A Nashville Fiber story

In 2015 Google Fiber came to Nashville, started trenching everywhere, fought a long fight for One Touch Make Ready, won’t use it evidently, spent 5 years advertising “Fiber is coming,” lost funding for their expansion, shut down the Louisville market, and … yeah.

TL;DR – this is just a couple of stories about Google Fiber in my life with no ending, may sound like I’m complaining but I’m not. Very slow interesting news week.

Since 2016 there’s been a trench in front of where I work where Google Fiber was planted and never turned up. There’s been a trench in front of a house I manage where fiber is live. Two years ago I was informed the house went live but Google would not install due to something with the US Post office’s records of the house (which has been a couple of apartments since before I started managing it in 2001).

Several back and forths with Google Fiber, the US post office, and AT&T had swooped in and offered $80 gigabit internet to the tenants and that was that. No Google Fiber for that house.

At my work two years back we went with AT&T fiber on a two year contract. We’d waited for Google, Comcast was abysmal, our internet cost went up 280% over Comcast business, but other than a tornado and a terrorist bombing the AT&T building, I don’t think the fiber went down more than 15 seconds. We’d been down 24 days with Comcast that we’d tracked at that point.

We decided in 2020 to go with Level 3/CenturyLink/Lumen as our next provider. You can read how that failed (nothing was ever resolved as a note). And as that whole deal was failing Google Fiber contacted me on December 2nd and told me the building was now eligible to run the fiber up the driveway where it’s been sitting for the past 4 years.

I talked with the sales rep, told him the horrible Lumen story and how we had a Feb transition date that was not happening. He was pretty sure on Dec 2 that hitting Feb 1st as a cut on date was doable. It wasn’t, I don’t blame him nor was there an urgency expressed as we’d talked with AT&T about month to month at this point.

It’s March 15 as of this writing. Paperwork to go live didn’t get done until early March, although plenty of it for site surveys. Site survey didn’t happen until second weeks of Feb.

In the meantime, AT&T swooped in, dropped our bill by about half, doubled our 1 gig to 2 gigs on no contract and are under Google Fiber in terms of cost per gigabit. Google Fiber subcontractors have been out here four times now that I know of. I’ve offered to send them pictures and measurements, but every subcontractor seems to have to come out and do the same thing.

At some point the Google Fiber contractors will be here to install their fiber to the building. We’ve got 30+ clients they can resell directly to if they want which makes our building valuable to them.

Our current dropped AT&T pricing will completely pay for a 1 gig Google fiber connection with our current network budget. 1 gig Google Fiber at the moment will cost over half the cost of our AT&T two gig connection.

It will be trenched because they refuse to go on poles unless there’s no other option.

I’m a bit reminded of a Ricky Bobby quote – “if you’re not first, you’re last.” AT&T has managed to be Ricky Bobby.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts