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Editor’s Note: The original article (posted below the line) was published on April 25, 2013. An update on the subject matter was sorely needed….
Internet providers are duking it out to bring fiber optic connectivity to subscribers across the US. The technology is currently the fastest available, and the speed typically comes at a price. Verizon offers FiOS to a lucky few who live in specific areas, and they have an impressive 50 Mbps option. But who’s the one offering 1 Gb down? Google Fiber.
Google Fiber is currently live in Kansas City, Austin, and Provo, with plans to expand to 34 cities in 9 more metro areas: San Jose, Portland, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, San Antonio, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham.
What Makes Those Areas So Special?
Diversity and trailblazing, according to Google. Google believes that these communities are going to “do amazing things with a gig.” But just because they’re on the list, doesn’t mean Fiber is definitely coming. That’s up to city leaders, infrastructure, and construction permits.
Sign ups for Google Fiber will open in December 2014. Those who need blazing connectivity (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?) can subscribe to stay updated on when the service will come to their neighborhood. Google cares about us who live in apartments and condos, working with property managers throughout the city to bring the lightning fast speeds to the renters.
What Time Warner, one of the most popular service providers, has over Google is an existing customer base. They are offering increased speeds without an increase in cost. Google, however, has a better track record when it comes to customer service. The chosen few who will have Google Fiber service available, may be very tempted to switch if the price is right.
Google Fiber has plans to build its next fiber-to-home network connection in Austin, Texas.
There’s nothing like healthy competition; Google Fiber and Time Warner have plans to offer subscribers in Austin, Texas free Wi-Fi, but at what cost?
Gigabit Network Connection
The truth is, not very many people have access to a gigabit network connection but Google Fiber is working to change that. In fact, most routers and wireless equipment aren’t even capable of achieving that connection speed.
Your best bet: Google Fiber or Time Warner fiber optic connectivity. Although, it is interesting to note that Time Warner’s connection speed around town is only 30 Mbps. Can Google Fiber really top that? We hope so.
Tentative pricing plans for Time Warner’s new fiber network will be $70 a month (free Wi-Fi included) but with an average connection speed of 30 Mbps, that doesn’t sound like such a deal. All Google has to do is offer faster connectivity, at the same price and they’ve cornered the market. Even Still, Time Warner says it had no choice but to offer free Wi-Fi in Austin in order to remain competitive. Lets hope they don’t just leave it at that; it’s only a matter of time before Google Fiber becomes as popular as Google itself.
Currently, Time Warner offers free Wi-Fi to subscribers in the following cities: Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Kansas City and Washington D.C. So far, Google Fiber is only offering high-speed connectivity in Kansas City, Missouri. Such competition, no matter how small, is healthy for the ISP market. Let’s hope that At&t can step up to the plate and offer consumers a high speed network of their own.