Google Fiber has slowly been spreading to U.S. cities, and its recent acquisition will bring it to five additional ones. Its goal is to reduce the cost and increase the availability of high-speed internet.
Fiber’s development, however, has been slow, to say the least. But this latest acquisition by Google and its new license with the FCC will likely help get the initiative moving a little faster. Here are six things you should know that will help you understand Google Fiber.
1. Slow development up until now
Many people assumed Google Fiber would be available in all major cities almost instantly. After all, it was a Google product -- and that mega-company essentially has unlimited funds, so everyone expected a fast launch. It’s been the complete opposite, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel.
The growth of Google Fiber should speed up now that it is focused on 5G. Its acquisition of Webpass, a company that was deeply invested in 5G networks and wireless technology, along with a license granted by the FCC to explore “experimental radio service” in 12 cities over the next 24 months, is a good sign for the future.
2. Cities that currently offer Google Fiber
Google Fiber is currently available in these nine areas:
- Atlanta, Ga.
- Austin, Texas
- Charlotte, N.C.
- Kansas City, Mo.
- Kansas City, Kansas
- Nashville, Tenn.
- Provo, Utah
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill "Triangle," N.C.
3. Where Google Fiber will land next
Some cities that have already been confirmed as upcoming Fiber locations include:
- Huntsville, Ala.
- Irvine, Calif.
- San Antonio, Texas
- San Francisco, Calif.
Potential locations include:
- Chicago, Il.
- Dallas, Texas
- Jacksonville, Fla.
- Los Angeles, Calif.
- Louisville, Ky.
- Oklahoma City, Okla.
- Phoenix, Ariz.
- Portland, Ore.
Some experts have been performing their own research and crunching data to come up with a list of logical cities where Google Fiber might land next.
4. What speed to expect from Google Fiber
Google Fiber speeds are fast -- very fast.
A gigabit per second, or 1000 Mbps, is attractive, especially for households that have multiple internet users and devices. Multiple computers, laptops, mobile devices and tablets can really bog down a traditional internet connection.
With Fiber, multiple devices can stream simultaneously without causing any performance issues. If you want to visually understand how fast a gigabit is, check out this video.
5. How much Google Fiber will cost
While the monthly cost of Google Fiber varies depending on what location you are in, each city’s cost is in relatively the same ballpark. For example, if you live in Charlotte, you can get internet plus TV for $130 a month, plus an additional $10 if you want to add Fiber Phone.
These prices don’t include applicable taxes and fees but, relatively speaking, they are affordable for the speed delivered. My current internet/TV/phone package runs more than $160 a month, and I’m definitely not receiving internet speeds of a gigabit per second.
6. What Google Fiber offers in addition to high-speed internet
In addition to a faster internet connection, you can also add Fiber TV and Fiber Phone. TV gives you access to 150+ channels, and with Google Cast built in, you can watch anything on your mobile phone or computer on your TV screen.
Fiber Phone, which will add an additional $10 per month to your bill, gives you unlimited nationwide calling. Just as you experience with any phone carrier, you can use your existing number or pick a new one. Google also offers its users spam-filtering, something that I personally believe to be worth the $10 -- by itself.