Category Archives: Google Fiber

The latest news from the Google Fiber team

Watch This Way: How to catch every awards show season moment

Our series, Watch This Way, aimed at making watching TV over the Internet easier, continues with the hope of getting you red carpet ready. Missed the rest/others? Find them here.


You’ve seen the list of nominees, questioned who got snubbed, and tweeted your feelings about it more than once. But are you really ready for all the awards shows? Have the perfect outfit, seen all the movies, and know just how you plan to tune in? The truth is that you don’t need much more than the Internet to prepare and watch these big nights. Here’s how:

Getting ready: Choose your Internet TV service.

Yes, you can watch major awards shows and events without cable. Many local broadcast stations have web- or app-based ways to watch, or you can use a cable alternative like YouTube TV or fuboTV. Double check that your service of choice features the programming you’re looking for.

To watch TV over the Internet, you’ll need a smart TV or a streaming device, such as a Roku Player, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, XBox One, Android TV, or Apple TV. Plus, when you watch over gigabit Internet, you can say goodbye to buffering — no missing out on the most important moments.

Getting ready: Do your research and get familiar with the nominees.

Not to say that we don’t miss the days of video stores, but it’s pretty helpful to be able to watch 10 movies in a row without ever leaving your couch. Check out Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ to get started on the films and TV you may have missed. Then you’ll be armed with all the information you need to make predictions.

During the show: Share your thoughts in real time!

Arguably one of the best parts of watching awards shows in real-time is live tweeting your opinions, staying caught up with fashion highlights and lowlights, and seeing (or making) memes before they go viral.

Can’t stay up that late to catch it all? Don’t worry! You can watch when you’re ready. Many cable alternatives come with plenty of cloud DVR storage, or you watch on-demand the next day. (You just might want to rethink your social media strategy.)

So grab some popcorn, suit up in that red carpet-worthy outfit, and get ready to share your thoughts on your preferred social platform. It’s showtime.

~~~~

category: product_news

Great Internet = Great TV

TV. We all watch it; we all love it. That will never change.

But what will change — what has changed — is how we watch it. You no longer need pricey bundles that force you into paying for channels you’ll never watch, taking away your choice and control. And you especially don't need to be locked into one way to get TV in the face of continued price increases or contract battles when all you want to do is watch TV.

Nope, you really only need one thing: fast, fair, reliable Internet.

As we return our focus to where we started — as a gigabit Internet company — we’re also ready to challenge the status quo, to finally come right out and say it: customers today just don’t need traditional TV.

The best TV is already online. And we want to help you watch it, in the ways that work best for your budget and your own viewing preferences. You want live TV? Great. Sports? Go get it. On-demand shows? Absolutely. It’s all online, just waiting for you.

So, as of today, Google Fiber will no longer offer a linear TV product to new customers. For our current TV customers, we know you have come to rely on Google Fiber TV and we will continue to provide you with traditional TV service. And we'll be happy to help everyone explore other options to get their favorite programming the way TV is watched now — over the Internet, with the virtually unlimited choice and control online viewing provides.

In fact, we’ve added a second streaming service to our line-up: starting today, customers can sign up for fuboTV at the same time they sign up for their Google Fiber service. This is particularly exciting for sports fans — fuboTV offers more than 35,000 live sporting events each year. And you can also watch popular TV shows, movies and news on fuboTV — their base package alone has more than 100 live channels and more than 30,000 TV episodes and movies on demand every month. You also get cloud DVR and the ability to stream simultaneously on multiple screens.

Our partnership with fuboTV is in addition to one with YouTube TV, announced in December. Now, new Fiber customers have at least two options to choose how they want to get the live and on-demand programming they know and love. Of course, customers can always sign up for any of the many other streaming services on their own — we’ll provide the Internet!

When you have a smooth, steady connection of a gig (or more!), getting all your TV online — live, show by show, your DVR — is possible and easy. Without long loading screens and bulky cable boxes; without competing for bandwidth from other devices or family members. And, especially, without worrying about hitting a data cap.

We didn’t make this change happen; the industry didn’t make this change happen. You did. You’ve been telling us for a long time that you wanted more choice and more control. You wanted no contracts and more flexibility. You made your voice heard with where and how you spend your money, and Google Fiber is listening.

~~~~

category: product_news

Watch This Way: Streaming your favorite live sports

This is the second installment in our series Watch This Way, aimed at making watching TV over the Internet easier. If you missed the first one, you can find it here.



The beers are cold, the wings are hot, the guac is fresh — there’s just one thing left to figure out: How are you going to watch that college basketball game, big football spectacular or tennis match Down Under this weekend on the big, new TV you picked up over the holidays?

First, you don’t need cable. (What? Yes. Really.) In fact, if you’re a cord-cutter — or you have gigabit Internet and prefer a superior watching experience — you can watch most games, matches, and championships in real time over the Internet. Consider this your three-step plan to becoming the ultimate watch party host.

  • Choose your cable substitute. Some channels will let you watch for free over the web or their apps, and there are also channels that have their own apps, like ESPN+. Most cable alternatives — like YouTubeTV, fuboTV, AT&T Now, Sling TV, or Hulu+Live TV — carry local broadcast affiliates, which means you’ll be able to watch games and matches there, too. (Be sure to check listings in advance, so you’re not disappointed.) Got a digital antenna? You can also use that to watch sports broadcast over-the-air for free.
  • Pick your device. You can watch on your computer, tablet, or phone, but assuming you’re making a party out of it, you’ll want to connect your TV to the Internet. You can do so by using a streaming device such as a Roku Player, Google Chromecast, Fire TV, XBox One, Android TV, or Apple TV (Gen 4 or above). And with many smart TVs, you can watch directly by using the app of your choice. 
  • Decide if you’ll be watching in 4K Ultra HD. Sports are often the first events to take advantage of the biggest, brightest resolution — and yes, that includes live broadcasts, too. When you watch in 4K UHD, you get four times the pixels than you’d get with standard HD, which makes it four times clearer.) You just need a 4K TV to take advantage of that superior viewing experience. 

Watching in 4K requires more bandwidth than watching in standard definition (SD) or HD,  so make sure that your Internet’s high speed and comes with unlimited data. That way, you don’t have to worry about any limitations or frustrations (other than your team making you sweat the outcome!). With gigabit Internet, you should be good to go.

Now you’re set to be the ultimate watch party host, no matter the sport … provided your food game is as strong as your TV game. Go [insert your team here]!

~~~~

author: Google Fiber Marketing Team

title:

category: product_news

Watch This Way: TV has changed in some very big ways

One thing we think about a lot at Google Fiber is how to help our customers get more out of their Internet. We get a lot of questions about what you can do with a gig and how to make sure you are taking advantage of all that truly fast speed. Customers from coast to coast want to know more about watching TV over the Internet — how it works, what devices to use, and where to get the content you want. With that in mind, we’re kicking off a series of blog posts called “Watch This Way” on all things streaming, beginning with a look at how things have changed over the last 10 years.


A lot has happened over the past decade, like the onset of ride-sharing apps, the rise of plant-based meat, and the invention of the selfie-stick. But one thing that’s really changed is how we watch TV. The Internet’s evolution has opened up new innovations and technologies both for how content is created and how content is viewed.

In June 2009, on the cusp of the last decade, there were only 1.7 billion Internet users. That means just 25% of the world’s population regularly accessed the web. Now way more people are online. By June 2019, the number of Internet users rose to a reported 4.5 billion (that’s 59% of the world’s population!).

Way back then, the way we watched must-see TV was certainly different. In 2010, Netflix had yet to release its first original show (that’s right — no House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, or Stranger Things) — they were still shipping a lot of DVDs to your house. There were actually a handful of streaming services, mostly for those early-adopter types who like to be trying the next big thing before everyone else.

Today, there are many streaming services to choose from, each with their own perks — and programming. So if you only enjoy watching live sports and your significant other refuses to watch shows that aren’t critically acclaimed horror masterpieces, you can still make your relationship work. As more programming becomes available, more and more people are tuning in. 74% of people stream some sort of TV, whether it’s live sports with a side of horror movies or something entirely different.

Our TVs have gotten a lot smarter too. Ten years ago, the technology was still emerging, and companies were taking different approaches at getting it right. The evolution of smart TVs has made the impossible totally possible — you can watch TV and stream videos over the Internet, right to your TV screen without an additional device (and probably also check your email and tweet about the shows you are watching too). Not only can they do more than your typical TV, like work with smart home devices, but they also have a bunch of built-in or downloadable streaming services to meet your every content desire.

All this has led to one big change. In 2010, most people had cable and couldn’t imagine living without it. In 2013, approximately 10 million American households had cut the cord. By 2019, that number nearly doubled — about 29 million have cut the cord, and it’s expected to rise further. By 2023, the number of cutters is expected to rise to 41 million. And by as soon as 2022, 22 % of Internet videos and 62% of TVs will be 4K, which means that not only is there more to watch, but we’ll be doing it in higher quality. . .which means one thing for sure: Gigabit Internet will definitely come in handy.

Learn more about how to make the switch to streaming.

~~~~

author: Google Fiber Marketing Team

title:

category: product_news

Celebrating MLK in Austin

Google Fiber has supported the Austin Area Heritage Council’s MLK Oratory Competition in Austin, Texas, for the past six years. This extraordinary programs brings students from across the city together to deliver original speeches commemorating Dr. King’s ideals and principles and encourage his legacy of peace and racial equality. This year’s winner, Kennedi Jeffries, a student at Volma Overton Early College Prep, brought that legacy to life during the January 16th event. She was also invited to speak at the annual MLK Community March. Like Kennedi, we believe in fighting for future generations and we’re proud to help amplify Dr. King’s message in Austin. But please don’t take our word for it - you can listen to Kennedi’s entire speech in the video below. Congratulations to all the students who competed in this event!


(((video)))

Posted by Daniel Lucio, Government & Community Affairs Manager, Austin

 

~~~~

author: Daniel Lucio

title: Government & Community Affairs Manager, Austin

category: community_impact

videourl: https://storage.cloud.google.com/fiber/blog/MLK-winner-FINAL.mov

The Night Before Gigmas


Twas the night before Christmas (and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) in every house,
Not a creature was scrolling on trackpad or mouse.
The router was blinking with lights all in green,
With hope that movies would soon be on multiple screens.
The gamers and streamers were snug in their beds,
While visions of unlimited data ran through their heads.

And Google Fiber in 11 cities and Webpass in nine,
Had customer service reps waiting online.
And throughout the Internet on sites far and wide,
New posts, videos, and tweets were populating across the divide. 
And before the calendar rolls to a new decade
There are tons of new multiplayer games to be played.

And gifts of all sizes that use your wifi (phones, computers, and TVs in 4k) 
Want the experience of a gig, and the speed it provides:
Uploads, downloads, an AR sleigh ride
Or something more practical, like video chat
With nary a glitch — how about that?

So before you power down for the rest of the night,
Check your passwords once more and log off every site.
Google Fiber wishes you some much needed holiday cheer,
And a wonderful, very connected, and truly fast new year!



~~~~~~~~
category: product_news

backgroundsize: contain
backgroundcolor: #fff

All in on a Gig

When we set out to change the Internet, we did so focused on one very core concept: speed. We were tired of settling for subpar speeds, delivered over out-of-date networks that weren’t keeping up with the changing technological world.

So we decided to do something different. We started building fiber networks, from scratch, that allowed customers to access some of the first residential gigabit speeds in the United States.

We were obsessed. Some said we were foolish. (Though we prefer ahead of our time.)

Who needs a gigabit (1,000 mbps), they asked, when the average U.S. Internet speed at the time was crawling in single digits for both uploads and downloads?

Now, seven years later, we’ve seen a huge shift, not only in Internet speeds, but also in how we use the Internet. Customers have caught on to our early vision, and other Internet service providers have tried to catch up. With increasingly connected homes and ever-improving technologies, speed is more important than any time in our history — and becoming more important every day. And with our fiber networks, we’re uniquely positioned to deliver it.

So, starting today, we’re recommitting to our roots. We’re going all in on a gig, just like we did all those years ago. We will no longer offer a 100 mbps plan to new customers.

We are excited to turn our attention back to our gig service, still offered for $70/month — the exact same price it cost back in 2012 when we first launched. Backed by the power of a gig, our customers are able to fully enjoy the endless opportunities the Internet presents.

And even if you don’t think you need a gig now, we think you will in the very near future: Internet usage in U.S. households is growing exponentially. With a gig, we’ll give you plenty of room to grow.

Of course, we know that much of that growth is coming from the number of connected devices in your home, doubling every year, and so many more activities, like gaming and sharing and watching videos online. Streaming, or “over the top” TV viewing, requires bandwidth. A lot of it.

As we continue to look for new ways for Fiber customers to harness gigabit speeds, we’re excited to announce a new partnership that allows you to do just that: starting tomorrow, Fiber customers can sign up for YouTube TV at the same time they sign up for Google Fiber.

When you pair Google Fiber with your YouTube TV service, you have the best of both worlds: watch 70+ channels of live sports, breaking news, and must-see shows and movies on all of your devices. Record your favorite shows with free unlimited DVR space, and get six individual accounts for the home.

And because we’re Google Fiber, you won’t have any data caps to interrupt even the most impressive binge-watching session. And with the power of a gig, you’re able to use all your connected devices at home at the same time.

~~~
author:
title:
category: product_news

Getting Online in Laundromats in San Antonio

Google Fiber is excited to support Libraries Without Borders’ latest Wash and Learn Initiative (WALI) in San Antonio, along with the San Antonio Public Library and BiblioTech. Today, Lisa Alvarenga, San Antonio Project Coordinator for Libraries Without Borders, shares how WALI works and what her work means to her and the larger community.


Trips to the laundromat with mom were a weekly staple of my childhood. I absolutely hated it. We’d spend maybe two hours there but, as any kid knows, two hours can seem like an eternity. I’d enviously watch the more rambunctious kids ride around in the carts, wishing that were me. My mother could see me eyeballing the carts and she’d quickly tell me “Ni se atreve! (Don’t you dare!).” I spent hours getting dizzy as I watched the washers spin round and round, flashes of color blurred together.


When I first heard of Libraries Without Borders’ Wash and Learn Initiative (WALI)  I thought, “Whoa! That’s such a good idea!.” WALI aims to bridge the digital divide by bringing technology and library programming to laundromats. Some stuff just makes sense. Peanut butter and jelly. Cereal and milk. Laundromats and community resources. WALI meets the community where they are and acts as a facilitator to community resources already available. 


As the San Antonio Project Coordinator for WALI, I am tasked with the duty of building partnerships and bringing them to the laundromat. I started my new role by conducting interest surveys at the laundromats. What did community members want to see in the laundromat? Did they want to learn about digital literacy? How to improve their health? How to do their taxes? Their answers served as my guide for programming and partners to bring in to the laundromat. I became a regular fixture in the laundromat and the customers started recognizing me.


Before I knew it, we were installing the technology into the laundromat — a Chromebook and two tablets for the customers to use while they are waiting for their clothes. In September, we ran on our first programming session, a children’s storytime. It was quiet but caught the attention of customers. And, today, we are officially launching our programming schedule with our anchor partners, Google Fiber, San Antonio Public Library and Bexar County BiblioTech, with more partners to come.


The impact of WALI hit me at a literacy programming session just a few days ago. A local librarian read to one of the kids at the laundromat while his brother, curious but shy, hid under a table and listened in. I watched them during story time and thought about how that could have been me. The day before, at our Culebra site, I helped a woman log in to a website that would help her learn English, and couldn’t help but think of my mom. 


These opportunities are universal. WALI is about giving people what they need in an unexpected but necessary place. Libraries Without Borders means we go where people are, so you’ll find me at the laundromat.






Posted by Lisa Alvarenga, San Antonio Project Coordinator, Libraries Without Borders


~~~~

author: Lisa Alvarenga
title: San Antonio Project Coordinator, Libraries Without Borders
category: community_impact


backgroundsize: contain


imagealign: center

How Raleigh Digital Connectors (RDC) Enabled Me To Be A Leader in Raleigh


We’re closing out our Digital Inclusion Week series with a post from Raleigh, NC. Habib Khadri, a sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill in Computer Science and Business Administration, is an alum of the City of Raleigh’s Digital Connector program, sponsored by Google Fiber, which provides 14-18 year olds with technology and leadership training.

Being a leader isn’t reserved for individuals who are already placed in positions of authority, but rather invites individuals who possess determination, initiative, and a proactive mindset to step up and take charge. I have held numerous positions in clubs, organizations, and at work, but I cannot say I was a leader solely due to the title I was given. There are a multitude of initiatives where I was simply just a member, but can recall exact moments where I felt I exemplified what it means to be a leader.

Moving to Raleigh allowed me to participate in Raleigh Digital Connectors, a program for teenagers from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the technology industry. With support from Google Fiber, Digital Connectors offered leadership development aligned with community-based service projects. The program was close to my high school but the drastic difference in neighborhoods showed me the wealth gap that exists in Raleigh. The program’s classes were held in a low socioeconomic area where parents feared to drop off their children. My background coupled with my analytical nature allowed me to construct and present ideas to “bridge the divide” between socioeconomic classes within Raleigh. I was in the program for two years only to be invited back to be an instructor and later on, the speaker for two years in a row at the annual commencement ceremony.

Raleigh Digital Connectors has an annual program called “The Oak City Techathon” which enabled me to become an instructor within my community. Whether it was creating a Facebook account for senior citizens and allowing them to connect with long lost friends or teaching young kids how to assemble basic robots, I was able to spark a newfound interest in a multitude of groups scattered across the city of Raleigh. I knew these people would learn and then be inspired to teach what they learn to their peers. 

I want to work toward eliminating the wealth gap and bring communities together so everyone has access to resources that are only available in the affluent areas. I think a step toward equity between these communities is to promote programs such as Raleigh Digital Connectors. I feel it is my experiences that enable me to be a global leader. Being a leader doesn’t mean just sitting back and delegating tasks, but involves hands-on experience and the ambition to want to better your community, whether it be local or global. I learned that even when you feel insignificant, everybody has to start somewhere.

Posted by Habib Khadri, UNC-Chapel Hill student and Raleigh Digital Connectors alum


~~~

author: Habib Khadri
title: UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore and Raleigh Digital Connectors alum
category: community_impact
backgroundsize: contain



imagealign: center

Youth, Mobile Portraits and Community Narratives


Our Digital Inclusion Week guest blog series continues with Anthony Rea of the Mattie Rhodes Center, which has been serving the community in Kansas City for 125 years.




I should preface that this story is really about digital inclusion, but I just wanted to give a little context to the how and why we do what we do with young people and the leadership they offer us when we give them space to learn and question.

I used to instruct digital photography in the Pilsen community of Chicago between 2009 and 2013. It was a community going through drastic changes with gentrification and new developments transforming the landscape of the neighborhood. My group of young people tasked ourselves with the job of documenting the people and spaces that made up their community – actively responding to their transforming environment and personal histories. It was an exciting time for all of us – the work was beautiful but more importantly, it communicated something important, and our young people were the ones leading that communication through their art-making.

Fast forward to a little over a year ago -- I’m in Kansas City’s historic Northeast community working with Mattie Rhodes Center watching our after school instructors work on a stop-motion animation with students using the instructors' phones and makeshift tripods. I’m sitting there thinking how these young people needed the right tools – how we needed a photo/video program. So I start to draft up a program (and a budget) that would put tablets in the hands of our young people, we would produce imagery and audio projects that told their stories and stories of their community – they would respond to the issues that impacted them the most, so ultimately these amazing young people could build skills around social media, representation, communication, and image-making. After personally shopping the proposal around to a few funders my boss said there was a Google Fiber representative that wanted to know what plans we had regarding technology and digital inclusion. I handed her my proposal, and we were off!

Now, fast-forward several months and our Digital Media Lab, sponsored by Google FIber, has been working with students at our Northeast Mattie Rhodes Center location since Spring 2019. Students have explored self-portraiture and representation explicating who they are and where they hope to be in life. More importantly, they have been learning to use this tablet – this iPad as an actual place of artistic production. Expanding on the consuming function that many of us might consider, our youth are learning more about this device, the various available apps that they can access to create and share their creative and visual ideas, and how to responsibly share through social media.

We have also started to engage community members through a Community Photo Booth that we created. Our setup is a simple one, with iPads and tripods. Many of our students talked about their families not having “professional” family portraits. That discussion quickly took us into saying, “Why can’t we be our own professionals?” So we looked at portraiture and imagery that we appreciated and held our first public event last May. The photo booth created an opportunity for our students to be the “professional” photographers in the neighborhood for their families and community. They manage the process, have forms and use Flickr as a way to share the photos with our participants. 

We are now building the photo booth idea into our Digital Media Lab so that more students can go through the steps and will eventually build videography skills. The goal is to transform our students into a mobile portrait and video team taking family portraits in the area and collecting narratives from our Northeast Kansas City residents. 

By providing space to learn how to use the tools, our students have the opportunity to do something really exciting with technology. They are moving beyond just being passive consumers of imagery but actual producers of it -- taking control of not just their imagery and representation, but even how their immediate friends and family and ultimately their community is seen. Digital inclusion isn’t just about the technology, it’s about the connection, and that’s what these kids are doing every day.

Posted by Anthony Marcos Rea, Youth Development Coordinator, Digital Media Lab at the Mattie Rhodes Center.



Top photo caption: clockwise from upper left corner 1. Hailie Freeman, Lincoln Middle School; 2. Perla Ramos, Frontier Middle School; 3. Emma Courtice, Lincoln Middle School; 4. Diego Montes, Frontier Middle School; 5. Darianna Marquez, Lincoln College Prep HS; 6. Dominic Ramos, Frontier Middle School. From "Selfies & the Portrait," Spring 2019 and "Layering the Self Portrait using PhotoshopMix," Fall 2019.
~~~

author: Anthony Marcos Rea
title: Youth Development Coordinator, Digital Media Lab at the Mattie Rhodes Center
category: community_impact