Yes, you read that right. It’s exactly the same headline that ran last September. And it’s pretty much the same story. After more than a year of discussion about bringing Google’s optical fiber Internet service to the Santa Clara, the city and the Internet behemoth continue talking, pushing decision time into 2015.
“Google announced that their study to determine the feasibility of providing high-speed fiber optic Internet connections to residents in 34 cities would extend into 2015,” according to a Santa Clara City news release on Dec. 23. “Google acknowledged City staff for their efforts toward the completion of the study in Santa Clara. A public update of the study results is expected early in the new year.”
Google has installed its fiber network in some Kansas City, Kan. “fiberhoods,” and is rolling out services in Provo, Utah, and Austin, Tex. Google is expected to make its decisions about embarking on fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) projects in 34 cities, including Santa Clara, by the end of the year.
Dubbing Dec. 1 “Fiber Monday” with the opening of its new, glitzy showroom, Google’s services will cost from $70 a month for 1 gigabit per second (Gbps, a trillion bits/second) Internet for both uploads and downloads, to $120 for Internet and TV. The company will also offer a basic 5 megabits per second (Mbps, a million bits/second) service. The $300 installation fee is currently being waived if you sign a one-year contract.
There are huge benefits to businesses or institutions that must share images or stream live video to many users (hospital and universities, for example – but aside from downloadable GB files and peer-to-peer sharing – a major fear in Hollywood, according to a recent story at torrentfreak.com – there isn’t much most of us will be doing with 1 Gbps Internet in the short term, since it will be wired to our homes and not make any difference to abysmal mobile data speeds.
And Google’s take on TV isn’t very innovative, according to a Dec. 5 story at TheVerge.com. “The company seems content with delivering an experience that’s par for the course. Google Fiber’s TV interface is simple, clean, and, for the most part, fluid … but looks like a cable box UI.” Further, isn’t compatible with Google Play movies – you’ll need a Chromecast or Nexus player for that.
Maybe two years ago it looked like Google had the fiber space to itself, but no more. In August, AT&T (about.att.com) announced its plans to bring its 1 Gbps Internet service, GigaPower, to Cupertino. And in Minnetonka, Minnesota, US Internet started taking orders for its Gigabit speed Internet service just in time for the holidays. With speeds up to 10 Gbps for $399 per month, US Internet will be the faster consumer Internet service in the U.S.
Meanwhile, you can visit googlefiberblog.blogspot.com to find out the latest from Google.