The allure of Google Fiber is its incredible speed—downloading at 100 times faster than anything we have today and uploading at 1,000 times faster. Now that is fast (said the guy who remembers his first 56K dial-up modem).
It reminds me of the hilsch vortex tube. The hilsch vortex tube is an interesting invention. You blow compressed air into it, and the internal mechanism with no moving parts uses thermodynamic principles to separate the fastest molecules from the slowest ones. As a result, you have two exit ports, one blowing cold air and the other blowing hot air. It was a unique invention in the 1930s and 1940s, and folks wondered how it would ever be used. Nevertheless, a decade or two later, various applications began to arise for its use.
Needless to say, I was particularly excited about a special opportunity on Friday 3/22/13. On that day, The Freelance Exchange of Kansas City, of which I am a member, held its monthly luncheon at Google Fiber’s local office. We enjoyed a great presentation by Christina Komonce (Google Fiber Field Marketing Representative). Komonce did a marvelous job reviewing the entire history behind Google Fiber, its debut in Kansas City, and what the implications are for us all. From Komonce’s presentation, some interesting facts stood out to me:
1—Home Network Speeds In The USA. Most folks might assume because we are in the USA, we of course must have one of the world’s fastest Internet speeds among our residents. In fact, the USA comes in not even among the top ten, but place 13. We definitely have some improvement opportunities.
2—Home Network Speeds Have Plateaued. This was an extremely interesting juxtaposition. While PC hardware speeds and PC storage space have skyrocketed steadily, home Internet speeds have leveled off for several years. The time has definitely arrived for another quantum leap.
3—Home Network Speeds Affect A Home’s Market Value. Independent studies reveal that just setting up the Google Fiber drop to a home raises its market value by $2,000 to $5,000. The housing market recognizes the value and the convenience of Google Fiber.
4—Build It And They Will Come. (This is one point I specifically asked Komonce to address because I think many people overlook it.) Although some critics contend the Google Fiber speeds are so much faster than anyone needs, that does not tell the whole story. Technological development has a pace to it, and part of that pace is linked to platform availability and expansion. Let’s face it—many things we do today on high-speed Internet we would never have conceived in the days of the 56K dial-up modem. Ingenuity feeds off ingenuity. Google Fiber will catalyze associated technological development. To think of it another way, suppose motor-vehicle technology and highway developments were such that beginning tomorrow, all vehicles would drive at 600 miles per hour and with a reduced accident rate? Surely, those realities would begin to invoke changes on many fronts.
5—Competition Is Good For Everyone. Competition is always good for businesses and consumers alike. Consumers enjoy more options and businesses take advantage of opportunities to refine their strategies. One attendee pointed out Time Warner Cable has interestingly bumped all its Internet customers’ speeds up significantly for no extra charge, just to remain competitive.
My Conclusion—Google Fiber is here to stay, Kansas City is blessed to be in on the ground floor, and everyone will benefit because of it.