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Monday, March 15, 2010

Google Fiber follies

The nearby town of Greensboro has already been competing hard to be the "test bed" city for the Google Fiber ultra-high speed Internet. Now Winston-Salem has entered the race. All over the country medium-sized cities are doing things like changing their names to "Google" and other stunts so as to win the bid.

Ummmm... why?

Even if Google Fiber is 100 times faster than regular broadband, what good will it be? Within the winning city the Internet might work at blazing-hot speed, but the "normal" speed of the outside world will be a debilitating bottleneck. At least until Google Fiber gets rolled out sufficiently enough to take on a bulk of the data traffic.

It's like trying to win a contest for an SR-71 Blackbird without having a runway to launch it from. No doubt that it'll look real purty sitting in your backyard, but what's the use if you can't even fly the thing?


Roch101 said...

While that might be true of traffic to another US city, the winning city will find itself on par with Europe and Japan, not to mention that the local-to-local possibilities (such as streaming live video from a music venue to living rooms in the city) would make the winning city stand apart from other US cities.

Hope you are well, Chris.

Anonymous said...

Yes Chris, surprisingly, you are missing the big picture.

As the previous poster stated, you are not taking into account the application of local to local.

Beyond that, the very fact of the infrastructure being in place would put Greensboro far ahead of most of its "sister" cities.

Which in turn would "potentially" lead to more businesses locating or even headquartering themselves in Greensboro, equaling more jobs and income in the region.

Suffice it to say that many, many, and I will say it again, many other countries make us look like the red headed step child of broadband. This may be a very very small step in the right direction, but it is in the end . . . a step in the right direction.

And finally it will force other ISP's [AT&T, Time Warner, etc] to up their game, and offer something competitive.

As that begins to unfold you will witness developers launching cloud app, after app, that currently would be impossible in America.

The potential long term ramifications of fiber being used widely in the US as compared to today's standards, are like comparing the old brick in a bag "car phones" to an iPhone.

William said...

Right now, the "bottleneck" issue is going to cramp the overall potential of any 1gbps networks. However, the applications are there, especially in healthcare.

The regional hospital system is currently installing their own 1GBPS fiber system networked with 26 other hospitals (all fiber) which will be going online around June. Instant imaging study transfers can be very useful.