U.S. cities compete for gigabit (1024 Mbps) Internet from Google

What are over 200 Facebook groups and cities across the United States talking about? If you said gigabit Internet from Google, you’re right.  Until March 26th, Google is asking cities to send forms telling them things about their community.

Chances are, Google owns your life.  They have your mail, your phone, and your searches.  What could possibly be next?

High speed internet.  How high speed?  Gigabit.  You might’ve noticed, saying gigabit doesn’t provide any sense of how fast something is because of how mind-bogglingly big it is.  Let’s look at a comparison chart:

File 1.5Mbps (DSL) 20Mbps (Cable) 1024Mbps (Google’s gigabit)
800MB video file 71 minutes 5 minutes 6 seconds
5MB (large) MP3 26 seconds 2 seconds 0.04 seconds
35MB YouTube video (HQ) 186 seconds 14 seconds 0.27 seconds
1.4GB Operating System 2.12 hours 10 minutes 11.2 seconds
10.7GB Blue Marble 16.2 hours 73 minutes 85.6 seconds

Note that you can’t actually achieve any of these times because internet speeds fluctuate and the speed advertised is generally the highest you get.  These times are for perfect transfer where the limiting factor is at the speed of the internet connection, not a server.

Notice that what would take 16 hours on DSL would take just over a minute on Google’s gigabit!  Also, this isn’t just gigabit lines in the city-this is gigabit-direct-to-the-home fiber optic wire.  They’re planning to sell it at a competitive price to somewhere between 50,000 and 500,000 people.  Why?  Here’s the stuff straight from Google’s mouth:

Imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the web, and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York. Or downloading a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes. Or collaborating with classmates around the world while watching live 3D video of a university lecture.

  • Next generation apps: We want to see what developers and users can do with ultra high-speeds, whether it’s creating new bandwidth-intensive “killer apps” and services, or other uses we can’t yet imagine.
  • New deployment techniques: We’ll test new ways to build fiber networks; to help inform, and support deployments elsewhere, we’ll share key lessons learned with the world.
  • Openness and choice: We’ll operate an “open access” network, giving users the choice of multiple service providers. And consistent with our past advocacy, we’ll manage our network in an open, non-discriminatory, and transparent way.

Convinced?  Nominate your community! (Or, if you’re a municipality…)

[via Google]

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  1. o(o.o)o

    @Locutus: Yes around 50 USD for a 1mbps line while my friend who is in Portland pays roughly the same amount for a 20mbps line just for checking e-mails and browsing e-bay lol

    @tejas: Perhaps it depends on the location where access to dsl is limited, but overall, the US is definitely way up there when it comes to bandwidth compared to my country, the Philippines.

  2. tejas

    @o(o.o)o: I live in the US, and pay $80 for 1.5Mb/s. Where I live, I have two options. Dialup, or satellite. The really sad part of satellite Internet is that you only get close to the top speed when no one else is on line…. so during peak hours, it’s closer to 300kb/s

  3. o(o.o)o

    I just envy all those countries which offer high internet speeds at reasonable prices. :(

    Back here, I’m paying for a 1mbps internet connection for roughly the same price my friend, who resides in the US now, pays for his 20mbps line.

  4. karen

    I already have fiber to the home (but not inside the home) via Fios from Verizon. But we still only get 15MB/s download. I know that Verizon is throttling it somehow. Hopefully, if Google does their thing, it will force Verizon to open their pipes a bit wider.