Really. The individual glass fibers have a relatively thick, protective plastic coating, but the fibers themselves are like thread. Loveliest thing about them are the delicious amounts of bandwidth they carry:
Telecom is a strange thing in the US. The government deemed Bell a monopoly and forced it to break up. But over the decades, they've reformed back into a pseudo monopoly. Also cable companies have monopolies within cities/towns. So this creates an additional barrier to entry for anyone else wanting to bring in data/telecom services.
I'm glad Google is taking a bold step and rolling out their own fiber service. I'm hoping there are others willing to make the same move.