June 5, 2013
In September 2012, Google launched an experimental super-speed Internet capable of pumping out 700mbps through fiber-optic connections. Currently being trialed in Kansas City, it will revolutionize the way we stream online media and use the Internet for browsing.
Codenamed ‘Google Fiber,’ the lightning platform is the fastest Internet service provider on the planet, yet critics are questioning Google’s reasons for wanting to become an Internet service provider when they make billions of dollars in revenue from advertising. One such critic is investment bank Goldman Sachs which claims it would cost the search engine giant $140 billion to roll Fiber out across the U.S. and, in doing so, would financially cripple them.
Meanwhile, Brian Levin, a former U.S. Federal Communications Commission chief and current executive director of Gig.U says that Internet service providers are making a 97 percent profit margin on their sub-standard broadband connections and have no incentive to upgrade to a super-speed service which would ultimately make Google a hero in the eyes of Internet users if the Fiber experiment is successful enough to force the hand of other service providers to increase their mbps.
Google Fiber to the rescue
Levin’s comment is a poignant remark, especially given he was part of the committee that drafted the National Broadband Plan, a federal document designed to incentivize Internet businesses to build a better and faster Internet service across the U.S. The Google Fiber experiment proves what disgruntled broadband users already suspect: it is possible to get access to faster download at a lower cost.
Super-speed Internet is going to happen. With Google leading the way other ISPs will have to follow eventually. And when it does happen, businesses need to be ready to take advantage with sound online marketing strategies. As analyst Rich Greenfield of BTIG Research pointed out, an accelerated Internet will change consumer habits.
We saw how a faster Internet connection encouraged consumers to buy on the Internet when ISPs shifted from painfully slow dial-up connections to broadband. While Internet shopping has becoming one of the fastest growing markets in the last five years, it still has its limitations.
The future of online advertising
Ultra-sonic downloads would be a Garden of Eden for app developers and Internet marketers, especially where video content and 3D graphics is concerned. Businesses are already reeling in massive revenues from video. According to MarketWatch, Taser increased its revenues for video segments by 170 percent in the final quarter of 2012. The bottom line is that video promotion is becoming a vital ingredient of digital marketing strategies.
To support video content, however, super-fast broadband connections such as Fiber will be needed. At the moment, websites with video content and slider images take too long to load and Web users do not have the patience to wait. They will click out and move on to the next site.
OK, so Google Fiber is not being marketed as an advertising platform, but that doesn’t mean to say it hasn’t got the capability to be the biggest advertising platform on the planet, which is Google’s bread and butter. And that answers the question of critics who cannot see why Google needs to become an ISP. If the current service providers are not going to give Google and their customers the speeds they want, the search engine giant will do it itself.
Internet users want visuals
When Google introduced Chrome in 2007, its intention was not to compete in the browser market, but to challenge rivals to produce better platforms. The Internet innovators are now on a crusade to encourage service providers to use fiber optic technology that supports video content and dramatically improves download speeds.
As if to prove its point, Google plans to expand the Fiber experiment and “hit the ground running.” Community manager for Google Fiber Rachel Hack wrote in her blog: “Now that we’ve gotten into a good rhythm of installations and customer support, we’re ready to pick up the pace.”
Internet users in Kansas — nicknamed Fiberhood — are also enamored by the capabilities and speed of the new broadband connection.
“It just blows my mind — we can be running video via Wi-Fi on two Smartphones and on two laptops, and also be watching and recording TV shows all at the same time,” said resident Ryan Carpenter. “It’s a vastly superior service.”
Consumers are turning away from traditional advertising in favor of online options they get from Smartphones, tablets and computers. Google also appears to be turning away from traditional advertising and has recently invested a further $50 million in video content — this time buying a 10 per cent share of Vevo, a streaming company that provides access to music videos.
It is no secret that online video content has exploded in the last couple of years and there is clearly a user demand for faster Internet speeds despite the refusal of service providers to increase their bandwidth. Google Fiber promises to change that, and the way consumers choose to buy online will inevitably change as well.
Richard Oldale is a freelance writer and SEO expert. With a vision for the future of online marketing he founded johnaudreyjones_productions to provide SMEs with proven SEO and social marketing strategies that will improve their online reputation in the short-term and retain it in the long-term. To find out more visit his website.