Google Fiber to take on Comcast in Olathe, Kansas; Comcast responds

Tom Paine

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Google announced last week it had reached an agreement to expand its 1 gigabit per second Google Fiber service to Olathe in suburban Johnson County outside of Kansas City. Olathe is more than 20 miles from Kansas City, Kansas. As I know little about Kansas, I was surprised to learn that Olathe, with a population of 125,872, is the fifth largest city in the state. Olathe represents a bit of a geographic leap for Google, which until now has focused on the two Kansas Cities (Kansas and Missouri) and has struck agreements with three other towns in the inner suburbs. This surprised some observers, who had expected Google to try and maintain a tight geographic concentration.

It also means Google Fiber will be taking on Comcast for the first time. Previously, it has been in areas where Time Warmer Cable has been the incumbent provider and AT&T's U-verse serves some.

Comcast responded with an announcement yesterday that is sure to scare the pants off of Google. It said it would be doubling its download speeds for its Blast tier in Olathe from 25 Mbps to up to 50 Mbps (1/20th of Google's potential speed), and its upload speeds from 4 Mbps to up to 10 Mbps. And all this at no extra charge! In fairness, Comcast has been announcing a similar enhancement in many of its service areas around the country, although the specific timing of this announcement is perhaps curious.

An interesting historical side point is that Milo Medin, Vice President of Access Services for Google, a brilliant engineer who heads up the Fiber project, was a co-founder of @Home Network, in which Comcast was a significant investor as it looked to expand its broadband services to residential customers back in the 90's. Although @Home achieved some success in that objective, a disastrous 1999 merger with Internet search engine Excite and the subsequent tech meltdown led to its bankruptcy in 2001.

AWeber adds mural to brighten up new Chalfont headquarters

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AWeber, the Philadelphia-area email marketing software company, recently unveiled a lego-inspired mural created by artist David Guinn for its new Chalfont headquarters.

(Photo: Eric Centeno, AWeber)

Click on photo to expand:

Daily Links 3/26/2013: Intel reported to be close to deal with Comcast's NBCU, others to license content

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Oracle's Big Miss: The End Of An Enterprise Era?
(Read Write Enterprise)

Dell Software chief Swainson talks scale, perception, growth (ZDNet)

Michael Dell concerned with Blackstone buyout offer: sources

Intel Said to Be Nearing Media Deals for Pay-TV Service
NBCU is one of the media companies named. While I'm sure they are many angles to consider, not sure why Comcast would want to help build a content base for a potential competitor whose objective is to attack the cable bundle.

Hulu Board Gauging Interest in Video Site From Potential Buyers (Bloomberg)
Comcast is one of the three owners, though a silent partner per its agreement with the FCC
related to NBCU deal. It doesn't have a board seat, which I suppose means it has no say
in determining whether Hulu will be sold, or to whom.

Quintiq Marks 15-Year Anniversary with Release of Quintiq 5.0
New and Agile Platform Exemplifies a Company Moving Forward
(Business Wire)

Zimory Creates North American Subsidiary to Support Growth
New York-based subsidiary, Zimory Inc., will help to meet accelerating demand for complete cloud IaaS management software
(PR Web)
Zimory is a hot Germany-based cloud computing (IaaS) company; I had a hunch that it might
chose Philly as its North American hub, but alas it is New York.