Thursday, July 26, 2012

Google Fiber's Big Impact

Google made big announcement after big announcement concerning their new product line, Google Fiber. Since the announcement that Kansas City, MO and KCK would be the first communities in the U.S. with Google Fiber, Kansas Citians have been anxiously awaiting more information from the mega-business. Google didn't disappoint.

The company made several key announcements about the new product that will change the very fabric of the city. So far, the company has unveiled the following:
  • Google Fiber TV. Television including major networks, special channels and on demand content. It comes with a TV box that can hold up to 500 hours of recorded HD video, a Nexus 7 tablet, which functions as a remote with voice command, additional TV boxes that double as wifi routers/bridges.
  • Google Fiber Internet. This is all anyone expected and we already knew the basic plan. It will have internet speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. That makes it almost 100 times faster than today's average broadband speeds and 20 times faster than top tier business class speeds.
  • They've bundled together competitive packages. $70/mo for just internet and $120/mo for internet and TV, which is about par with current internet/cable packages.
  • Google announced that they would give many schools and area libraries free internet. They also announced that for an installation fee of $300, they would install fiberoptic cable into homes and provide free regular broadband speeds for up to seven years until the homeowner upgrades to full speed access. This should be a cause for great concern among current Kansas City internet service providers, who haven't updated their infrastructure to meet current consumer needs.
  • One 1000mb/s isn't the fastest they think it will go in the future. They announced that there would be more announcement in the months and years to come.
My favorite part about the whole experience was that I watched the announcement on Youtube, listening to all the smart people talk about fast internet, while my internet constantly buffered to keep up with the strain of streaming video in HD. It was ironic.

Google Fiber went live in a small community in San Francisco and they were getting confirmed speeds of 438mb/s in the Beta stage, so it looks like it will live up to the hype. This changes everything for ISPs who have been skating along the last few years without new innovations to threaten their business model. Current ISPs will now have to fight for their customers, rather than aiming an increasingly dissatisfying status quo. Now, Kansas City will reap the rewards.

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