Google Fiber: What does it really mean?

Google Fiber is coming to Austin. This is a pretty big deal!  If you clear away all the hype of the announcement then what are we really getting with Google Fiber? 

What is it?
-Google Fiber is Google’s entry into the internet supply market. Google Fiber is cheap: $70.00 per month with a $300 install fee for synchronous gigabit access to the internet. That’s almost 1000 times faster then your current internet speeds at home. Google is also offering a FREE 5mb download x 1mb upload package for SEVEN YEARS with a $300 install fee. 

Google Fiber is WAY fast!
– Gigabit internet access is faster then anything you have ever seen. If I currently had Google Fiber I could upload all 1000+ songs in my iTunes collection in less then a minute.

Is Google Fiber just internet access?
– Google fibre does include TV services. In Kansas City, the only other region in America that currently has Google Fiber, It seems like the only major channel you can’t get is HBO. Local channels, Showtime, and ESPN are included. Here’s Kansas City’s current channel guide.  

Can I use Google Fiber at my business?
– Not at this time although Google states that they are working on a business offering.

Can I run a server?
 – According to Google’s terms and conditions: “Our Terms of Service prohibit running a server. However, use of applications such as multi-player gaming, video-conferencing, home security and others which may include server capabilities but are being used for legal and non-commercial purposes are acceptable and encouraged.”

Can I get telephone service over Google Fiber?
 – Yes – using an add on service like Google Voice or Vonage

Is my bandwidth guaranteed?
 – No. Gigabit is the MAX Speed. According to Google’s terms and conditions: 
“The advertised speed of the subscriber’s chosen Google Fiber Internet offering is the maximum speed expected to be achievable for that service offering.”
 – Google Fiber is a shared service. According to Google’s terms and conditions:
“In times of acute congestion, Google Fiber Internet service bandwidth will be fairly allocated among subscribers without regard to the subscribers’ online activities or the protocols or applications that the subscribers are using. While acute congestion is occurring, subscribers will still be able to use the lawful content, services, and applications of their choice, but this fair sharing of bandwidth may result in slower download and upload speeds and slower response times from websites and Internet-based applications and services.”

What will Google Fibre’s rollout look like in Austin and how long will it take?
-There is no better answer to this question then to look at how Google Fiber was installed in Kansas City:
  • On March 30, 2011, Google announced that Kansas City, Kansas will be the first city in America to have Google Fiber
  • From July 26th through September 9th, Kansas Citians in Kansas City, Kan. and Central Kansas City, Mo. pre-registered to indicate they were interested in bringing Google Fiber to their home.
  • Each additional neighborhood that wanted Google Fibre, a “Fiberhood”, needed to reach its pre-registration goal in order to qualify for Fiber.
  • The order of construction within each city was determined by pre-registration rankings on September 9th.
  • Starting September 13th, households were able to choose the service plan that they wanted. Anyone in a qualified fiberhood was able to sign up and choose a Fiber plan, regardless of whether they pre-registered or not.
  • To get service, qualified households had to choose their plan before construction began in their fiberhood.
  • Once Google Fiber was built in a qualified fiberhood households that signed up were contacted and installs were scheduled. 
  • As of April 1, 2013, The following cities in the Kansas City metro area are installed: Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO. The following cities in the Kansas City metro area are on the buildout plan: Kansas City North, MO, Kansas City South, MO, Westwood, KS, Westwood Hills, KS, Mission Woods, KS.
We can therefore assume that it will take about six months for the first Austinites to receive Google Fiber at home and if you live in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Westlake Hills, etc. then you may have a long wait.

We’ll keep you updated as we hear or experience the rollout of Google Fiber. If you have any questions in the meantime then give us a call at 512-832-6209.