October 22, 2014
If you suffered through the sluggish days of dial-up Internet, you know that connection speeds have come a long way. With Google Fiber, however, the search-engine giant has tackled an even greater increase in Internet speed and reliability. Take a look at the advancements Google Fiber has made so far, and how their future looks as far as developments, competition, and new plans.
What is Google Fiber?
Google Fiber has been around for a little while, but the concept is still fairly new to many because the service is not yet offered nationwide. Google Fiber is an advanced fiber optic network designed to deliver Internet speeds up to 100 times faster than standard broadband connections. The Fiber network also offers:
- HD television programming with less compression (meaning clearer pictures)
- DVR (digital video recording) with up to eight simultaneous programs and 2 TB of storage
- Apps for more control over television and Internet
The process promises to be long, however, because Google needs to erect the necessary infrastructure in all cities to which it will deliver Fiber services. Fiber is currently available on just a few U.S. cities, but Google has plans to take the service much further.
How is Fiber progressing?
In October 2014, Google carried out plans to launch Fiber in Austin, Texas, which joined Provo and Kansas City as the Fiber flagship towns. Currently, Google is considering the possibility of rolling out its fiber optic network in nine additional metropolises around the United States.
Some cities have already taken steps toward welcoming Google Fiber. Portland, for example, has approved Google’s franchise agreement through the city council, making the Oregon burg an excellent candidate for the next roll-out.
With whom is Fiber competing?
The race to create the fastest broadband speeds has pitted numerous Internet and cable companies against one another. In Kansas City, Google Fiber’s first test city, other providers have increased Internet speeds for existing and new customers.
The increased competition benefits customers who need faster connections for downloading movies, music, and other large files. Additionally, Google Fiber creates competition among tablet manufacturers because customers want greater integration between their devices.
What’s next for Google Fiber?
Although Google Fiber remains in the early stage of development and deployment, the company hopes to release a list of new Fiber cities before 2015. Each city requires a detailed assessment of multiple factors, including:
- Customer interest: How many people are willing to abandon existing service for new fiber optic connections?
- Population density: How close are houses built to one another and how will this impact design?
- Topography: What geographic issues might get in the way of deployment, such as flood plains and high hills or mountains?
- Existing infrastructure: What fiber optic infrastructure already exists in the city?
Google has provided city leaders with checklists to work through in order to determine compatibility with the Google Fiber system. The company intends to review those checklists between May and December 2014.
Google keeps potential customers updated through its website and press releases. As the company collects solid data, it will take steps to launch Fiber in additional cities throughout the United States.
This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write about business, finance, women's interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three daughters. Dixie got advice for this article from the professionals of Map A Data Center, who provide a data center directory for those looking for data management.