What is Google Fiber?
Google Fiber will be another carrier providing internet and television service to individuals and, presumably, small businesses. As such, they will operate in direct competition with carriers such as Time Warner and AT&T.
Although no specifics are available for Charlotte, service is already available in Austin, Texas. There they offer an option of high speed internet or internet plus TV. Internet only is priced at $70 per month and over 150 channels of TV plus 8-channel recording adds another $60. They also have a basic internet-only service for a one-time installation fee of $300 which can be paid at $25 per month for a year. After the $300 is paid, there are no more charges.
Google’s Gigabit Internet is advertised as “up to1,000 Mbps.” That is approximately 20 times the speed currently advertised by the currently available major providers. Their prices for “up to 50 Mbps” are $35 and $65 for the first year. Google Basic Internet offers “up to 5 Mbps” with no costs after the initial fee. Realistically, most home users with typical usage probably would not notice a significant difference at speeds greater than 25 Mbps. For more information, see my blog post “What’s a gigabit” at http://TechnologyInterpreter.info.
Why should you be interested in Google Fiber?
Telecom and internet providers are notoriously weak in most customer service surveys. The $430 billion Google is known for tackling technological problems with a different viewpoint from traditional players. At the very least, encouraging Google will bring competition to the near monopoly of service currently available, even if you choose not to change your provider.
Furthermore, Charlotte was honored to be chosen by Google immediately after the first three pilot cities. Supporting Google will prove to the rest of the country that Charlotte believes in the 21st century.
Building a completely new infrastructure is a major task and Google will not be able to offer it to the entire city at once. As yet, they have not announced what areas they will start in, but they are collecting addresses to determine what areas show the most interest. Register at https://fiber.google.com/cities/charlotte/ and if enough of your neighbors also do so, you may have another option for internet and TV soon.
NOTE: This item was originally published in The Spirit of Plaza Midwood, Fall 2015.
The writer has no affiliation with any of the businesses mentioned. Google did not respond to a request for specific details. All information presented is from public resources.
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