C Spire is using the Google Fiber plan as a blueprint for building its own fiber-to-the-home network that the company hopes will eventually blanket Mississippi. C Spire is a regional wireless operator that owns its own infrastructure. Since 2003, the company has invested more than $1 billion in network infrastructure improvements, including upgrading its cellular backhaul network with fiber to support 4G wireless services. As a result, C Spire has access to more than 4,000 route miles of fiber deployed to some 1,800 cell sites around the state, most of which are located in large population centers.
“We already had most of the fiber in the ground,” Moncrief said. “What we needed was a business model that took enough of the risk out of building that last mile portion of the network. And that’s what I came away with from my time in Kansas City talking to Google and others. The crowd-sourcing model can work.”
If CSpire can make a success of the Google business model then it could enable Google to implement a large franchise and joint venture models. Google could help regional players by providing access to its nationwide fiber network. The regional player either already has local fiber or gets access to it.
Los Angeles was trying to get a vendor to make a combined gigabit fiber and free WiFi network to all of its 3.5 million residents and all businesses. LA expects the fiber buildout to cost $3 billion to $5 billion, but the cost would be borne by the vendor. LA does not want to put money into it but presumably would clear the regulations to support Google Fiber like plans.
I would predict that within Dec, 2019 there will be Google Fiber or a related large fiber to the home system (municipal fiber system or copycat of Google Fiber or Google enabled partner) in over half of the US states.
The breakdown of net neutrality where companies like Netflix have to pay more to push large amounts of data, are changing the economics of the internet. The new economics will provide more motivation and support for competition in fiber networks to prevent the cable and telecom companies from overcharging.