Monday, February 24, 2014

Google Fiber and the Wireless Philadelphia Parallels

      Can you imagine broadband speeds of 100 times fast than what you have today?  According to Google that is what they can do with Google Fiber and have plans to bring that ability to several cities in the United States.  Google promotes it as “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.”  Click Here to see source.   If you go to the site you can set up a “race” to time the speed of your internet vs Google Fiber.  Trust me, Google fiber will be faster (3 seconds verse 56 seconds for a 100 photo download). 
        Google’s plan is to attempt to roll this technology out in several US cities.  While they admit that it might not work in all cities, Google is committed to this project and intends to share lessons learned from the project for the betterment of society.  Google will work with each local government to determine the project logistics.  The goal is to utilize current infrastructure to lay down Google Fiber much like the Wireless Philadelphia project utilized utility poles to deploy the ill-fated wireless network.
       Though no financials for network establishment were provided in these articles, I find it hard to question each city government’s desire to be involved in such a plan.  Having broadband speeds at 100 times the current average would be an advantage to any city looking to attract technology businesses, which was one of the intents behind the Wireless Philadelphia venture.  Being able to bring business and commerce to a city helps with revitalization programs and can reduce a city’s unemployment rate.  This would be an investment in the future. 
       Although, according to the Website, once established, people can get Gigabit internet + TV for $120 a month; jut Gigabit internet for $70 a month or free internet ($30 construction fee).  Google would be your communication service provider.
      However, due to the current economic environment, will city governments have the funding to partner with Google on this project if they have to provide some of the resources?  What will the implications be on local communication service providers?  Google Fiber would provide internet access (either free or the upgrades gigabit version), TV, and DVR capabilities; how is this going to change the communication service provider industry?  What will the industry reaction be and can the current providers compete? 
       Go to the sites and review for yourself.  I just found the parallels with the Wireless Philadelphia to be very interesting.  Although, I believe the outcome will be much better for Google and those city governments involved.


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