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Is this the best sign yet that Google Fiber is coming to Canada?

Google Fiber Canada

Google Fiber Canada
Google Fiber in Canada? Will these trucks become a fixture in the Kitchener-Waterloo area?
Last week, Google posted a position on its own jobs board that could be an indication that the search engine giant might be planning to launch Google Fiber in Canada .

The job is “User Experience Researcher, Google Fiber” and the location is listed as “Waterloo-Kitchener, ON, Canada”.

The job description is as follows:

As a User Experience Researcher for Google Fiber, you will design and conduct user research studies across the product cycle, from the concept phase to post-launch evaluation. You will be an advocate for users and user experience research within Google Fiber, and be embedded on the Mobile development team. You are highly skilled in a range of research methods, with significant experience conducting research to understand user needs, motivations and behaviors. You have experience turning research findings into actionable user centered design and product goals. You excel at creating artifacts that inspire and aid user centered design. You communicate your findings in a clear and impactful way, and can work well in cross-functional teams. You are flexible and able to adapt to Google Fiber’s fast-paced environment.

Google Fiber, a fiber-to-the-premises service that boasts upload and download speeds in excess of a gigabit per second, was introduced as a beta in 2011 in Palo Alto, California. The service launched in Kansas City later that year and then expanded to Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah. In February of this year, Google announced plans to expand the service to another 34 candidate cities, including Portland, Phoenix, Nashville and Atlanta. Google’s answer to the question of further expansion is a simple “Not for now,” but it provides a mailing list for updates.

Once regarded as a “publicity stunt” aimed at shaming the “legacy giants” of the national cable and telecom industry, Google Fiber “appears to be gaining momentum”, says Marketwatch’s Nat Worden. Worden cites analyst opinions that Google could sign up three million customers in the next seven to nine years, making it a top ten internet provider in the United States. He says the momentum is being fueled in part by a deep dissatisfaction with cable companies.

One online petition to bring Google Fiber to Canada has 6401 signatures, at press time. Others aren’t waiting around, but coming up with their own solutions. The town of Olds, Alberta installed its own fibre network in 2012.

Canadian telcos seem to be taking preemptive actions aimed at curbing the voracious demand for Google Fiber. Recently, Bell Canada announced it would spend $1.4 billion to build a gigabit infrastructure project in Toronto it says will be the largest in North America.

“It will deliver the best possible online experience, something that quite frankly none of us could have imagined just a few years ago, twenty times faster than today’s marketplace,” said Bell Canada CEO George Cope.

Bell says the service will ultimately reach 1.1 million homes in the Greater Toronto Area.

But according to Netflix, Canadian ISPs have a long way to go.

According to the latest Netflix Speed Index for North America, Bell’s Fibre optic service came out on top, with an average speed of 3.73 Mbps. Google Fiber offers data transfer speeds that hit a stealthy 1 Gbps.

That discrepancy will no doubt leave many Canadians still pining for Google to stream their hockey games online.

With an a presence in Waterloo that has expanded from 30 employees after its acquisition of mobile upstart mobile player Reqwireless in 2005 to 240 employees today, the Kitchener-Waterloo tech hub would seem an obvious starting point for Google in Canada. But one question remains: Google Fiber Canada or Google Fibre Canada?

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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

Comment

  1. I hope they do bring in Google Fibre to Canada. The current internet plans that are available are complete garbage, at least in the upload speed scene.

  2. It will never happen because Rogers and Bell have the CRTC in their back pocket. They would lost thousands of customers (myself being one of them), if Google came to Canada. Just like all the other companies who have tried and failed, because Roger’s needs a few extra billion dollars a year, because, you know, who doesn’t want to control a monopoly while making billions? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

  3. There are Canadian companies which offer similar service models. See:
    Cloudwifi (www.cloudwifi.ca)
    CoExtro
    Fibrestream
    Beanfield

  4. Historically, Canada has always favoured big monopolies, especially big government run monopolies. I have no idea why, although I suspect that the average Canadian is psychologically predisposed to monopolies. Again, I don’t know why. Needs studying. Examples? When radio was first developed in the 1920’s private broadcasting was banned. It was intended that the government run stations. That plan flopped when the economy caved in 1929 and they had no option but to let in private broadcasters. TV was illegal in Canada until 1952, at which time only the government was permitted to operate TV stations. They were forced to relent in 1958. Color TV was illegal in Canada until 1967, prompting sets to be brought from Spokane through wooded pre-911 border trails in the Grand Forks area so residents could watch KREM, KHQ, and KXLY in living color. Satellite TV was declared illegal in Canada, even for the reception of Canada’s own Anik satellites! So everyone put up ‘dishes’ and watched US satellite TV. Canada also tried to ban the Internet, restricting .ca addresses to, and I quote: “Government and large corporations with a presence in three or more provinces”. How’s that for elitism!!! The control twits didn’t realize that we could simply use .com addresses. Most Canadian operations with .com suffixes came on line during Canada’s Internet ban. In BC you HAVE to buy your basic car insurance from a large, government run monopoly. And remember, it is still illegal in Canada to compete with Postes du Canada! Canada is in urgent, desperate need of open competition.

  5. Its 2017 and still no sign of Google Fiber in Canada 🙁 We need competition to bring down Bell and Rogers prices! Bell has been stagnant on Fiber rollout after CRTC forced them to open their lines to third party vendors lmao. So Bell tops out at 50mbps in most areas and Rogers is the only one with faster internet and they charge a premium for it.

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