JAN/ FE B 20 13 19 ®
FEATURE By STEPHEN HARDY
of Google Fiber
would only work
for Google. But
there are some
can apply to their
own FTTH plans.
STEPHEN HARDY is editorial director and
associate publisher of Lightwave g .
G OOGLE ORIGINALLY pitched
Google Fiber as a testbed.
But that pitch has changed;
company Executive Chairman Eric
Schmidt revealed in December that
Google likely will expand its fiber to the
home ( FTTH) efforts to other markets.
And given the company’s early success,
why not? Google Fiber attained initial
take rates in Kansas City of about
30%, a level most other new service
providers would take years to reach.
It’s true some of Google Fiber’s success
can be attributed to the fact that, well,
it’s Google. But Google’s name recognition
only gave it a headstart. Other
providers of FTTH- based services can
learn a lot from the way Google built
momentum around its new service.
Because it’s Google
Let’s acknowledge the advantages
Google had that other alternative communications
service providers likely do
not. Name recognition equal to that of
the incumbents comes to mind first. Just
about anybody who uses the Internet
has at least heard of the company; most
use its search engine. And people
think of the brand positively. It’s likely
the delivery of Internet service didn’t
seem like a stretch for a company
synonymous with the Internet. That’s
why 1,100 communities responded
to its request for information ( RFI).
The frenzy surrounding that RFI provided
a second advantage other alternative
carriers would struggle to recreate – full
investment within Kansas City in Google
Fiber’s success. Emotional investors included
local authorities – who weren’t likely
to offer too much resistance to the acquisition
of the necessary rights of way and
permitting, regardless of how much incumbent
providers might complain – as well as
Google’s prospective customers. Google
capitalized on its customer investment via
its “ fiberhood” concept, which created
a success- based deployment model
that minimized stranded investment.
Google or not
Yet it may be that Google’s built- in advantages
are more a question of degree
than truly unique. Certainly few companies
could create the nationwide hoopla
Google achieved. But Google demonstrated
that at least 1,100 communities in
the U. S. want a fiber- based alternative
to the services their local carriers
provide. That’s a lot of demand. With
the right opportunity analysis, new
entrants may uncover a level of customer
interest that will put adequate
pressure on local authorities to not let
the interests of incumbent providers
stand in the way of a new alternative.
Meanwhile, media and technology
marketing consultancy Ideas & Solutions!
Inc. has published a study that describes
Google’s marketing campaign in
Kansas City. The campaign focused
What can you learn from Google Fiber?
Bookmark & Share