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Have you heard about Google Fiber? It’s been making headline news lately. Cities across the U.S. are eagerly awaiting invitations to this new service. I’ll explain what it is and when we can expect to see it here in the Bay Area.
What is Google Fiber?
Imagine a super-fast Internet connection in your home. Rather than a bandwidth of mega-bits you would get gigabit speeds. Google Fiber was launched two years ago in Kansas City, and they are adding new cities to the network. Lucky residents pay only $70 a month for the service. There’s even a cable-style television package with the service.
To put things into perspective, most homes only have the option between cable or DSL. Typical pricing packages vary based upon downstream speeds (for YouTube and Netflix streaming). If you need faster speeds, you’re looking at a premium account. Depending upon your home needs, especially if you’re a developer working from a home office, a T1 fiber optic line may make sense. But it comes with a hefty price tag.
Why is Google Getting Into the Internet Access Business?
Google is well-known for offering services like Gmail and digital ads. Why would they want to break into a market with fierce competition from Comcast, AT&T and Verizon? According to a Mercury News article, “Google contends that faster Internet speeds are necessary for developers and companies to create the next generation of online services — much as broadband Internet service opened the door to games and apps that never existed in the dial-up era.” Kevin Lo, Google Fiber General Manager states “We’re doing our part to help move the web forward.”
By Invitation Only
Google Fiber is coming to a city near you… by invitation only. 33 cities across the country have been invited. For those of us who live in Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose we have reason to celebrate!
But don’t cancel your Internet cable subscription yet. The fiber optic service could start as early as next year as long as your city qualifies. Cities will be asked for detailed reports on housing density, topography, geology, location of utility services and underground conduits. Yikes… sounds like a lot of bureaucratic red tape. Looks like there are multiple hurdles to clear before we get those dreamy Internet speeds.
What would you do with faster Internet access? How would you use Google Fiber?
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