Google says FTTP is a real business

Google Fiber (Nasdaq: GOOG) has made an impression on Kansas City, Mo., residents and businesses with its 1 Gbps Fiber to the Premises (FTTP), and its executives are confident that they can replicate that success in other cities.

Larry Page, Google's CEO, and Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, said during the company's Q4 earnings call that its FTTP business is "not a hobby" and "we really think we should be making a good business with this opportunity."

At this point, they added, the Internet giant is working on "debugging" the service, and Google is seeing new subscribers signing up the for the FTTP service weekly.

Page and Pichette's comments echo what Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said in December during the New York Times' Dealbook Conference.

Stopping short of revealing any specific plans about where Google Fiber could appear next, Schmidt said Google was "trying to decide now" what other cities would be next in line to be offered the 1 Gbps FTTP service.  

Google's potential FTTP expansion comes on the heels of the FCC's new "Gigabit City Challenge," an initiative which has set a goal of having at least one community in all 50 states offer residents speeds of 1 Gbps by the year 2015.

In addition to holding workshops for broadband providers as well as municipal and state leaders, the commission will also create an online clearinghouse of best practices for lowering the cost and increasing the speeds for broadband deployments nationwide.

Google Fiber may be the most talked about 1 Gbps service in the United States, but it is not alone. Chattanooga, Tenn.-based EPB Fiber has been seeing success with its 1 Gbps service as well. Unlike a number of struggling municipal fiber providers, the company has actually been profitable.

While it's true the average Internet user won't be able to find applications that could take advantage of what Google or EPB offer today, their 1 Gbps networks are an initial foundation to deliver services that can't operate on networks where service providers throttle usage.

 For more:
- the Los Angeles Times has this article

Editor's Corner: Google's 1 Gbps will unchain the subscriber from bandwidth caps

Related articles:
Google's Schmidt: Kansas City is just one stop on FTTH journey
Chattanooga's municipal FTTP network surpasses subscriber projections