Google Fiber covers the last mile between the consumer and the Internet with groundbreaking speed. Providing one-gigabit transmission speeds, uploads and downloads seem incredibly fast. For users of the geographically limited service, the download times are barely noticed. Using fiber optic cable connections and WIFI, Google Fiber has outpaced the competition and spurred upgrades from its competitors in key markets. Showing what is possible and proving it is economically feasible, Google Fiber has shaken the internet service industry in the United States.
The Search for Competition
One noticeable impact of Google Fiber has been competitor upgrades in markets that they had previously been satisfied to offer substantially slower speeds and lower quality services. Increased competition is the goal of national telecommunications policies, but before Google Fiber, it met with limited success. Few markets had two or more sources from which to choose, and the median US market had only one. Without competition, providers have little incentive to take on the costs of improving system performance; this is true even as technology advances to permit much higher transmission speeds and improved sound and picture quality in entertainment content streaming.
Cities Compete for Google Fiber
Google Fiber is in the enviable position of having hundreds of cities clamor and compete for its services. Google Fiber requests local cooperation and requires infrastructure readiness to build and deploy its fiber network. Google Fiber has a queue of potential cities and plans for expansion. Other companies have invested in the technology, and investors see the potential for long-term growth and profitability in an industry that had been dominated by a few large players.
Google Fiber Inspires More Competition
Other companies have moved into the market by providing the fiber optic last mile technology. In cities like Detroit, local efforts have moved to the point of near completion for one-gigabit internet service. The success of Google Fiber in cities such as Chattanooga, Tennessee and Austin, Texas has resonated with other aspiring communities. There are competitive advantages from high-speed internet services. It attracts economic development, entrepreneurial activity, and talent.
Making a More Beautiful City
The internet service infrastructure in a metropolitan area is largely invisible. However, it no doubt enhances the beauty and appeal of a place to businesses and as a place to live. High-speed internet infrastructure makes it more likely to participate in the economy of the future. In fields such as medicine and finance, high-speed transmissions will be necessary. Advances in medical science will emphasize cloud-based systems with enormous demands on transmission speed and data processing, such as gene-based medical care in the Precision Medicine Initiative. In the current generation of medical care, high-speed data transmission plays an increasingly important role. Young people, and young professionals, in particular, consider the local internet when selecting a location. For many people of the Millennial Generation, an important part of their business and social lives exists in cyberspace.
Google Fiber Is a Game–Changer
The total package of Google Fiber services both for residential and business customers has changed the face of Internet service in the United States. Long considered overpriced and underserved when compared to West and Central Europe, the US market has received a badly needed jolt from Google Fiber. Long delayed upgrades have taken place in Kansas City and other locations simply due to the need to compete with Google Fiber. As cities can play a role in bringing Google Fiber and other similarly evolved internet service providers, they have moved with new urgency. Cities too must compete and in the internet service area, no one wants to be left behind.