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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?

[1]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:

File1.5Mbps (DSL)20Mbps (Cable)1024Mbps (Google’s gigabit)
800MB video file71 minutes5 minutes6 seconds
5MB (large) MP326 seconds2 seconds0.04 seconds
35MB YouTube video (HQ)186 seconds14 seconds0.27 seconds
1.4GB Operating System2.12 hours10 minutes11.2 seconds
10.7GB Blue Marble16.2 hours73 minutes85.6 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! [2] (Or, if you’re a municipality [3]…)

[via Google [1]]