On Wednesday, Google announced that it's invited 34 cities in metropolitan areas to build fiber-optic networks as part of a project named "Google Fiber," otherwise known as Google's grand plan to give all of America super-high-speed Internet. And by super-high-speed, we mean gigabit Internet, a Google Fiber goal that's 1000 times faster than the average user's Internet speed. Sure, they've now got high-speed Internet on the moon — but that's just 86 times faster than the average Internet speed. In short, Google's Fiber project is bringing Internet to a whole new level.
Google Fiber has already been providing gigabit Internet to Kansas City, Missouri and Provo, Utah, and plans to do the same for Austin, Texas later this year. According to the company announcement, Google Fiber is testing out expansion to the following metropolitan areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, and San Jose.
We aim to provide updates by the end of the year about which cities will be getting Google Fiber. Between now and then, we’ll work closely with each city’s leaders on a joint planning process that will not only map out a Google Fiber network in detail, but also assess what unique local challenges we might face.
And here's Google's video illustrating exactly how well Google Fiber worked in Kansas City.
It's worth pointing out that Google hasn't yet announced whether or not it will implement Google Fiber in the nine metropolitan areas, only that it would test it. And before even that, Google will have to "work on a detailed study of local factors that could affect construction, like topography (e.g., hills, flood zones), housing density and the condition of local infrastructure," as Google described in its announcement. Just because it worked in Kansas City and Provo doesn't necessarily mean it will work elsewhere.
That said, it just might. And once these 34 cities get Google Fiber, it's likely that other cities — New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, etc. — will jump the bandwagon. And it works, Google's antics will prompt other companies to compete with the tech giant to provide even faster Internet. You'll be telling your kids about AOL dial-up as though it was a relic of a medieval era.
So what's the best thing about this — besides the fast Internet, of course? Well, gigabit is probably going to be cheap. It costs Kansas City inhabitants $120 a month for the gigabit Internet and TV. In Provo, Google was able to update an existing network, which means that the gigabit Internet only cost inhabitants $30 per month.
Cheap, super-fast Internet? Anyone can get on board with that. We can't wait for the wave of advanced technology that this Google Fiber project could unleash.