Road Runner

Did You Get Your Daily Fiber? I Get Mine Through Google.

20131201-162038.jpgBy this time tomorrow I’ll basking in the high speed glow of Google Fiber. My loft will be wired with the service and Time Warner Cable will be a fast fading memory. After 9 months of waiting the Fiber will be wired in and running tomorrow morning and frankly I can’t wait. If you read my blog you probably know that Time Warner has been a nightmare with horrible hardware, software, and performance issues. At times I was lucky to have an internet connection faster than dial up, especially at the house on Lloyd in KCK. So anything, and I mean anything is better than Time Warner Cable running on Scientific Atlanta hardware, featuring the worst UI and menuing system on the face of the planet.

Yesterday when I called Time Warner to cancel service, their customer service reps through everything at me to get me to stay. First it was a gift card to Best Buy. I haven’t shopped at a Best Buy in years, and based on everything I read about them these days, neither has anyone else. Next it was the free bundle upgrade for a year. I could have gotten, a Time Warner phone upgrade (people under the age of 70 still have land lines?), or I could have received the premium channel upgrade with free HBO for a year. Apparently Time Warner doesn’t realize that a large group of people watch HBO and like programming through online services, or through HBO’s dedicated apps for iOS and Android. I was on the phone with two very nice women that literally didn’t want to take no for an answer and would do anything to keep me, including dissing Google Fiber customer service, pricing structure, Internet performance, and channel line up. Is Time Warner worried about Google Fiber eating their lunch? It sure felt like it to me.

Here’s the deal, Time Warner for years has had a monopoly on the local cable service. They have also had a bit of a strangle hold on internet service. Case in point, Time Warner was my only option at my old house on Lloyd, and for the first 5 years in Union HIll. During the last 4 years, Time Warner has continued to take my money and provided a sub-standard product. The hardware feels like something from the Stone Age with a user interface and overall user experience that is absolutely abismal. Even the simplest things like searching for a program are painful, feeling like sending a text message on a cell phone a decade ago. I know I am not the only person that feels this way.

If you search online, you will find thousands of rants about Time Warner Cable. Most of the people complaining are griping about the same issues I was. Slow connection speeds during peak hours, antiquated hardware, having to schedule half a day off from work while you wait for a service tech to show up at your house, service being out on a regular basis and not being compensated for the down time, mediocre customer service reps, etc. These are the kinds of ongoing issues that have people looking for any excuse to Drop Time Warner in favor of anything else. Now I’m not saying Google Fiber is going to be perfect. No technology is, but it is going to be a million times better than what I have been dealing with for the last 4 years guaranteed.

Google Brings Gigabit Fiber to Kansas City Kansas!

OK, I am a little blown away by the announcement that Google is bringing gigabit fiber to Kansas City, Kansas. Actually I am ecstatic. This is a huge development for KCK. The fact that Google is going to roll out and test its high-speed gigabit fiber network here is huge, and the fact that they are going to provide it to everyone that lives in the city is outstanding.

We beat out over 1000 cities across the country to get this, and what it came down to was the city government, and the board of utilities.

“The wonderful diversity of our community, neighborhoods and industry make Kansas City, Kansas., a microcosm for the rest of the country. When you combine these assets with our well-established track record of development partnerships, we feel Kansas City, Kansas., is the perfect location for Google to launch its fiber project.”

Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government Joe Reardon.

Google plans to offer the service to KCK residents beginning in 2012, and will  be providing free access to schools and city facilities as the fiber network is deployed. There is no word on the pricing structure for residents yet, and frankly I don’t care. If it costs 100 bucks a month for gigabit internet access, as long as I never have to utter the words Time Warner Cable again.

According to Google, they will provide a 1 gigabit per second fiber straight to homes and businesses at a competitive price. That connection speed is up to be 100 times faster than almost all broadband connections connections.and about 100,000 times faster than Road Runner on a good day. One of Google’s goals is to improve Internet access by observing how communities transition from traditional broadband to ultra high-speed fiber optic connections. And Kansas City, Kansas is an ideal location to do just that.

“This project represents the future of how we connect to the Web, and we want it to start in Kansas City. It is a real honor for Google to be here, and we will work hard to deliver a service that will delight and empower this community to lead the nation forward in broadband.”

Milo Medin, vice president for Access Services at Google.