After nearly two years, Google Fiber is finally up an running in Raleigh. You may remember how Google tried to win Raleigh over by giving out free t-shirts, but if you need a refresher, Google Fiber offers high-speed internet access, along with TV and phone service. Why is it better than other services? Because it’s extremely fast and every other service provider is piping hot garbage.
I first saw the news from the N&O’s Andy Specht and became livid after reading this quote from Erik Garr, Southeast regional manager for Google Fiber, “I’m thrilled to announce that we’ll be taking orders for Google Fiber in the North Hills/Midtown area of Raleigh and will be opening our new Google Fiber space in the 518 West Jones space on Glenwood South.”
Let that sink in. The service that Raleigh has been dying to get for years will only be available in North Hills and “Midtown” right now. It would be one thing if they started at Broughton and expanded the coverage outward, like some sort of trickle-down fiber. But no, they are starting in North Hills and, even worse, they think “Midtown” is a real place.
Fortunately, I had an ITBusiness meeting with Stacy Miller at Miller Law Group that morning, a perfect opportunity to take legal action to fix this. I hastily entered Stacy’s corner office overlooking Memorial Auditorium.
“Finley, what’s happening?” Stacy asked, leaning back in his chair.
I didn’t have time for small talk. “We have to sue Google and we have to do it now,” I said.
Stacy smiled, not realizing the gravity of this situation, “We’ve been over this, bud. I can’t sue Google just because you aren’t the first result when people search for ‘media empire’.”
“No, this is worse. They just rolled out Google Fiber and they’re bringing it to North Hills and Midtown first. Midtown isn’t a place! Even Google maps doesn’t recognize it,” I explained.
“So you’re upset that you won’t get Google Fiber first because you don’t live in North Hills, and you want me to sue one of the largest companies in the world?” he asked.
Finally, I’d gotten my point across. “Yes! They’re hurting my #brand. I should have Fiber before anyone else. I’m a thought leader, an influencer, a digital-digital get downist.”
“A digital-digital what?”
“Nevermind, it’s an NSYNC reference. This isn’t just about me, think of the children at Lacy and Root that won’t have Fiber on their iPads at school. This is basically a Fiber ban and it’s unconstitutional,” I pleaded.
“Hate to break it to you Finley, but ITB is not a protected class under the Constitution,” Stacy explained.
“Well can we make ITB a class? Then you can do a stay,” I suggested.
“I’m not going to ‘do a stay’ and I’d advise you to digital-digital-calm down about this lawsuit idea. As much as I think all of Raleigh should have Google Fiber, I’m sure it’ll happen soon enough. Just be patient,” he replied.
I wasn’t folding that easily. My mind reeled with conspiracy theories. “I swear Bonner is behind this. Remember when he tried to get Google Fiber to come to Raleigh by naming his kids ‘Larry’ and ‘Sergey’ after the founders of Google? Now he’s using Fiber as bait to make people move to North Hills.”
“Bonner’s a good guy. I doubt he’s behind this. Plus, he never actually named his kids ‘Larry’ and ‘Sergey’,” Stacy said.
Stacy was right, as always. “Good point, I can’t blame Bonner, especially after he promised me the downtown Raleigh canal. But I’m still livid at Google. Remember when they shut down the Boylan bridge a few months ago for a photoshoot? Can I sue them for that?”
“Probably not, I’m sure they had a permit.”
“What about those “Fiber is coming” shirts they gave out? I checked the tag and it said 52% polyester. That’s false advertising,” I said, grasping at straws.
“You do know that Google Fiber, isn’t actually fiber, right?”
“I’m an influencer, not a technologist; I don’t know how they make it. What legal recourse do I have here?”
“None, I’m afraid. And I thought we were going to talk about how to protect you from liability when you start pulling some of these stunts at Dix Jurassic Park or whatever you’re calling it,” said Stacy.
“We can do that, but I’m still livid,” I conceded.
“Well why don’t you go down to the new Google Fiber office and maybe they’ll give you some kind of deal because you’re a media empire. Use your words like we talked about,” he said.
“Fine, thanks for talking through this. One more thing…”
“No, you can’t pay for legal fees with meals from 80Fresh,” he said, as he walked me out of his office.
Gotta love that guy. Always the voice of reason. I left Miller Law Firm and went down to the Google Fiber building, contemplating ways to injure myself once I got there so I could sue them for negligence. I got to the old 518 West (RIP) building, once home to the best whole wheat fettuccine ever, and walked inside.
While the building was impressive, and I appreciated Google rolling out the red carpet by bringing in local companies to cater the event and painting a Raleigh mural, I was still pretty mad about North Hills getting Fiber first.
I learned that the building is open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Saturday for customers to come and check out Google Fiber, or even test it out on their own laptops. There is a community desk area that I’m sure someone will turn into a “startup incubator”, another space that will be used for events, and a separate area with two TVs to showcase the Google TV option.
I wandered over to the Google TV area and got an overview from a very helpful Google person.
Google Fiber 101
The main draw of Google Fiber is that it’s incredibly fast. The Google guy said the national average is 14 megabits per second. Fiber offers 1,000 megabits per second. This basically means you can watch Netflix on your laptop, while streaming a movie on TV, while watching YouTube on your phone, while watching Facebook live videos on your iPad and you won’t notice a lag at all.
Features over 22o channels, whole-home HD DVR, smart search and recommendations. You can have profiles for separate users so each user can customize what channels they see. They have over 7,500 shows on demand and you can also rent movies. Netflix, VUDU, and YouTube are available, with more apps to come.
Google also offers phone service, which is good for people who still use landlines and AOL.com e-mail addresses. I stopped paying attention when he started talking about this and asked him to pull up DogsofITB for some more exposure.
The demonstration ended and I walked around the building, reminiscing about the table at the top of stairs at 518. The space was pretty awesome and the people had all been really nice, making it difficult to stay mad at Google. I turned a corner and came upon this.
Overwhelmed with emotions, I decided to take the advice of the best lawyer in Raleigh and drop my lawsuit. The fact that Google would keep this ITB memorabilia intact says a lot. While I hate waiting for things, I guess I can hook up a 2,000 foot ethernet cable from my condo to the Google Fiber building in the meantime.
We’ll keep you updated on Google Fiber as they roll out in Raleigh. I’ll leave you with this. If you had Google Fiber this video would load in like half a second.