Fiberhood: A neighborhood that has Internet access via fiber-optic cable. A blend of fiber and neighborhood.
Word Spy gives credit for the coinage of fiberhood to Google, which in July 2012 announced in its official blog that the company was introducing Google Fiber “to bring ultra-high [Internet] speeds to Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo.” Milo Medin, Google’s vice president of access services, wrote:
When we asked people what they value in their Internet service, the majority of them simply said, “choice.” So we listened. Kansas Citians will choose where we install and when. We’ve divided Kansas City into small communities we call “fiberhoods.” To get service, each fiberhood needs a critical mass of their residents to pre-register. The fiberhoods with the highest pre-registration percentage will get Google Fiber first. Households in Kansas City can pre-register for the next six weeks, and they can rally their neighbors to pre-register, too. Once the pre-registration period is over, residents of the qualified fiberhoods will be able to choose between three different packages (including TV).
Although Word Spy is usually the definitive source for such things, I found a much earlier antedating: a May 12, 2005, post by Om Malik in his blog, GigaOM:
Now this might come as a surprise to many, but the number of communities with fiber-to-the-home has gone up sharply in past 15 months or so, according to a study by TIA.* I am going call these fiberhoods.
Google’s blog post didn’t mention costs for Google Fiber: a $10 “expression-of-interest” fee, $70 a month for Gigabit Internet, and $120 a month for Gigabit Internet plus TV service. The “free” tier requires a $300 construction fee.
In the April 2013 issue of Harper’s magazine (access restricted to subscribers), Whitney Terrell and Shannon Jackson take a closer look at Google Fiber. To qualify, Kansas City had to give Google access to “underground conduits, fiber, poles, rack space, nodes, buildings, facilities, and available land.” It provided Google with free offices, meeting spaces, and a showroom, and it paid the company’s electric bill. Kansas City had no say in Google’s pricing and no guarantee that Google would deliver the service to all residents. “The mayor, moreover, is barred from commenting on Google’s activities without the express permission of Google,” Terrell and Jackson write.
From their article, “Only Connect”:
…Google’s fiberhood map bisected the city at Troost Avenue, a historical racial divide. It soon became clear that most lower-income black areas would fail to meet the preregistration quotas. Local teachers and librarians began canvassing door-to-door with Google employees, urging residents to sign up, and charitable groups raised money for registration fees. A majority of these fiberhoods ultimately qualified for service. But the frenzied volunteer push revealed an uncomfortable truth behind the city’s “real partnership” with Google: Kansas City had left itself powerless to guarantee service for its most vulnerable constituents. And it could not compel Google to redraw its maps in a less discriminatory way. (Of course, the vegan bakery, Pilates studio, and Italian deli next door to Google’s subsidized offices received their fiber service for free.)
* The TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) link is broken and I haven’t been able to find a working substitute.