Why Google Fiber is Important
The market for high speed Internet in the United States is remarkably uncompetitive. Google Fiber can change this, starting in the Kansas City area. If Google’s little experiment here in the midwest is a success, it may spark a wider rollout across the country. Right now there are two other testbeds, one in Utah and one in Texas.
Google Fiber is FAST
Internet speed is measured in BPS, or bits per second. Essentially, providers of today offer speeds by “mbps”, which is mega bits per second. For instance, Time Warner Cable might offer a “15 megabit” package. Google will be providing 1 “gigabit”. Giga means one thousand. There are 1,000 Megabits inside of 1 Gigabit.
Google’s speed offering is an order of magnitude faster than the typical offering by TWC, Surewest, AT&T, and Comcast.
Google Fiber is Symmetrical
While we’re on the topic Internet speed, it bears mentioning that other area providers offer “asymmetrical” packages. That is, the upload speed in which you transmit data (Think uploading photos to Facebook) does not match the speed that you can receive data (Think watching movies on Netflix). Google provides symmetrical upload and download speed. You can share data at the same rate as you can receive it.
Google Fiber is Cheap
At first glance, Google’s prices may not seem like anything special. The first offering is $70 a month. If you look at your current bill, you might be paying less than that already. Consider what you’re getting for the money, though.
- Probably less than 20 megabits of download
- probably less than 5 megabits of upload
- possibly have a download limit or “cap”
- possibly on a promotional rate that will go up after a certain period
Also, if you can even find this information, try to see what a comparable plan from your current ISP would cost. ISP plan fees are notoriously difficult to peg. Much like buying a car, no one in the neighborhood seems to be paying the same price for the same thing. Depending on your zip code and what options you are a subscriber of (internet, phone, tv), the rate you pay can wildly fluctuate. If you can actually find a gigabit plan from your current ISP, there’s no way that it will only be $70, and it may not even be available to residential subscribers anyway. In the past Comcast had a 300 Megabit plan, but it was $299 a month. 1/3rd of the Speed of Gigabit, but at four times the cost of Google’s gigabit offering.
Please sign up, fight for the future!
If your fiberhood does not meet the household signup goal, Google Fiber will not be deployed in that fiberhood for the foreseeable future. As far as I know, the fiberhoods that missed out in the initial run in 2011 are still dark, and that was three years ago.
Sign up at http://fiber.google.com