Chicago: After more
than two years of anticipation, Google finally announced Thursday
that the company's ultra-high speed internet service Google Fiber
would become available to the residents of its test community
Kansas City starting in September.
Offering an internet connectivity speed of one gigabit per second,
Google said the service will be about 100 times faster than the
speed most Americans have with current broadband connections,
Instead of a broadband connection, Google Fiber is composed of
thin optical fiber lines that run directly from a person's home to
a data centre, which is then in turn connected to the national
According to Google, it is this "direct connection" from a
person's home to the national backbone that will allow users to
experience such high internet speeds.
Google said it was inspired to develop Google Fiber in line with
the Federal Communication Commission's 2010 National Broadband
Plan, which calls for making high speed internet more widely
available in the US.
Despite the fact that internet was invented in the US, according
to content delivery network Akamai's 2011 State of the Internet
report, the US ranks only 12th globally in internet connection
speed, with an average connection of 5.8 megabits per second.
South Korea ranks first, with an average speed of 17.5 megabits
In an interview on telephone, Google Fiber spokesperson Jenna
Wandres told Xinhua that Google had already done advocacy work
around the development of the National Broadband Plan and
improving US internet connectivity, and that it set the stage for
the company to do even more once the Plan was released.
Wandres added Google hoped greater internet accessibility and
speed could additionally lead to more technological innovation,
and set the stage for the future of internet browsing.
"When we think back about the way we used to use the internet when
we were still listening to a dial tone, there were all sorts of
innovations that we couldn't even imagine - we were sitting
waiting for it to dial in," Wandres said, comparing how much the
internet had changed since it was first developed.
"We're hoping that with Google Fiber and its higher speeds, these
things will lead to new and unpredictable innovations that as a
whole will move the web forward in the US," she added.
After months of laying the infrastructure and groundwork, Google
Fiber will finally start home-installation after the
pre-registration deadline Sep 9. The internet service is priced at
$70 a month, which is competitive with most US broadband internet
Google also announced the new internet service could be paired
with a television component, Google Fiber TV, which Google says
will include regular broadcast channels and thousands of TV shows
Although Google already owns video-sharing site YouTube, it will
be the company's first venture into serving as a television
The Google Fiber project first started in February 2010, when
Google announced that the company planned to build an ultra-high
speed internet network in a select US city that was willing to
partner with them.
According to Google, the response was overwhelming. The company
received invitations from almost 1,100 US communities and close to
200,000 individuals, all expressing their desire for faster
internet service. Some cities even tried doing stunts hoping to
attract the Google Fiber project, with one city mayor even jumping
into a frozen river and posting the request on YouTube.
Ultimately, the Midwest community of Kansas City was chosen as the
Google Fiber launch site in spring 2011. According to Wandres,
Kansas City was chosen because of its business-friendly
infrastructure, community involvement, and supportive officials.