Tuesday, June 8, 2010

FiberFete Exclusive: Google Fiber Speech And Q&A

Much of the content of the presentation is an overview of what has already been shared about the Google Fiber project: 1Gbps open fiber testbed for next generation apps to 50-500,000 people.

But there a number of interesting observations to take away from this presentation.

The overarching theme for me is that Google seems like they're taking an incredibly open-minded approach to this project. While some have criticized them for the lack of specificity in their plans, I find it quite refreshing that they're not coming at this problem with much in the way of preconceived notions about how to do it right. Instead they're clearly in hardcore data-gathering mode, trying to learn as much as possible so they can make the best decisions.

Though with that being said, I do find the challenge they've set up for themselves to be quite daunting. Not only do they have to become experts in the technology, deployment, and operation of fiber, they've also got to find ways to fill the pipe once its built and setup a fully articulated testbed environment, while making sure that everything they do is done with an eye towards replicability and scalability so that the best practices they're learning can be spread across the country. They're not just attempting to go from zero to 60, they're reaching for 160 and beyond.

The Google Fiber project has the potential to push the needle on so many levels, and its impact is already apparent in another nugget Minnie shared, namely that out of the 1,100 communities that applied the vast, vast majority were serious applications. That's actually a pretty profound thing. It shows that the response to this project isn't just a bunch of cities hoping for free money, but rather are cities that understand the value of next generation infrastructure and the need to get themselves equipped with it ASAP.

This reality validates the sense that I have had for a while that there's a tidal wave of interest that's been building among communities for fiber that may now be nearing a tipping point. Let's hope Google Fiber can be the catalyst to help this interest reach a sustainable critical mass!

I encourage you all to watch the whole video. The FiberFete audience asks a ton of terrific, pointed questions, and Minnie, flying without the safety net of a lawyer, answers them like a champion.

Google admits that they don't have all the answers for what all the final details are for how the Google Fiber project will be implemented, but I will say that if the rest of the Google Fiber team is as intelligent, inquisitive, and good-natured as Minnie, then odds are this project is poised for success.

Posted via web from ElyssaD's Posterous

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