This past week Google announced that they are expanding Google Fiber to Austin, Texas. Google Fiber is Google’s version of high-speed Internet, which can download at up to 1000 Mb per second, and digital cable television service. This is 100 times faster than any other Internet provider. Google Fiber also gives you one terabyte of storage, which can be used to record up to eight HD TV shows simultaneously. Google provides you with a brand new Nexus 7, that you use as a remote to control your TV.
Google Fiber is currently only being provided in Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO. Future cities that will have Google Fiber are Westwood, KS, Westwood Hills, KS, Mission Woods, KS, Kansas City North, MO, and Kansas City South, MO. Google offers three prices for Google Fiber:
- Gigabit + TV: $120/month ($300 construction fee waived)
- Gigabit Internet: $70/month ($300 construction fee waived)
- Free Internet (5 Mb): $0/month (for at least seven years) + $300 construction fee
These higher Internet speeds would eliminate those irritating YouTube buffers and would speed up downloading/uploading files. However, are the benefits of Google’s high-speed Internet worth the cost? It is estimated that it cost Google $11 billion to install Google Fiber nationwide, 20 million homes. That comes out to roughly $550 per home. With Google waiving the $300 construction fee, it would take five monthly payments of the highest-priced service, Gigabit + TV, to pay for the installation of Google Fiber to a home. Google would not start making a profit until five months after installing the service to a home. That is a long time to make a profit. This could prevent expansion to other cities.
In order to receive support from city politicians and residents, Google will install Google Fiber to public institutions for free. Hospitals, schools, community centers, and libraries will get Google Fiber installed for free. The rollout of Google Fiber also creates jobs in the Austin area and creates economic growth.
But is Google Fiber really necessary? The current U.S. average Internet speed is 7.2 Mb per second. While 7.2 Mb is not ultra-fast, it is still quite fast. Should Google not be focusing on expanding Internet access globally? Google should focus their Internet operations strategy on providing access to areas where it does not exist. We can wait for Google Fiber until everyone has access to the Internet first.
Analyst: Google Will Spend $84M Building Out KC’s Fiber Network To 149K Homes; $11B If It Went Nationwide: http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/08/google-fiber-cost-estimate/
Austin Next City for Ultra-fast Google Fiber: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2013-04-09/austin-expected-to-be-next-stop-for-google-fiber
Google Fiber: https://fiber.google.com/about/
Google Fiber Expands TV, Internet to Austin, Texas: http://www.abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2013/04/google-fiber-expands-tv-internet-to-austin-texas
Residents and Businesses Excited for Possibilities Google Fiber Brings: http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/local/austin/residents-excited-for-possibilities-google-fiber-brings
US Internet Speed Lags Behind S. Korea, Latvia: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/science_tech/us-internet-speed-lags-behind-s-korea-latvia