we’ve advanced our technologies and solutions. In this handful of cities that are still in an exploratory stage, and in certain related areas of our supporting operations, we’ll be reducing our employee base.



As for me personally, it’s been quite a journey over the past few years, taking a broad-based set of projects and initiatives and growing a focused business that is on a strong trajectory. And I’ve decided this is the right juncture to step aside from my CEO role. Larry has asked me to continue as an advisor, so I’ll still be around.



I am humbled by our growth and progress across Access today, and I’m so grateful to have been part of such an extraordinary bet. And as we continue this bet, I remain confident that the future will hold a much more connected society and abundant access for all. Let’s keep doing our part to make it so!



Welcome, Webpass to the Google Fiber family!

Back in June Google Fiber entered into an agreement to acquire Webpass. Today we’re happy to announce that we’ve closed the transaction for Webpass, Inc., which is now officially part of the Google Fiber family. (We should mention that a smaller affiliate, Webpass Telecommunications, LLC, is expected to close later this year, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.)


Webpass set out to change the landscape for Internet providers back in 2003. Their mission today is the same: deliver a simple, high quality Internet connection to as many people as possible. At Google Fiber we share that same goal, and together we can grow faster — and reach more people— than ever before.


It’s been impressive to watch Webpass evolve from a boot-strapped startup to an established category leader with tens of thousands of happy customers in five major metros from San Francisco to Boston.
Current Webpass markets in the U.S.
This growth is due to their fast, reliable Internet service, available at an affordable price with no hidden fees, no contracts and an install experience that puts the customer first. In fact, Webpass customers have been known to choose the building they live in based on Webpass’ service map. Providing an excellent customer service experience is another philosophy we share with Webpass.


In addition, Webpass is known for their successful track record lighting up new buildings with super fast Internet service very quickly — sometimes within a month or less once building access agreements are in place. This speed of deployment is possible in part because Webpass manages its own network, which also has the benefit of higher service availability, automatic upgrades for service that gets better over time, and bandwidths of up to 1 gigabit per second.


Of course, at Google Fiber we’re particularly excited about Webpass’ application of point-to-point wireless deployment methodology. As we’ve said, our strategy going forward will be a hybrid approach with wireless playing an integral part. Webpass has proven that point-to-point wireless is a reliable way to connect more people to high-speed Internet in a densely populated environment, by setting up wireless transmission links between buildings. Residents simply plug their device or router into the data jack Webpass installs in their unit, and they’re good to go, browsing with speeds reaching up to a Gig.


Going forward, Webpass will continue to grow and scale their business with point-to-point wireless technology, including expanding into new cities. And for our part, Google Fiber will continue to build out our portfolio of wireless and fiber technologies, to bring super fast Internet to more people, faster. In the meantime, there will be no changes for current Webpass or Google Fiber customers, who will continue to get the same great services they love. 



We’re so excited to be working with the Webpass team, who have truly been pioneers in providing super fast, super simple Internet to people who demand choice. Together, the combination of Google Fiber technology with Webpass’ great team and operations will result in more choice and better access for many more people.