Google is set to burn rubber on the Internet and information superhighway with the introduction of its latest effort, Google Fiber. Fiber is possibly the game changer that Google is known for. It promises to increase Internet surfing and downloading speeds up to 100 percent. Google is in the driver seat for innovation as it attempts to deliver on a super fast Internet experience.
Google’s vision of fiber optic networks stretching from sea to shinning sea is in its initial stages. In addition to increased speed, fiber optics boasts less electronic interference as well. It is an exciting time for Internet providers and content companies. Google is taking it to the next level.
Given that the United States has nearly 250 million Internet users logging on every year, this is an announcement that many people were waiting for. Right now it is still a high level idea that is getting partial implementation in select cities across the country. The cities that Google will begin setting up for the fiber networks are San Jose, Phoenix, Atlanta and Portland, Ore. There will be five more cities added to this phase. It is anticipated that the fiber optic networks will be up and running in those cities by the end of 2014. Many cities have approached Google to be on the short list to receive”Fiber.” Being the driver for who get the superfast internet, makes Google even more of a powerhouse.
All of this excitement comes amidst a growing battle about the Internet and how it operates. It’s the FCC versus members of the Republican Party and big Internet providers. This saga is called the Net Neutrality Rules. The rules are in place, according to The FCC, to help keep the web free and open. It is set to keep large Internet service providers (ISPs) from charging companies to stream their movies, music and other content through a faster avenue. The issue is what happens when the Netflix of the world pay this fee for faster service but a mom and pop operation can’t afford to pay? The idea of having smaller companies merging into the “slow lane,” while the big companies put the pedal to the metal and zoom right by, is the big issue.
Google is positioned to be a major player as the Net Neutrality battle rages on. This move of expanding Google fiber has put the company in-line to compete with the leading provider Comcast within the next five years. That is a relatively short time given all that Google has to do in order to set up an entire city with fiber optic wires.
Getting a city ready for fiber is a massive effort and it is costly as well. The price tag is nearly $170 million to make fiber optics available to 300,000 homes in Kansas City. If Google wanted to take fiber national, to an additional 20 million homes, the price tag could reach upwards of 15 billions dollars.
Given the current environment surrounding the large Internet providers, it is certain that American users wants the Internet to continue to evolve and push innovation. Google is in the driver seat to give the American people the super fast Internet it craves.
Editorial by Tony Bowers
Wall Street Journal
San Francisco Chronicle
New York Times
Los Angeles Times