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Should the County Board contact Google about laying fiber in Arlington?
  • Deadite February 19, 2014 - 5:39 pm #99693 Reply

    This would seem to make a lot of sense in a town like Arlington for many reasons, not the least of which is that it’s a good way to lure/retain businesses here, something that has certainly been a week point and a major concern over the past few years.


    Swag February 19, 2014 - 9:01 pm #99696 Reply

    I know that since Google started getting in to the fiber-based ISP business some states have passed laws banning local governments from working with/inviting in ISPs (other than the existing monopoly). Not sure if Virginia is one of those states or not.

    Having said that, Alexandria was originally on the shortlist, but didn’t make it. One of the reasons if I recall correctly was that too many lines would have to be buried. Google is targeting areas where they can, for the most part, hang line on existing poles in order to keep their costs down. It’s worth remembering that Google will likely never make money (directly) from these fiber networks. The fact that they’re expanding beyond the couple pilot cities they’ve already done is pretty amazing.

    Rick February 19, 2014 - 9:20 pm #99697 Reply

    Seems like the smart, progressive thing to do and it would be a symbiotic relationship. However, after doing a little research it looks like google is staying away from any fios territories and focusing on areas with AT&T, Time Warner, Charter etc. They’ve also established that they put out feelers on their own to desired cities and go from there. And taken from the article directly, “These cities are led by people who have been working hard to bring faster Internet speeds and the latest technologies to their residents,” the company stated in its blog post.”

    Does this government really care about consumer technology? And does anyone remember when RCN was trying to get a permit to offer cable in arlington and that mess of a process that ultimately didn’t go RCN’s way? I feel like the only reason fios is available is that verizon only had infrastructure in place…

    Suburban Not Urban February 19, 2014 - 9:44 pm #99698 Reply


    Virginia did pass laws restricting this which would only allow Dominion to add a system. Bristol VA did one before the law was passed.

    Rick February 19, 2014 - 10:38 pm #99700 Reply

    Who’s idea was it to not let them charge rates cheaper than the incumbent providers?

    Swag February 20, 2014 - 6:06 am #99701 Reply

    Who's idea was it to not let them charge rates cheaper than the incumbent providers?

    The incumbent’s (via ALEC, usually).

    speonjosh February 20, 2014 - 10:37 am #99722 Reply
    Suburban Not Urban February 20, 2014 - 10:52 am #99728 Reply

    The even more problematic issue here, is that we just went through the franchise agreement process – I think for 10 years maybe more. If you are going to rely on government enforced monopolies(IE not de-regulated competition) for this kind of service – you need to be progressive in working out needs ahead of time and using your leverage at negotiation time.

    Arlington Cat February 24, 2014 - 2:37 pm #100036 Reply

    Burying electrical and communication lines is the way to go. I do understand it costs like $5,000 a mile to bury a line, but Loudoun has required it on all new construction neighborhoods since 1995, and if you lived in one of these Loudoun County neighborhoods during the hurricanes, swowmegeddens, or toranadoes you most likely did not lose electricity or your internet connection during those storms.

    How about contacting Google fiber to wire Fairlington? Fairlington cannot have Fios, and Kabletown has a virtual monopoly there.

    Swag February 24, 2014 - 2:51 pm #100040 Reply

    I do understand it costs like $5,000 a mile to bury a line

    Yeah, that’s not even remotely close. Around here it’s about $1,000,000/mile to bury utilities.

    CourthouseChris February 24, 2014 - 5:25 pm #100068 Reply

    I recall the $1M/mile quote as being the cost of burying power transmission lines. Now while $5k/mile seems laughably low, I would imagine that the reduced logistical complexity of communication fiber might put the per-mile charge somewhere between those two numbers.

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