Google Fiber - The dream and the reality
12/3/2013 12:08 AM
Google Fiber was something that had me excited, but after all the hype, it seems only a privileged few cities will ever get Google Fiber. What happened? What is the purpose? Was it Google's intention to tease America? To taunt the rest of us stuck with lesser services?
I'm not fortunate to live anywhere near one of the cities Google has bestowed their magical 1GB/s internet connections and magical cable services. I pay way too much for the services I have, and there is no relief in sight for me. If Google's intention (stated by a Time article earlier this year) was to "shame" cable companies into providing better, cheaper services, then they clearly haven't been paying attention. In our small town, they ran fiber optic and infrastructure for broadband in 1997, yet when Charter took over the small cable operation that year, they put the plan on hold. Ameritech offered ISDN, and had no plans to offer DSL as long as the local cable was not offering broadband. In 1999, I ended up with Starband (EchoStar/Hughes), a 1MB/s two-way satellite service with 800ms ping times (not for gamers!!). I did that for a year, until late 2000, when our local Charter offices FINALLY offered broadband to the masses here. Yes, it took them 3 years to roll it out to the customers after they were ready to - and Ameritech only followed up with DSL after Charter turned on Broadband. Why the change? Mostly because satellite dishes were popping up everywhere in our town, a small town located between two metropolitan areas, with a large population of engineers (of various disciplines) - exactly the type of customers who wanted broadband, and were not willing to wait for it.
I have been on Charter since, and mostly OK, but keep in mind - the system is built to support 1GB/s speeds that Google provides, yet we are still limited to 100MB/s at the top tier - and worse, it is now capped (after Charter told me it would not be). My services are about 3 times the price I'd be paying if I had Google Fiber, but with one tenth the broadband speed. Google hoped to shame TimeWarner/Comcast/Charter...but even in the face of competition from Frontier and U-verse, nobody seems ready to drop prices to more reasonable levels. Google failed to understand how deep the collusion between these providers runs.