About a week ago, my friends Carrie and Matt had Google Fiber installed in their Brookside home. I stopped by for an ‘in home’ demonstration of how it works, and to ask them about the installation process. Carrie and Matt did not sign up for the cable TV package, just the internet service. Here are some notes from our conversation:
*When the contractors came by to install the cable on the utility poles, they randomly chopped off tree branches and tossed them in the easement behind the garage. Very sloppy. Also, there was no notice of when these guys would be in the yard doing the work.
*Within a few days after this was done, Carrie got an email to schedule the in home installation. All scheduling is done on line, and installers work seven days a week. At her home, the install took about 3-4 hours.
*Two men work on the installation process, and they were very polite and thorough. They mentioned it is easiest to install if your computer is stationed on an outside wall. The router should also be mounted on an outside wall for best signal strength. Carrie and Matt have a small box on the exterior home and another one in the basement next to their electrical panel.
*Carrie and Matt live in a three story home, with a desktop computer and Apple TV on the second floor. It was challenging to bring the wires up through the inside of the house and wire correctly, as the installers could not go through an attic because of the finished 3rd floor. Carrie remarked the workers were very conscientious of getting the install correct and took their time doing it. At one point they made a mistake drilling a hole through the wall from the first to the second floor -- a contractor called Carrie the next day to schedule an appointment for repair.
*The neighbors to the west got Google Fiber service at the same time. They got the cable TV package, which is less than what they were paying for Direct TV. However, they report it takes several minutes to connect to the internet. Once connected, the service works great but they are having a few difficulties.
*Carrie raved about the customer service involved with her installation. And how does it work? There is a nifty online site that checks your connection speed. To get the fastest speed, your computer must be hardwired to the network box. I brought my laptop along to try it out. It took several minutes to connect to a wireless connection, and we ended up connecting through the neighbor’s wireless service using their password! I will say there was a noticeable difference in the service compared to what we have at home.
Wrapping it up, Carrie offers these remarks: “It is much faster than our old connection. It doesn’t change your life but it works like it’s supposed to and much less frustrating than our service with Time Warner. There is no buffering, reloading, waiting to upload or pixilating. When we sit down to watch something on Netfix, the service is virtually instant. I can see how gamers will really like it”.
Here in Armour Hills, in-home install should start in early September. Google Fiber recently hosted a two hour ice cream social in Arbor Villa park to answer questions about the service (but ran out of ice cream in 30 minutes--bad PR!!). We are signing up for the internet service only right now, and will add cable once Google adds the AMC and IFC cable channels.