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Google Fiber targets San Antonio for fiber optic cable rollout

Google Fiber plans to lay 4,000 miles of fiber optic cable in the San Antonio area; FCC voted to revise IP transition rules.

In telecom news, Google announced it plans to deploy Google Fiber -- 4,000 miles of fiber optic cable -- in San Antonio; its largest deployment yet. The FCC approved rules for telecom carriers switching from copper to fiber optic IP networks.

A new report from ZenithOptimedia showed that mobile devices are driving the increasing online video numbers.

Google Fiber to expand to San Antonio

Google Fiber plans to begin its largest deployment to date, laying more than 4,000 miles of fiber optic cable across greater San Antonio. The company plans to enter the design phase soon, according to CNET. San Antonio, with its 1.4 million residents, will become the latest city with Google Fiber, joining Kansas City, Mo., Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah. Despite the large investment Google will make in San Antonio, Google said it will keep service prices as low as possible and these prices will vary based on the city or town, Neurogadget reported.

Google Fiber announced in July that it will offer free Internet service to public housing residents. And, as part of ConnectHome, Google will also create computer labs and provide computer skills training, according to CNET.

According to Neurogadget, Google Fiber had previously planned to expand to Salt Lake City, Nashville, Tenn., Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh, N.C., and Durham N.C. But, the company said technical difficulties and issues with local authorities prevented these deployments, Neurogadget said.

FCC votes to revise IP transition rules

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 along party lines to revise rules for carriers switching from traditional copper landline networks to fiber optic IP networks. The FCC's revisions will now require carriers to notify customers about how they will be affected by the changes, according to Multichannel News. Carriers must also provide wholesale customers and competitive retailers access to their networks at reasonable prices until the FCC completes its ruling on new special-access IP rules, the article said.

Republican commissioner Michael O'Rielly said that access sounded like a way to rate regulation. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he laughed at the idea, and said the FCC was reaffirming the agreement between networks and their customers, the article said.         

Mobile devices behind online video growth

The amount of time people spend viewing online video will increase by 23.3% in 2015 and an additional 19.8% in 2016, according to the Online Video Forecasts Report published by ZenithOptimedia Group, a global marketing services company in London. The report was produced in conjunction with Newcast, ZenithOptimedia's global branded content company.

Mobile video usage is expected to grow by 43.9% this year and 34.8% in 2016, according to the report. The driving force behind the estimates is smartphone and tablet use. 

In 2012, 22.9% of all online viewing was on mobile devices. That number rose to 40.1% in 2014, and is expected to hit 52.7% in 2016 and 58.1% in 2017, the report said.

ZenithOptimedia is predicting that mobile will become the primary online video platform by 2016 and that the number of people watching TV will decrease after 2016, according to Rapid TV News. The article also said ZenithOptimedia sees a direct correlation between more accessible mobile video content and decreased television viewing.

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