Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What's next for Google Fiber?

Google instantly dominated all other ISPs in speed after releasing their consistently fast service with a relatively small price tag... but what does the future hold for Google Fiber?

The United States is sinking into a quagmire of perpetually slow internet service, so much more visible when compared against the connection speeds of European and Asian ISPs. Thanks to a stagnant pool of national U.S. Internet providers, those that do exist have become complacent, as there are few other providers for customers to leave to (and certainly none that would be much better).

Google, the self-purported white knight of the technology world, swooped in recently to announce that they would be adding "Internet service provider" to their ever-increasing resume. The new service, going by the name of Google Fiber, would premiere in Kansas City only, so as to test the waters of a possible market.

Fiber offers three plans: the $120/mo. Gigabit + TV; $70/mo. Gigabit Internet; and the Free Internet for a one-time $300 activation fee (or $25/mo. for 12 months).

The price is excellent for buyers. Being very competitive, the prices are already something for the other ISPs to look out for. It only gets worse for the likes of Verizon and AT&T, though, as Netflix reported that on average, users of Fiber have considerably faster speeds than any other ISP listed, surpassing even the heavyweight champion of US providers: Verizon FiOs. Now there's blood in the water.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said on stage at The New York Times' Dealbook conference about a week ago that Google Fiber "isn't just an experiment, it's a real business and we're trying to decide where to expand next." This spells bad news for the fat-cat ISPs who have become too comfortable in their Internet thrones.

Is Fiber really here to stay, though? Google is known for its recent expansion into all sorts of markets, most of which were essential to the realization of their goals. A business that once only delivered users to relevant search results now commands perhaps the cheapest, most powerful internet service to-date for the U.S., but could the whole project exist to force the hand of other ISPs, to upgrade service and lower costs?

After all, considering that as Google wants to move into the world of cloud storage, does it not need its many loyal consumers to have fast, reliable Internet connections with which to access the cloud? Even with such a connection, many users would just prefer to use their own system for storage (in lieu of spending the time required to get on the Internet and load it to/from the cloud).

While Google is primed to take the internet service world by storm, don't start placing any long bets just yet... but wouldn't it be cool?

[Would you get Google Fiber service if it came to your city? Which package?]


  1. Google is going to destroy Comcast and Verizon for sure.. Especially Comcast, who have awful service ..

    1. Yes, though I am certainly no expert, I would agree. Verizon FiOs is good, but it's pricey and there's little competition to force product improvement.


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