Like many Americans, I pay a premier (as in completely insane) monthly rate for my cable, internet access and VOIP to one of the biggest corporate conglomerations, Comcast (aka Time Warner.) I don’t even USE the VOIP! I only have it because it was cheaper to “bundle” it. Seriously, go ahead and ask me what my home number is…because I have NO IDEA. I may as well have a non-functioning rotary phone hanging on my wall at this point.
Why do I do this? Well, because they are the best game in town. I’ve tried Verizon FiOS (no thanks) and even satellite TV (hated it!). I also survived the age of dial up and subpar ISP providers – and I’m not going back. I blindly pay my ludicrous bill each month because my technology and media needs clearly deserve the hefty price tag. Right?
Maybe not…Comcast and Time Warner, who have basically operated unchallenged for years, are now facing the biggest threat of the decade, of the century (drum roll please!)
What’s Google fiber, you ask? Well, it’s only a 1 Gbps mega connection that is up to 100 times faster than today's average broadband speeds. Straight from Google’s mouth: “At up to 1,000 Mbps, Google Fiber is 100 times faster than today's basic broadband, allowing you to get what you want instantaneously. You no longer have to wait on things buffering; everything will be ready to go when you are. So whether you are video chatting, uploading family videos, or playing your favorite online games, all you need to do is click and you're there.” Google essentially guarantees is can download just about anything – games, photos, music, and HD movies – in 3 seconds. Three seconds!! (Well, movies take a whopping 7 seconds.) Current download speeds (using traditional broadband) for these types of files can range from 66 seconds to well over 20 minutes!
Comcast claimed not to be threatened, but when Google Fiber moved in and essentially took over Kansas City, KS, Comcast instantly boosted its speed times for its customers (free of charge), in a futile effort to remain competitive. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t work - a survey by Wall Street analyst Bernstein Research discovered Google Fiber has signed up almost 75% of homes offered the gigabit fiber-to-the-home service (Dampier, 2014).
Excited? There’s more. It’s cheaper than standard cable – a lot cheaper. And your remote? It’s an app that you run on your phone or tablet! You can store all your stuff in one place and it offers 1 Terabyte of storage to boot. Oh, and you can record up to 8 shows simultaneously with their DVR capability.
Right now it’s “under construction” in Austin Texas, with other cities planned and a whole list of other “potential” cities. Check out the site, use the “Check address” function, and see if your town is next!