Will Google Lead the Fiber Revolution or Just Force Other Providers?
We’ve all been there, or at least many of us — streaming episodes of a TV show or one YouTube clip after another until suddenly that beautiful stream of content slows to practically a halt. Maybe it’s an internet provider throttling the connection after a certain amount of use, or maybe it’s just a period of congestion, because lots of people are using the Internet at once. Streaming video is more prevalent than ever, and only getting more so. Those of us who have looked for a faster option that won’t slow down have probably stumbled across news of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Fiber, but less than a handful of locations have been able to get it.
As time goes on and the demand for higher bandwidth grows, the question is whether Google could become a dominant player in the connectivity offerings, or whether it will simple give the impetus to all the other service providers that aren’t making gigabit speeds available.
For the typical consumer, 5 megabits (that’s 5 megabytes of data per second) is about as fast as an Internet connection will get, and often it won’t be going that fast. Consumers might find that fast enough for most of their streaming needs, though it can get bogged down if there are multiple users in the house — and the fast speeds do come at a price. Google’s move with Fiber has been looking to push the state of bandwidth forward — a move that makes sense considering the bulk of Google’s revenue stream comes from online advertising, and more web use means more ad opportunity. However, Google Fiber is only available in two cities so far: Provo, Utah, and Kansas City, with plans for Austin, Texas.