When Google Fiber first came onto the Internet service provider scene, they were all anyone could talk about. The United States lags behind other countries with an average speed of 20 megabits per second, putting it at 33 on the worldwide net index list. The highest speed city, Hong Kong, comes in at 62 Mbps.
Google Fiber is threatening to bring that average up in a big way. This service’s speeds go up to 1,000 gigabits per second, making you feel like you stepped into a world that’s 10 years into the future. The impact of extremely high-speed Internet is easy to see in any of the three Google Fiber towns: Kansas City, Miss.; Kansas City, Kan.; and Provo, Utah. For consumers, competitor ISPs immediately drop their prices and start offering as many deals, packages and incentives to stop the quick bleed of customers, according to Forbes. For businesses, the high-speed Internet gives them a leg up on the competition by providing them with incredibly fast download and upload speeds, making one of the Google Fiber towns an ideal location to set up tech-heavy businesses.
Photo by Flickr user JaredZammit
While every other phrase in the tech world is no longer “Google Fiber,” it doesn’t mean that they’re slowing down on a fiber network deployment. The latest news in the Google Fiber world concerns home servers. Previously, Google did not allow servers to be hosted out of the home on their network. They’ve changed their minds on this matter, permitting servers for virtual private networks, game servers, home security and video chat. Unfortunately, Google does not yet allow commercial servers.
Remote Television Viewing
While being able to watch television channels on the go isn’t new technology by any means, Google Fiber’s television service does offer two popular options in app form: ESPN and Disney. These apps allow subscribers to watch programming from these channels wherever you go, which is particularly useful in the case of ESPN if you can’t get home to watch a game, and watching the score on the ESPN app just isn’t doing it for you.
Competition Rolling Out Fiber Improvements
Internet speeds weren’t rising particularly fast before Google Fiber came to town, but with a free Internet service that matches many midrange ISP packages, and the paid service blowing them all out of the water, ISPs needed some way to stop all of their customers from jumping ship. AT&T is gearing up with their GigaPower U-Verse option for customers, which begins at 300 Gbps. It doesn’t match Google Fiber’s speed at first, but AT&T is going to ramp up their technology and bandwidth capacity to 1,000 Gbps over the coming year. Other internet service providers are developing their networks and technology to improve service in Google Fiber areas, even in nearby cities where Fiber isn’t actually offered yet. You can check whether a fiber-optic network is deploying near your city by checking FIOS provider sites such as Verizon.
Comcast’s Budget Internet
Comcast has a program in place for low-income individuals and families to provide basic Internet service in the home for $10 per month. This plan originally came in at 1.5 Mbps, but since Google Fiber introduced their basic home service for free, Comcast increased the speed on this program up to 5 Mbps.