Subscriber Discussion

Google Fiber And The Future Of Vsaas?

Interesting article about Google fiber and disallowing hosted servers.

It basically says that Google doesn't impose data caps or other restrictions, but this is only achievable if people use it in a "consumer" fashion by not having servers that use large amounts of data continuously (my paraphrase).

While a couple of 3MP CCTV cameras might not be considered servers in the strictest sense, they would fall within the realm of what Google doesn't want on their network.

Some people have made the argument that VSaaS is the next wave of storage, and that the bandwidth availability is quickly catching up. I never see how that math works out, and I think this is another example of why we shouldn't expect cloud storage as a full-on NVR replacement anytime in the next decade.

It seems there is a new cloud service introduced monthly serving the security industry. Was looking at "keep your IP" this morning which is directed at the alarm industry. This means a lot of security could become dependent on these cloud services. How can one know a particular cloud service (dependent on Google Fibre) could be vulnerable to discontinued service, or the pricing model on which it is offered (based on a free delivery component) now becomes a cost and significant increases will be passed on in the future?

Howdy Robert. We profiled Keep Your IP in the post. Perhaps it can help your research...

Update at the end of that article:

"Google sent Ars a comment, saying, "Google is a strong supporter of the open Internet and our stance here hasn't changed. This is a standard practice of network management, and as we said in our filing, the policy does not prevent legal, noncommercial use of applications such as multi-player gaming, video-conferencing, and home security."

Home security is often meant to mean having an alarm panel or controller that accepts incoming connections from a remote device. I think what they mean to clarify by that statement is that they have no issue with inbound connections initiated by an outside client to an internal device.

What they have a problem with, based on my understanding, is essentially any devices that transfer large amounts of data. The "server" example is the most prevalent and easiest to understand, but if you look at what is unique to a "server", it would be:

1) Aggregate data transfer

2) Number of total inbound connections over some brief time

3) Number of concurrent connections

I think case #1 is the most significant from a resource perspective. Lots of simultaneous connections *could* task some lower-end edge routers, but I think you'd need a small datacenter in your garage before that was the primary issue.

Brian, overall, I agree with you that it is risky to depend on a service provider allowing you to use 1,000x or 10,000x bandwidth than the average customer (the case for VSaaS). However, the 'home security' clause gives on room to argue for an exclusion.

Either way, it's not like Google Fiber to the home is going to be widespread anytime soon.

I'm curious, just because I don't know the structural differences: would Google be allowed to lease fiber to the home installed by Verizon for FiOS, or would they need to install their own? I've currently got 25 Mb/s FiOS, for example, with a pair of fiber run into my basement. Would I be able to switch to Google if/when they get to my town?

Ethan, what do you think this is? Virtual fiber? :)

I am betting they would need to install their own. Being the one guy in with fiber to a home gives a provider a huge competitive advantage that I doubt they would relinquish unless the government forced them.

Well, considering they lease out copper all over the place, I was just wondering if they'd go the same route. But yes, good point.

"Well, considering they lease out copper all over the place, I was just wondering if they'd go the same route. But yes, good point. "

Much of the old copper infrstructure was installed with government subsidies and/or other incentives. This is why telco's had to allow other ISP's to utilize this infrastructure during the Internet/DSL boom in the late 90's.

Cable TV was generally built with private (non-govenrment) funding, which is why in areas where you have 2 choice for CATV, the system is "overbuilt", meaning both companies are running redundant coax everywhere.

Verizon wanted to get out of the copper business (they've offloaded most of that headache now) and get into fiber because it was built without subsidies, so they don't have to provide access to competitive carriers.

In theory Verizon *could* allow google to effective lease their fiber pair to your house, but I don't think this will ever happen. If Google wants to provide service to you, they're going to be running their own infrstructure, which IMO also means that if you have Fios, the chances you get Google fiber are between 0 and .1% :)

"if you have Fios, the chances you get Google fiber are between 0 and .1%"

Regarding the bandwidth usage - I would speculate Google Fiber will eventually offer multiple tiers of service for both home and Business similar to the way the Telcoms did

Example: the same DSL you pay $40 per month costs a business $200

It's the only way that would ever scale

Google will focus on providing a platform for various service providers to run their services for homes. VSaaS, remote Energy Management, utility programs, personal planners and many more. they would do well to lease the existing fibre at least for a quicker start. The monetizing part is not so clear though. They did launch energy management for homes but withdrew it later. This time , I expect them to be wiser.