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The guest today is John Paul of Spiral Internet, an internet provider in the Nevada City area.
On Feb 10 Google announced it intends to test a 1gig/sec broadband in a few communities and John is trying to get them to do it in the Nevada City area. This speed will allow the downloading of a HD movie in about 5min. This is different than the Rural Broadband Initiative. For more info go to 95959google.com.
There are 3 parts to this. The first is the application, a request for infomation, which John is filling out. Second, Google wants a creative video to show the community's support. The video will result from a community meeting on Mar 14 at 1pm. The planning meeting for the event will be tomorrow (2-23-10) at 5pm at the Nevada City City Hall.
A gesture-based operating system, like in the Minority Report movie, goes back 10 or 15yrs but there wasn't the horsepower to implement it. Now the computers can handle it but it requires a fast broadband connection.
The Google project will bring fiber optic cable to each house. And, according the Google press release, it will be at a competitive price.
John said, based on information from Google, they will allow multiple carriers to provide service on the network, in keeping with the concept of open network.
Glenn said he's called from various phones to see if AT&T's U-verse service is available at each of those locations, and found it's not. Not even in places where AT&T runs ads for it. He thinks that may be because it requires a fiber optic connection.
Paul said that the Highway 80 corridor has fiber and that may be how Google will connect to adjacent communities near Nevada City.
John said he's read news articles that suggest Google itself will be a provider, but it's still speculation.
Glenn, wondered how Google will make money on such a project — advertising?
Paul said Google gets a lot of info about us thru our Google searches, cloud applications like Google Docs and social networks. We may be unknowingly giving out information about ourselves that we wouldn't let the government have.
John thinks Google aims to disrupt the connectivity market because the major providers like AT&T & Verizon don't really give you much for your money.
John said Google intends to serve from 50k to 500k households, as a total, for its test. Go to 95995google.com to fill out a form telling Google how you would use this high bandwidth.
As part of Obama's stimulus package to promote high speed internet, Spiral Internet is providing wireless connections to more remote areas — by way of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council. Find out more at nevadacountyconnected.com.
AT&T is required by law to share its copper wire with other DSL providers but are under no obligation to share its fiber optic cables.
The 1gig/sec fiber optic cable will be limited by the rest of the internet that has a slower infrastructure (the weakest link effect). John thinks that Google will be mostly interested in how just those in a fiber optic community will be using the service between themselves.
Christine called wondering what the cost would be. And, do you need anything special in your computer to handle the higher speed.
– The newer computer the better.
– There will be a modem like device to interface with your computer.
– The processor speed should not be the big issue.
– Typical Ethernet hardware in today's computers goes up to 100mbit/sec so you'll need an upgrade to take full advantage of the 1gig/sec from Google.
– If you're going to do any graphics with the data coming in, you may need a faster graphics card.
– Google said they would like to deploy in the first community within 1yr.
Jim called and said he can't even get a decent DSL service.
– It's John's understanding that Google will wire the entire area right up to individual houses.
Glenn wondered if households would be charged for being wired with Google's high-speed cable even if they won't use it.
Glenn recommends that Jim get service from Digital Path. It's $250 for the installation and $45/mo.
Bill called to say he would like to see the fiber connection interfaced to other media like DSL or wi-fi in those places the fiber doesn't quite reach.
– Paul says he's heard that there is something called a DSLAM that allows DSL to be interfaced to third party infrastructure. John said that sonic.net in Santa Rosa does just that.
– Paul said that DSL doesn't have to come with a dialtone <phone service>, many people are not aware of that. You can eliminate the phone service and use something like Skype to replace it.
– Wireless can reach up to 20 miles under ideal conditions and special hardware.
– Unlicensed wireless frequencies can be problematic due to interference.
John called to say Google is an investor in the O3B satellite network. These satellites are only 8000km high, so there is little signal delay (unlike geosynchronous satellites). He speculates that this would be a way for Google to connect their 1gig/sec project without having to lay extensive fiber optic cable.
Brian called to ask if Digital Path will work with Magic Jack.
– Yes, it should work fine.
– The only place where you may have problems is over a satellite (the geosynchronous type), because of the time lag.
– Calls between 2 Magic Jack users are free <no additional charge>.
– US users of Magic Jack can call the US from anywhere in the world for free.
Paul said he still intends to post the audio from last week's show in the archive.
Glenn says there's no reason for users of Internet Explorer 6 not to upgrade to IE7 or IE8. Support for IE6 will eventually be dropped. Google has already stopped accommodating IE6.
Glenn also likes SynchBack for backing up your data.
Paul mentioned that there are now UVC web cameras that don't require drivers and are easier to install on both a Mac (10.4.11 or newer) & Windows (service pack 2 or newer), but not Win98. They don't tell you to reboot after installing such a camera, but you'll have to.
To talk to John about Google's 1gig/sec project, you can call him at Spiral Internet at 530-478-9822.
Mikail's link to the Apple factory in China is near the top of this page.
The iPad is being made there and it should be available in March.
The iPad has more in common with the iPhone than a Mac. It will not run Mac or PC software, at least not yet.
The article at the above link has something to say about how Apple keeps its secrets.
Last Updated: 9:46 PM 2/22/2010