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High-Speed Internet: Should Google Bother?

    February 23, 2014
    Toni Matthews-El
    Comments are off for this post.

It seems these days that Google is trying to have a finger in everything and anything. Therefore it was only a matter of time before the company decided it should seriously consider providing its own high-speed internet service.

Google is currently working on this new venture and one of its early targets for the service was Kansas City, Kan.

While the word is already out, potential customers should not expect to receive service right away. In fact, it will likely be a couple of years before Google is truly ready to make the highly anticipated service completely available to selected service locations.

Kansas City mayor Joe Reardon described the move by Google to set up shop in his town as a “very physical” process.

In truth it’s not just physical; it’s time-consuming and tedious.

“Fiber has to be laid on the ground in the city on rights of way or on poles,” said Reardon. “and you have to get it into the neighborhoods and into the house. It takes time.”

So much time and money that Google does not seem interested in providing a truly national experience. After all, the most populated US cities managed to be completely ignored by Google. The project may be ambitious, but the location selection seems to scream, “not ready for prime time”.

About 34 US cities were added to the list of potential service, but even if you find yourself ideally situated, prepare to wait a good while for service to be available. That was the major complaint of citizens in Kansas City. Despite being “kings of the internet” Google seems to be struggling with how internet service works. People do not like waiting.

While Google’s $70 per month service internet and $120 per month internet/HD television service is being hailed as widely affordable, many are already talking about sticking to internet services that may be slower, but are 1/3 or even 1/2 Google’s proposed costs. Affordability is highly subjective.

Let’s just hope Google has all the kinks worked out by the time service reaches every planned city. Perhaps if things go well enough, Google will really get ambitious regarding their range of service and pricing plans

They’ll have to if they intend to be a true force in terms of high-speed internet service. 1 GB per second internet is amazing, but what difference does it make if the service isn’t even realistically available to the average web user?

Speaking of which, Google should not expect competitors to sit quietly on the sidelines while they build an empire. Google has already revealed its weakness in terms of inexperience and an inability to meet the demands of consumers.

Expect other internet service providers to make adjustments of their own in every location Google has deemed fit for its fledgling high-speed internet service and sling more dirt at the new kid than found in your average political campaign.

Good luck, Google. Mind your throat.

Image via YouTube


  • guest2011

    today’s ISP speed and pricing are crap. US internet speed is way behind in some EU and Asian countries. more bad news will come if comcast and time warner will merge. some ISP slow down netflix. google will learn the business and might push the existing ISP to improve their pricing and speed.

  • El Fuego

    From the title of this article, it seems the author is trying to discourage people from Google Fiber. Statements like the following:

    “Speaking of which, Google should not expect competitors to sit quietly on the sidelines while they build an empire.

    “Expect other internet service providers to make adjustments of their own
    in every location Google has deemed fit for its fledgling high-speed
    internet service”

    Um. All the competitors have been doing over the years is sitting back and getting richer and lazy. Cox, Comcast and Time Warner have done nothing for their customers but raise prices. Google coming to an area is the only way they’ll get off their butts and compete. So you’ll excuse me if I have to wait 2-3 years for Google. I’d rather wait for better service and prices than just waiting to have my bill raised again.

    • WhatAParadox

      Did you actually read the entire article and process all of the points she made, or simply copy and paste a couple of sentences to refute? In an attempt to seem like some sort of guardian of the interwebs, and try to prop up your own intelligence?

      All the author is stating is that the Kansas City mayor and its citizens have had problems with Google Fiber implementing its service in the city. Also, she is right in saying that Google Fiber isn’t anywhere close to being a primetime player in the national ISP market. They’re in a small handful of markets and their prices are more expensive than other options. Now, I imagine you’re a progressive internet user like most who support Google Fiber, but you’re a small subset of ISP users. If you tell the average citizen – Would you rather have 1GBPS download speeds at $70/month or 10-20 MBPS download speeds at $30-40/month, most unaware casual internet users are going to take the latter. Which leaves Fiber at a disadvantage in areas where other ISPs already have a foothold.

      Just because Google Fiber is presenting an option we all support, doesn’t mean it’s representative of the entire market. It also doesn’t mean they’re completely immune from criticism, as they’re in this for the business. All of their problems should be brought to the light as much as any other option. I thought this article was refreshing, considering Google Fiber has been nothing but stroked from the internet population.

      • El Fuego

        Actually I did read the entire article. Perhaps I just read into it a little more than you did or maybe I’ve seen other articles by this writer that allowed me to form an opinion.

        Google has been and will always be criticized in some form just like all the other major corporations. However, the main people doing the criticizing these days seem to be in the Comcast, AT&T etc. camp. The average citizen is already paying in the $100-$200 dollar range for Internet and cable service so why wouldn’t you spend $120 with Google for these services and get a much faster Internet speed?

        If you don’t like Google, then don’t sign up for the service if/when it comes to your area. It’s all very simple. However I’ll keep applauding Google for their actions because as I already said it’s the only way any cable operator or telecom provider is going to compete. Maybe you should think about that the next time you try to bash someone in an attempt to prop up your own in intelligence.

  • jnffarrell1

    Two things: 1) Google is not in business to meter out all the worlds info at high margin 2) political PR at the state level has been shown to boomerang on hacks who take money to maintain the high cost of info to users (AKA voters).

  • Damien Milburn

    hell yes google needs to continue this plan. There are no competitors for comcast/time warner worth mentioning. A fair market can only be achieved by companies actually having some competition.

    I think you’re either misinformed Toni Matthews-El, or you’re a comcast puppet.

  • frank cannon

    hey if i can get away from att or cox i will they suck and eat turds

  • gigalover

    Thismay be the most ridiculous article I have seen since Google first announced their
    first fiber project in Kansas City. This Is definitely a subject this Author
    knows nothing about. There is an ongoing debate as to if Google even wants to
    be in this business or if they are trying to embarrass the larger MSO’s into
    fixing their systems. Well, ATT says they will do FTTH in Austin and Comcast is
    bidding FTTH in West Palm Beach so Google and other smaller providers like
    Hotwire Communications that are providing Gigabit today are having an impact. The
    consumer is benefiting greatly by their entry into the market already. The
    entire county is talking about Fiber To The Home and Gigabit speeds. This is
    the future, there is no doubt about that. Google has Chromecast and now a more
    traditional Cable TV offering in 3 markets. They need access to better networks
    to distribute a National Video Product. Google Fiber is jumpstarting
    improvements nationwide, it may take years but it has to start somewhere and
    Google should be praised for making it happen.