Google appears to be more successful in expanding the footprint of their Fiber High Speed Internet service when compared to Verizon FiOS. The latter hasn’t been introduced to a new city in years, while Google Fiber is planning to add more metro areas to its original Kansas City location. So let’s take a look at the latest Google Fiber news — is it coming to your town anytime soon?
A Quick Overview of Google Fiber
Google Fiber is a telecommunications service that leverages a direct to residence fiber optic connection to offer High Speed Internet and television services with technical specs that rank near the best in the industry. Fiber customers are typically offered three options: free Internet access at 5 Mbps, 1 Gbps paid Internet access, and a bundle that combines the 1 Gbps Internet service with 150 channels of digital television. The TV service includes a 2 TB DVR plus a Nexus 7 tablet computer, and both paid Internet plans offer 1 TB of Cloud-based data storage.
In Kansas City, the Internet-only service costs $70 per month, while the TV and Internet bundle is priced at $120 per month. The “free” Internet option comes with an initial $300 construction fee, so it’s not really free. Thankfully, both paid service plans waive that $300 initial fee.
If Google Fiber sounds too good to be true, remember that Kansas City is only metropolitan area where the service is actually available. You can sign up for Fiber if you live in Provo, Utah, and Austin, Texas is expected to begin taking sign-ups shortly. Potential customers in the rest of United States just have to remain patient and hope that Google increases the speed of its expansion.
Google Changing How Telecommunications Services Get Installed
One noticeable difference ushered in by Google Fiber means that telecommunications providers are changing how their services are installed. Before Fiber, an entire city would get universal access to a telecommunications service on a near simultaneous basis. But now, Google is offering their services on a neighborhood by neighborhood fashion; going where the demand is the highest, a distinction noted in August by the Wall Street Journal.
Google asks customers in a neighborhood to preregister for Fiber, and if around 5 to 25 percent of the households sign up, then Google sends their installation trucks to that location. Some observers have commented that this policy could leave poorer neighborhoods without Fiber access, leading to the growth of a “digital divide.” Google denies these concerns, noting that 19 of the 20 poorest Kansas City neighborhoods have Fiber installed.
The Latest Google Fiber News Reveals More Cities to Receive GB Internet
Still, many other cities would love the option of bringing Google Fiber to their neighborhoods based on a positive vote from only 25 percent of their residents. Earlier this year, the Internet search giant announced that nine additional metropolitan areas were on their short list as potential locations for Fiber. These metro areas include: Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and San Jose.
Google promised to announce an update about which specific cities are slated to be next for Fiber, as well as a installation schedule, by the end of this year. Either way, if you live in the Midwest or Northeast, the announcement of those nine metro areas has to be disappointing with the obvious focus on the Southeast and West Coast.
Will New Technology Make Google Fiber Obsolete Before It’s Installed?
A new technology in the works at Bell Labs involves a 10 Gbps Internet service that combines fiber optic subscriber lines that sync with the copper wire trunk lines that already exist in most locations. A rapid commercialization of this new technology could force Google’s hand; speeding up the Fiber expansion, while giving customers an option for an even faster Internet service. Competition might be your best chance to get the highest Internet bandwidth without waiting a decade for Google Fiber to come to your city.
Pay close attention to the news to see if Google Fiber, or similar services like Verizon FiOS, are increasing their rate of expansion to stave off the latest in Internet technology. There’s no doubt that this is an exciting time to a technology consumer!