It's really sort of amazing to think about. In all my years on this planet I have never been pleased with a telecom company. Never. I have always felt like I was paying far too much for inferior service, contemptible customer support, and endless efforts to further "monetize" me through harassing phone calls trying to sell me more stuff, intrusive DNS systems that redirect me to their crappy web sites, etc.
There is not a single other industry I can say that about, certainly not one that comes to mind so quickly. Hell, I can't even say that about the government.
As if that's not bad enough, this industry seems to spend a lot of money lobbying to destroy the open Internet, which is like a car company lobbying to increase the number of annoying traffic regulations in order to make it less enjoyable to drive.
>and endless efforts to further "monetize" me through harassing phone calls trying to sell me more stuff,
Never happened to me, but all carriers text subscribers "deals" and other marketing garbage.
> intrusive DNS systems that redirect me to their crappy web sites, etc.
Never noticed and if I did its trivial to change DNS.
Cell phones on the other hand do all these things. I mean, Verizon just told google that its Wallet NFC stuff simply isn't allowed. Imagine if Comcast said "You can't install LibreOffice on your computer because we're thinking of entering the office game." I won't even go into uninstallable carrier apps, commercial spying, mystery charges, and billing fraud.
Maybe Google Fiber will the the backend for a future wireless roll out. One can hope.
- Why own a computer when you can just vpn into a cluster through a thin client?
- Why own a game system...
- Stream 4k HD movies
- A whole bunch of ideas not thought of yet.
0r maybe your right and it wont be that different, I would like the chance to see if it does make a big difference. The current telcos were not in that game, google is.
- You can call your car if you need it like Bruce Wayne calls the Batmobile.
- You can send things across town. No more courier or logistics.
- No more DUIs or drunk driving accidents.
- No more accidents period.
- No more insurance.
I know it's still a ways off, but damned if I'm not excited as hell. <3 Google.
And the benefits are manifold for those who do want to live in cities. Diversity of options is a big one--that food truck that serves gluten-free venison tacos can only exist somewhere with enough people that such a niche can survive, so the long tail of preferences can be accommodated. Infrastructure is in dense places is cheaper per capita; tearing up one road/pipe/sewer can benefit thousands of people instead of just whoever lives in that one cul-de-sac. Public transportation becomes more practical, enabling people to go where they want cheaper and more easily. A higher concentration of jobs and workers means there can be a better matching of needs and skills, making businesses more successful and workers happier.
So sure, you may wish to forgo all that to have a yard and some space. I'm sure the housing market and broadband companies will oblige. But in general, practical dense cities will be a boon to society, from which we'll all benefit.
When I was a boy, twenty years ago I firmly believed that I would need to move to London as soon as I could, just for the British library and access to information. Then the internet happened (well the web, and it was already happening but for me, that's when it happened). The internet made distance so much less of a factor, and i suspect that this trend will only continue. I suspect the density/creativity association will break down, but I have no evidence either way, so I could be completely wrong.
There's actually a service called "OnLive" that streams games, it seems pretty cool. It's a mashup between Steam and Netflix; you don't have to have a gaming PC to render the frames, just a fast Internet connection to stream them.
The input and video latency makes it impractical for all but the slowest-paced of games.
I can send an IP packet to Europe faster than I can send a pixel to the screen. How f’d up is that?
There is user-side latency and there is server-side latency. In multi-player games it may be preferable to have less latency within the game between players than in the players' view of the game.
I've spent several playing first person shooters and it's easy to forget you're not playing locally.
Games on OnLive lack the above features and you also have input lag, where, for example, a camera movement with the mouse will take the full network RTT plus processing time to reflect on the client's screen.
I haven't played the OnLive stuff so I'm not sure what it's like, but with a decent connection I'm guessing it's something that your brain just ends up dealing with. Although if it's anything like using RDC for a long period of time I can see it getting annoying.
Sure it would be a "waste" of compute power and network, but that's certainly one way to, in a sense, "push data across distances faster than the speed of light". That's exactly the kind of approach which would be unimaginable in a scenario where you have to worry about compressing media in order to get a single stream across in a timely manner (read: now), but might actually fall within the realm of possibility when gigabit bandwidth is ubiquitous.
And frankly, a $500 computer today can already display quite good graphics. Maybe by the time gigabit bandwidth is ubiquitous, computers will be usable enough that installing and running a game locally will be as seamless as clicking a link on a web page, so we won't need cloud gaming amymore.
I'm not saying that's catastrophic, but I think the impossibility of cheating is one of OnLives clear advantages. Sure you can write a bot, but it will only have access to the same information a human player does.
Ok, how is that possible? I genuinely am curious about the science. Feel free to provide links.
The "faster than light" approach is:
1) OnLive renders several frames that could be the outcome of all the possible actions by the user, and sends all of them to the user.
2) User chooses the next action.
3) The frame is already available and is rendered ASAP.
4) The action is sent to OnLive.
It is of course not actually faster than light, but it's faster than the time required to send light to OnLive and back. Although, if you're going to this trouble, you may as well just render the frames locally and not bother with OnLive at all... :-S
Heck, you don't even need to play the game yourself. Send Google a copy of your brain too, and they will simulate the encounter in their servers and insert the memory in your brain when they're done. EVERYTHING can run in the cloud!
Still good, but I won't be abandoning local storage any time soon.
Is the Wizard of Oz your reference for weather in KC? ;)
Having now Googled... wow, so they're technically two cities with the same name literally right next to each other, not one big city?
And turns out the Royals are from KC, MO, but I presume they have a lot of support from KC, KS as well?
It's one metropolitan area, but governmentally, yes, it is 2 separate cities (+ a lot of suburban cities). Politically, it's a dysfunctional family. It's really hard to get anything done, but occasionally that works to the benefit because you have competing governments. Most of the time its a detriment though.
The sports teams get support from both sides of the state line.
Tornadoes are actually one of the more mild natural disasters. They are certainly not any more likely to knock out your ISP, whose cables are underground, than any other natural calamity. California's earthquakes pose a much greater threat to infrastructure than Kansas's tornadoes.
And like chucknelson, I lived in KC for years and can't recall a weather-related service disruption for my ISP.
You may have a point with the rest, but response time is a really big deal with many games and a large amount of bandwidth doesn't actually mean a super amazing ping. And actually the speed of light presents ping issues that are meaningful to games so you will never ever be able to just locate computers anywhere and connect to them to play.
"Stream" is a euphemism for "download you are not allowed to keep".
Expect to keep seeing the word "stream" for a while.
I detail the idea some here:
My experinces with all three of those companies have been horrendous.
1. It took a month of weekly calls to get a refund from Comcast for a "modem installation". My apartment already had a modem, they literally installed nothing and charged me $80 for it.
2. It took me four months to realize that I had an overdue AT&T bill. Despite having my phone number (obviously), my email, my credit card info, and my other phone number, they just sent paper snail mail to my summer internship apartment, where of course I no longer lived. I found out four months later when I finally did get a phone call---from a collections agency. The bill had swelled from $90 to $250 by this point.
3. Verizon sent a phone I ordered online to the wrong address. (They skipped the apt number, so the phone was returned to sender.) They then proceeded to refund the phone, but charge me monthly charges for the plan! This, too, took a month of weekly calls.
Every single time I called any of these three companies, I had to sit and listen to elevator music for 3 to 30 minutes. Every individual rep starts over from the beginning, asking you your "first and last name please", as if they had no CRM, no DB, no internal communication whatsover.
It is highly gratifying to see these companies get bitchslapped by the Invisible Hand. They have long deserved it.
While this is a valid complaint, I hardly expect Google's "disruption" will result in anything except even _worse_ customer communication. I can just imagine Google expecting people to be perfectly OK with getting billing/service problems resolved on a crowdsourced community forum…
Refresh your memory:
The FCC did everything google wanted, and there was no collusion.
Are we reading the same news articles?
Additionally Google did try to disrupt the cellular companies a little by selling their phones unlocked through their own webstore, but the American market didn't buy them. Yes there really is only one network that gave you a deal if you did this (T-Mobile), but Americans seem to prefer subsidized phones with absurd monthly plans rather than paying for the phone up front and being free to choose the network.
The choice consumers had was either a crappy carrier, or one which forced you to go with absurd monthly plans.
Personally, I think the indicator for a serious bid at disrupting the wireless industry will be when a tech company buys Sprint.
Not for lack of trying. I recently helped my friend set up Comcast and part of the installation process included downloading a required suite of "configuration" software. We were able to figure out a way around it but most people probably just click through without a thought.
The worst part is that it only keeps me in the captive portal just short enough that I haven't been compelled to figure out how to make dd-wrt stop it yet. I'll be sitting there putzing around on the Internet, try to google something and hit their portal. A few refreshes later and I'll be back in business.
However, they only have Windows and Mac versions of the stuff.
That or I could just have logged into my freebsd router off the serial port and said have at it, good luck, but that would be mean to the tech.
Cell companies on the other hand are basically crooks. Every other month I get 'services' added to my bill that should only get added if I respond to a spam text. Of course I never respond to the text, but somehow "Fact of the Day" for $9.99/month keeps getting added to my bill no matter how many times I call I tell them I will never subscribe to this so stop letting them attempt to fraud me. After a little research it turns out that the cell company can get 30%-40% of the subscription fees on these bogus services. So, of course they turn a blind eye on what isn't much better than stealing through fraud.
The telcos lowered their prices to match. Yahoo doubled the speed for the same price. That continued up to at least 8mbit speed for $20 month
Similar things need to happen here
I might switch back to service if it cost less than $50 per month, but I dont really need support for adsl.
I bought a Nexus 7. It has touch-screen problems. They provided a way to contact them here (http://support.google.com/nexus/bin/request.py?contact_type=...).
I talked to the rep (after waiting about 30 minutes). They were helpful, direct, competent, and provided a way for me to contact the person I talked to via e-mail after the call was ended.
They organized a replacement device and even worked through the fact that I'd purchased the tablet from my brother-in-law.
If their future customer service offerings are the same as what I experienced last night, I have no concerns.
Exactly 10 days later I received an email about american express cards being declined, and that I should now be good to go.
Google is great, just not when it comes to human beings helping you.
Oh and I love how I have to enter the same phone number twice AND give it to the human ... "For security purposes."
You might change your mind when you consider that Bell Labs (part of the "Soviet Bureau" you despise) created:
- The transistor
- The laser
- The C language
- The Unix operating system
Other notable discoveries (but not of concern to those who discount anything not Internet-related) are things like the cosmic background radiation, etc. etc. etc.
SO: as much as I hate to defend "the telcos" (wired/wireless/cable) which according to the OP are completely interchangable and not at all distinguishable, they had their good points.
What you're (probably) pissed about is the business model that (most) telcos are forced to follow since deregulation.
Consider this: since deregulation, the cost to deliver bandwidth has dropped so significantly that it's actually CHEAPER to build a "telco" now than it was just 10 years ago. Once you factor in the cost to build out fiber links and light those with equipment, you get more bandwidth today than your earlier competitors got.
Hey, there's still a few dialup providers around. Maybe you think thats a better option?
That's very different from any definition of a 'monopoly' that I'm aware of, and very different from modern network providers.
Many factors were essential to Unix's success, but the fact that it was anything but a monopolized product is certainly one of them.
We had some big advances in France too, when telcos sold telephone for stratospheric prices. Now they still charge too much, but just use their cartel agreements to get more revenue. I know which one I prefer.
Full disclosure : i'm from Europe, so not a real capitalist.
You can level this at any company making a profit. Are you happy with companies making profit? [If so] Well then why not companies using what would be profits on beneficial research.
ISPs these days I'd have thought would actually be classed as a utility company. Many local governments - even the police are using the Internet for information dissemination. So we are reliant upon it. For me it's a natural replacement, it sure beats wasting reems of paper.
In some ways utility companies should be under tougher regulation. I'd prefer them to be non-profits. But you have to incentivise prospective investors some way. Perhaps social enterprises could fill this space? Profits could be capped at lower levels and positive reinvestment enforced. Quite how though? I am sure money could easily be hemorrhaged through R & D departments, maybe it should go in a general state sponsored science money pot.
The current company called AT&T obviously has appalling support, but I'm not old enough to have dealt with its previous incarnation.
Also Unix was a rogue project because Bell Labs didn't want to fund an OS project after a previous one failed: http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/the-strange-birt...
All I'm saying is that things haven't gotten worse. In fact, they've gotten MUCH BETTER.
Just because the OP hasn't EVER been satisfied with a telco isn't any reason to discount all the good that they do or the progress that's been made.
Some folks forget that cellular companies in the US were fighting an uphill battle against the telcos for a while. The compromise was for an "A" carrier (telco) and a "B" carrier (non-telco). So competition was built into the program for telecom modernization from the start.
Back then, a mobile phone cost $300-$800, service cost $30/month and included no free minutes (priced at $.10-.25) each. It didn't matter which provider you chose because that's what it cost to build the network in a greenfield environment.
And here is the rub: the OP can have almost ANY kind of service he wants. Don't like the incumbent? There are any number of CLECs that will lease you a fiber pair directly to the local colo for 20 years. PROBLEM SOLVED.
Just because bell labs was owned by a telco, doesn't mean they were a telco. A research organization existing under the ownership of a telco company doesn't make telcos provide good service, or have fair prices, or have good customer service.
They were able to do that because they were a public utility with guaranteed profits. The stock and earnings were stable ("widow and orphan" money was an expression for people who needed these safe investments). Something important to keep in mind. Really not possible to do that in today's competitive disruptive environment.
Er, does Google nor do research? apple? IBM? Samsung? My dad worked for a railroad. They did R&D...
I would not be surprised if the 3 net upvotes I got were due to people not appreciating the sarcasm and just being stupid.
Whatever basic research they do, it's definitely in pursuit of digits for the bottom line.
Because Google will be so much better? Look, I hate telcos just like the next guy, but the suckage is mostly due to the nature of the business. They form natural monopolies and that sort of thing doesn't lead to customer satisfaction. The only way that sector is going to get truly disrupted is through gigabit wireless internet. You can have multiple competitors in one space with comparatively limited infrastructure investment on their part.
That free tier? That is outright illegal and its sole purpose is to eradicate all competition. It' a good thing for Google that sort of thing isn't really enforced anymore. They'll still get sued though. Look up price bashing.
Once Google is the only player in town, you still think they'll shit lilacs and spread rainbows and unicorns? That's just not how monopolies work.
No - the purpose is to increase people willing to pay for installations in a given neighborhood so they can go ahead and roll out service to more people.
It's also ridiculous to talk about predatory pricing when historically all major telecom infrastructure has been government subsidized.
The major ISPs are all capable of competing in this market (Comcast and Time Warner Cable both have had profits growing at rates many times higher than that of revenues this year. AT&T has as well, but I couldn't find a split for just their ISP numbers), and disruption is exactly what will help them start doing so.
In exchange for a franchise, a telco has to guarantee coverage to a certain area and give up other things called "proffers." That usually includes things like public access channels and money/bandwidth for schools/libraries.
In Northern Virginia, Cox Cable has to provide FREE public access INTERNET which includes colocation of a server.
Consider also that building a network isn't cheap and franchise agreements are a way for a city to get a service that wouldn't otherwise arrive without some guarantee of a market.
Why don't we sue Google for providing free WiFi in Mountain View? And Google Fiber isn't free - its $300 to cover the equipment costs. I'm pretty that 12 months of basic DSL for less than $300 anyway, installation included. Some neighbors will "freely" share their internet, should incumbent cable co sue them aswell for unfair competition?
What is to stop a cable co "recycling" old equipment to provide basic freemium internet to people who don't want to pay more for premimum plans.
The unfairness of having all that equipment already owned and built out... somebody stop them... oh wait what is Google doing?
Well I get 30Mbps for less than 40€/month, so I can't complain I guess...
Overall, the CRTC is less interested in competition, and much more interested in serving the interest of the established telcos (Rogers, Bell, etc). They seem especially afraid of foreign competition; witness what happened initially with Wind Mobile's efforts to break into the market.
It's like a billboard company offering to add free windows to your house so you watch their ads from your living room.
I agree with the motivation of your post. Monopolies are bad and customers have a vested interest in preventing google (or anyone else) from having monopolistic control of consumer internet. Unfortunately this is already true in many parts of the United States (Comcast is the only game in town where I live). At least in the short term Google entering this market should reduce monopolies not create them.
Actually, yes, because unlike most telcos, this isn't Google's core business. The only reason it exists is to drive people towards their core business. They have a wider, longer-term view of their business goals.
Spectrum and tower licensing is off the hook, and it's unlikely that more than a handful of companies will have the business acumen, capital, and regulatory skill to build up a network of significance. Any 'gigabit wireless' scheme will likely look the same it does today: a handful of key players with reciprocal data roaming agreements, and a few MVNOs which piggyback off the big guys. Wireless infrastructure is so expensive that carriers don't even have full coverage: they share. You're not always on 'Verizon's network,' sometimes you're on Sprint's network shared to Verizon. For CDMA, these are sent to the phone via PRL lists.
The MVNO scheme happens in DSL where it is called a CLEC, where the local telco is required by law to allow other companies to lease its lines. This is how companies like Sonic.net exist. If I understand correctly, the same forced-lease agreement is not in place with cable, which is why people are talking about a 'cable monopoly' here. There is no such thing as Sonic.net for cable, and DSL is physically limited to about 20down/1up. Thus, there is no competitive high-bandwidth pipe to the home until fiber comes into play. Note that DOCSIS3 can easily push 300Mbps down 100Mbps up. You already have this capability if you have cable, it's simply not turned on. If you were a cable company, why would you?
"In the UK, broadband provider Virgin Media announced on 20 April 2011 an intention to start trials with download speeds of 1.5 Gbit/s and upload of 150 Mbit/s based on DOCSIS3.0." <---- this is with literally the same kind of coax and modem in your home right now.
Who is your provider? I don't recall anyone advertising that kind of speed on a real ADSL or VDSL line. You must be sitting on top of the local DSL drop either way to get that kind of transmission speeds.
All I know is that I tried U-Verse (which is a VDSL product) and they couldn't consistently even keep me at 19.2, from which TV has to come out of that as well. I'm not even that far from the "central office" drop either.
Ubiquiti, among other vendors, now sells various flavors of cheap ($50-$100US) 802.11n and now 802.11ac radios that purport 100Mbit/s of actual throughput. I use slightly older versions of these radios outdoors, and can verify 40Mbit/s throughput on point-to-point links spanning a mile or so.
Furthermore, Ubiquiti has also just rolled out 20GHz unlicensed radios with expected 700Mbit/s throughput on p2p links, costing $3k per link, a price which will likely go down as time passes.
The wireless hardware does not have to use a licensed band.
I could technically run my own ISP in my apartment building by hooking up a router to a cable connection and charging a minimal fee for access. In fact, I'm sure quite a few people are already doing that. It would just be a problem if the cable company found out and terminated the account. If I were to get a business level connection that doesn't have those sorts of restrictions, there would be very little to stop me from running my own ISP. Well, except the government and the local corruption racket.
$300 construction fee
(one time or $25/mo for 12 mo)
Overhead vs underground, apartment buildings vs. single family homes, number of directional bores (to get under streets), miles of sidewalk torn up to lay cable, etc. etc.
It's expensive and how expensive all depends on the neighborhood.
Consider this: you can't do $700 to just one home. That's the AVERAGE cost once you've decided to do a neighborhood. You sometimes need to do those homes 1000 at a time. SO: network build >= $700K minimum.
Just keep this in mind: running a telecom network that requires lots of field personnel isn't something that GOOG has a proven capability in. For their money, their BEST bet would have been to BUY a cable company for the network. They get all of the customers in one fell swoop along with a network that can be upgraded to FTTH or low-split HFC.
One city doesn't a telecom company make. I would be VERY surprised if the monthly ad revenue pulled in by a broadband subscriber will cover the lifetime customer acquisition cost.
Price bashing is when a competitor lowers prices to the point where they are losing money on the transaction. The desired effect is to destroy the competition and once the competition is eliminated, to raise prices to an artificially high level as a monopolist.
EDIT: Found it - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_pricing
Well that explains why you have such an average grasp of the concept.
The real disruption here is free Internet. And for that I tip my hat to google.
Disruption to cable would be a la carte channel selection in any market.
tl;dr Comcast is a joke.
Yes, thank God Google is entering some markets, but we wouldn't need Google if only local governments had not succumbed to lobbying to kill competition.
I'm moving into a new apartment (in NYC) and the only 'choice' I have is how much I want to pay Time Warner for what's likely the same speed.
I hope that doesn't happen of course.
If Google manages to stay not evil it is the only way they will be relevant in the future. I think it is possible, and it's the only way to survive competition.
They seemingly can't make any pro-company decision without being accused of consorting with the Devil.
In contrast everyone knows Apple just cares about Apple. Whenever they do something evil, it just gets labelled as "Oh, that's just Apple being Apple".
It saw them from near-death to the worlds most valuable company - where one of their biggest problems now is what to do with their $115B in the bank.
> contemptible customer support
IMHO better than Google's dogmatic avoidance of any kind of customer support.
Heh. Flying is a terrible experience because what most people pay for is the transportation equivalent of a Wal-Mart jar of pickles.
The price of flying, especially as a proportion of income, has tanked since the golden age we all yearn for. There's a reason airlines no longer serve meals, give out free pillows, and are still going bankrupt every few years - the margins are razor thin and the competition is extreme.
It's the same reason why they no longer hand out hotel rooms like candy, or why there are more cascading delays (hint: keeping spare planes and crews on standby is really, really expensive).
If you paid as much now as you did for the same flight in the 70s, you'd still get the very same service.
I believe they call it first-class now. I had the opportunity to purchase a first class upgrade (first time not flying economy) on an Alaska flight from Seattle to Oakland, and the service difference between the coach experience just two days prior was insane.
There was no meal in coach (flying during breakfast), and the attendants came around once for drinks and once for trash. They were polite, but didn't make much small talk because they were pretty busy.
In first class, there was a complementary meal served on a ceramic plate with metal silverware (this flight was well after dinner), and a variety of complementary alcoholic drinks were offered as well. The attendants called you by your name (they verified the name from the flight manifest was correct the first time they came around), and they made small talk about your trip.
i'm splurging and flying "premium coach" (or w/e the hell they call it on Virgin) on my next vacation; we'll see how it compares....
i'd love to fly first or business again when i eventually go to europe, but as a hypothetical exercise i checked prices, and a firstclass roundtrip tickect is roughly $20k and business, though much better, is still $6k (i just checked lufthansa.com for sfo<->fra leaving august 4 and returning sep 1, so i'm sure better deals exist). If I flew coach, the whole vacation could be $6k.
Probably one of his pithy quotes, but funny all the same.
I've never had a problem with Google's customer support. One time I had an issue with a 'Books' purchase and it was pretty easy to get through to customer support and speak to an actual person, issue was fixed straight away. 'Dogmatic avoidance of any kind of customer support' is just plain wrong.
The airports & government bureaucracy take something that should just be a catching a greyhound within 10 minutes of boarding into a 2-4 hour stressful nightmare.
to do that nowadays you have to be flying private....
They do this because they know that people can be stuck for 30-60 minutes in a security line and customs & immigration on both sides add another layer of BS.
It turns 4 hours of round trip airtime into 8-10 hours of round trip travel time, starting from when you enter the airport. On top of that you have the stress of missing your flight because of this BS.
Most clubs have showers, free wifi, numerous power outlets, free snacks and adult beverages and, most importantly, a quiet place to relax before your flight (and none of those annoying "The TSA has recently blah blah blah blah" announcements over the PA). Many airlines offer reciprocal benefits with other airlines' lounges (for example, when flying on Alaska, you can use the Boardroom at an airport without an Admiral's Club).
Earlier this week I had to catch a flight departing at 6:15am. Instead of waking up at 3am, I spent my mandatory pre-flight airport time taking a shower (shampoo, soap, a razor and, of course, clean towels complements of the lounge), eating breakfast (free coffee, muffins and an apple) and catching up on email.
Even in the midst of his panic, Winston was too much taken aback to be able to hold his tongue.
'You can turn it off!' he said.
'Yes,' said O'Brien, 'we can turn it off. We have that privilege.'
Holy shit that is insane! Here in Australia I just get there 20 mins before take-off and pretty much walk straight onto the plane. They xray my hand-luggage and I walk through a metal detector on the way but that never takes more than a couple of minutes.
The only time where you might get away with arriving 20 minutes before take-off is if there's no security line and your gate's right near the entry to the departures lounge.
Downsides are stupid search page instead of NXDOMAIN, adherence to UK court orders and potential surveillance.
$70/mo for gigabit speeds and a terabyte of cloud storage and a wifi router? Or a one time installation fee for free internet comparable to what people are paying $50/mo for now?
Can you direct me to the pricing for the companies that are doing anything close to this? Really, I'd love to see it.
Currently, the only thing comparable is Verizon FiOS at 300mbs for over $200/mo. http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/google-fiber-launches-in-ka...
This is the very definition of disruption.
Is that a fact? My interpretation of the Christensen version of disruption (which I'm told is pretty much official since he wrote the book on it- literally) is when a company offers a minimal version of a product, usually much cheaper than those offered by the incumbents that are better than those offerings only on one or two dimensions. Usually these are things like consuming less power or simply costing less. Eventually these products become good enough on the other dimensions while maintaining the original value proposition that they "disrupt" the incumbents from the bottom. This is why the book is about things like hard drives, steam shovels, cell phone cameras, and minimills.
You might want to double-check next time before making such a bold statement. It seems here that you are declaring the definition of a term without having even a tenuous understanding of what it is.
Clearly attacking the market with a superior product at a price point that is more expensive than what you can currently buy is not a disruption. Offering a better product than what's currently available isn't disruption, it's innovation.
His definition of disruptive technologies actually appeared first in his article: Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave. The book you are thinking of is 'The Innovator's Dilemma' in which he expounds further on the topic he introduced in Catching the Wave.
At any rate:
>Disruptive technology typically improves in a way that by being lower priced and designed for various disciplines of consumers.  Instead of allowing consumers with lots of money or lots of skills to use it, disruptive technology is designed in which allow “whole new population of consumers” to use it, access its services. 
I'd say that Google's service falls squarely within this definition. Not only to a 't' on the pricing end, but the packaged technologies certainly opens up a 'whole new population of consumers' to using it based on attributes besides cost. They are packaging wifi distribution and cloud storage together, along with mega-high throughput on the data speed end. They are taking this directly to a whole new population of consumers (the general consumer market). This market did not affordable access to this technology previously.
My father works in the fiber optics industry and has told me that if fiber was brought directly to each home, every person would have more bandwidth than they knew what to do with. One thin, tiny fiber can carry an INSANE amount of information. The problem is the processing circuitry that converts these light signals into digital signals. These NICs have a much lower throughput than the fiber itself, but if the fiber infrastructure was already in place everywhere, upgrades would be much cheaper and quicker. (In other words, Google Fiber has easy upgrade potential to 10, 100, ... Gbps).
I think that is exactly the point. That's why they are doing this; Google doesn't know what exactly will happen when everyone in the USA/world has fiber connections, but they do know that incredible innovation will come. What kind of applications will be built? What kind of applications can be built?
Couple this with the increasing computing power inside each home over the next many years, and Google will have control over an unbelievably fast and large network of computers.
I'd be certain most applications are in the weak-to-strong AI arena.
EDIT: fixed a rather wacky typo
Let me stop you right there.
Google today, for all it's speed an simplicity, is significantly slower to get to search results than Yahoo would load them for me in 2000 on a GT internet connection.
This means that dropbox no longer "syncs". It's just another harddrive in terms of how it works. Copies to and from just as quickly as your harddrive.
Heck, it seems like if you installed an application to your dropbox, and ran your computer off of an SSD, it seems like you could enjoy BETTER performance than if you had that program installed on a 7200rpm drive and ran it locally...
Can't wait to see what we end doing with 1GBit ubiquity!
Second, even if it were running the application from Dropbox's server(s) (it seems like that's what you mean?), it would still have to read from their servers - you can't magically eliminate a bottleneck just by moving it to a different physical computer; data still has to be read from disk.
Think about it; with that kind of a pipe, you could boot your desktop off of a drive in my datacenter, two cities away.
But $0 internet is very amazing.
On top of that, $120/mo for cutting edge consumer entertainment is just a slap in the face to other service providers.
I pay $120/mo in New York and get high speed internet, and cable TV with HBO (conspicuously missing from Google's offering) and ESPN. Don't get me wrong, I'd switch to Google in a heartbeat, but I don't actually think that $120 price point is much of a slap in the face to existing providers.
EDIT: and this is just in Kansas City. Given the existing variations in price across the country, I'll be very surprised if we are all paying $120 when (if?) it rolls out nationally.
* 1Gps Internet
* TV service
* A Nexus 7 tablet
* 2TB 'Storage' that has features that make is sound like a full NAS to me
* 1TB Google Drive (1TB dropbox would run ~$100/mo alone)
Its a bit more than your average TV+Internet package you'd get from a telco.
In any case, $120 in Kansas City is not ever going to translate to $120 in New York City.
Edit: Fixed bandwidth
"Google has found that an extra 500 ms in search page generation time made traffic drop by 20%."
I don't think Google plans to bring this level of high-speed internet to everyone in the US, but they're certainly trying to spur the competition on.
If people use the internet more, Google makes more money.
I wouldn't sign up for Google provided internet.
Other departments of google don't know which websites you go to, "except with your consent." There can be a lot of mischief hidden in those 4 words.
"Record up to eight programs simultaneously, just because you can. And with an unprecedented two terabytes of storage, you will never have to worry about having enough space to record your favorite shows."
They are still missing a few key channels - CNN, Disney, and espn - all of which my household can't live without (I know, first-world problems). And I think those are some of the harder, more valuable properties to acquire. Anyone know whether google will be able to get those channels?