When Google invited America to get inspired by gigabit fiber technology, Portland’s innovative geek and brewer communities responded by creating a fresh and edgy organic beer to answer Google’s call. Portland Gigabit IPA offers a massive NW hop aroma, rich citrus and pine accents aggressively balanced with clear malt caramel flavor, and a deep, clean, satisfying finish.
We believe in the opportunity offered by gigabit fiber networks for Portland and for communities everywhere. We’re “opening the source code” so you can home brew a Gigabit IPA all your own. (It’s fiber-to-the-home, right?) Sam Adams • Mayor, City of Portland, Oregon
Yesterday, Michael Weinberg was interviewed on the pdx.fm show PDX Gen-Y by Bret Bernhoft about the importance of Google Fiber and Portland Fiber in general. Michael does a great job of explaining why open-access freedom and high capacity are so important to the future of Portlanders. Worth a listen.
The 40Gbps speeds were accomplished with a new modulation technique—meaning the light pulses traveling over the fiber are upgraded, but the fiber optic-cable itself does not need to be replaced. Fiber-optic cables carry light, which travels at the highest speed possible, period. Bandwidth increases are accomplished by altering the frequency and pulses of the light sent over the cable. These upgrades can be made without replacing the entire infrastructure. Unless and until someone invents ansible-like communcations, fiber-optic infrastructure will remain the fastest possible means of transmitting data.
Today, a friend of mine spotted Comcast in his neighborhood running fiber-optic cable down the street, but not replacing the copper infrastructure that runs to homes. Halfway build-outs like this will continue to necessitate replacement and upgrades to infrastructure. Incumbent providers expand their networks on the cheap, while keeping customers in the slow-lane of the Information Super Highway.
This morning, Mayor Sam Adams, Cable and Franchise Management Director David Olson, Hopworks brewer Christian Ettinger and members of the beer, and tech communities met at the Portland International Airport to send a very special package to Lafayette, LA.
Sending the beer to Lafayette was no small feat. Given the tight timeframe, the kegs needed to be escorted on a commercial flight as checked luggage. Volunteers were able to organize and fund a seat on United Airlines, and David Olson signed up to fly with the beer.
The arrival of two kegs at the ticket counter aroused some curiosity, even among normally unflappable baggage handlers.
Like any luggage, the kegs had proper baggage tags placed on them. Once they were weighed and checked in, they had to go through the X-Ray machines, at which point a small problem arose.
Without going into too much detail, it turns out that the TSA can’t allow kegs to fly as checked baggage. Their X-Ray equipment cannot determine that fresh, tasty beer is the only thing inside the keg, and if they can’t confirm that, they won’t let them on the plane. Fortunately, Christian from Hopworks had some smaller, plastic kegs that could clear TSA screening. The two metal kegs were rushed back to the brewery for transfer and made it back just in time for the flight.
Much like Portland’s bid for fiber, the keg shipping was a serious team effort. From City staff, the brewers and members of the tech community, to helpful United Airlines, Made in Oregon and Powell’s Books employees, many hands made light work, and Gigabit IPA was finally airborne to Louisiana.
The United States Court of Appeals ruled today that the FCC does not have authority to require Net Neutrality on privately owned networks like Comcast’s cable Internet or Verizon’s FiOS. A variety of approaches suggest themselves to preserve the essential freedom of the Internet. One is to change the law to provide the FCC the needed authority, however this is likely to lead to protracted legislative and legal battles, where the network owners fight to preserve their control and freedom to manipulate conditions of use. Considering it is their investment, the private owners have some reasonable grounds for that position. Another approach is for the public interest to exert itself through direct investment. That is, for the public to build their own last-mile infrastructure and for that public infrastructure to be operated in their own interests, including freedom to use that infrastructure as they see fit, consistent with the physical limitations and fairness. Fiber optics to the end-user provides the best capacity bang for the buck. Public ownership provides the best freedom bang for the buck.
Hot on the heels of Hopworks’ Gigabit IPA, a few enthusiastic Portland glassblowers have announced the Google 1 Gbit Fat Pipe:
In honor of Portland’s bid for Google’s historic 1 Gbit Fiber project, local glassblowers Andrew Clifton and Anthony Kaufman have created the Google 1 Gbit Fat Pipe. The 1 Gbit Fat Pipe promises an unparalleled and future-ready smoking experience, beyond anything previously offered in the United States. Though it is designed for tobacco use, the open design of the 1 Gbit Fat Pipe is compatible with local laws both current, and those that may be changed through pending referendums.
According to Clifton, “Portland is clearly the best city for Google’s 1 Gbit Fiber, and we believe the city and community response speak to that. We’re just trying to do our part to generate some buzz.”
The 1 Gbit Fat Pipe will be available for purchase through your local glass art dealer in early May.