multichannel connect
careers
all access

The Bauminator

Fiber-To-The-Pole

4/12/2013 7:12 AM

You've no doubt heard of fiber-to-the-home, fiber-to-the-curb, fiber-to-the-premises, and fiber-to-the-node. What about fiber-to-the-pole?

To expand access to its 1 Gig network in Kansas City "fiberhoods," Google Fiber proclaimed in a March 31 blog post (hint, hint) that it has begun to install units on utility poles that let customers jack in.  It goes on to explain that customers can get plug into these Google Fiber Poles via an iOS or Android device that requires the user to tap the device on the pole's QR code three times to get recognized, receive a confirmation code and begin to do broadband-y things. 

Of course, Wi-Fi and 4G offer great ways for people to access broadband on the run, but what's the fun in that?

But Google goes on to play up the community aspect of the idea by giving customers a way to gather 'round the fiber pole like a campfire cracking with broadband and offering them a reason to get the heck out of the house and interact with other humans face-to-face once in a while.

And this short video about the project, shot during the winter from the looks of it, pokes some fun at this idea ahead of the big reveal of what's really going on here:

Phyllis Faulkner-Johnson, a Google Fiber customer identified as "Wife of Hacker," said: "I haven't even seen my husband in over a week. The kids and I just go visit him at the pole and he's just… there…working on his laptop."  She then gives a friendly waves to her spouse, who's bundled up and hunkered down in the cold, tapping away on a laptop connected to a Google Fiber Pole, then takes a bite of pizza. Hey, even hackers need their nourishment!

While the practicality of the Google Fiber Pole is questionable for someone who needs to stay connected while on the go, it would be an interesting way for Google to extend its network and do so in a way that aims to out-local the incumbent ISPs.

And if only it were true!  Hit the "construction schedule" or "find a pole near you" options.  Pretty good April Fool's gag. They got me.

September