Two years ago, Google launched what was—and still is—the fastest residential Internet connection in the U.S. Known as Google Fiber, this project intends to offer gigabit download speeds to residential communities for $70 a month. While downloading one gigabit per second is incredible, especially when compared to the current U.S. average of less than 17 megabits per second, it should be noted that after launching in a mere three cities (Kansas City, KS, Kansas City, MO, and Olathe, KS) in two years there are few indications that Google intends to expand this service nation-wide. In the event that Google does choose to pursue this experiment more seriously, how would gigabit download speeds affect consumers?
1) Kick Out the Oligopoly
An oligopoly is a small group of companies that monopolize an industry. Essentially, these companies agree to keep their prices similar to each others’ prices while offering essentially the same product and service. This allows involved corporations to continue receiving incredible revenues without having to improve their product to stay ahead of the competition. The telecommunications oligopoly is why the U.S. pays almost five times more for less than half the download speed of Lithuania. While Google Fiber carries the risk of turning Google into a monopoly in telecommunications, it would certainly give the existing oligopoly a wake-up call.
2) Allow Faster Downloads
This much is obvious: faster download speeds mean faster downloads. A double-layer Blu-ray disc can hold 50GB of data. With gigabit download speeds, one could download the contents of that disc in under eight minutes. Additionally, Google claims its Fiber service will offer symmetrical data transfer rates: not only will it download content at 1Gbps, it will also upload content at 1Gbps. Not only could you download that 50GB disc in under ten minutes, you could share it with a friend ten minutes later.
3) Improve Online Gaming
Lag, or latency, it is a serious problem for anyone who plays games online. One’s latency is a measurement of how much time elapses between the moment a game client sends information to a server and the moment the client receives information back. With vastly improved download and upload speeds, you will never again be able to blame your death on a bad connection.
4) Speed Up Streaming Hi-def Video
Unless you have an impressively-speedy Internet connection, you have probably experienced pauses or interruptions when trying to watch videos online, especially if those videos are in high definition. This buffering is a result of a bottleneck that occurs when one’s system processes information faster than it receives it. With gigabit transfer rates, you can watch your video immediately with no interruption, regardless of how high the video quality is.
5) Allow the U.S. to Keep Up
Gigabit transfer rates are clearly very impressive, but even that may end up only helping us to not fall as far behind. Approximately six months ago, a team of engineers at Bangor University in the U.K. were able to move 20Gbps through fiber-optic cable. More importantly, they did this using existing broadband infrastructure that is already in use by simply modifying the method used to transfer and process the optic bits. It is anticipated that this technology will be commercially available at the same price as today’s technology within the next three years.
This piece was composed by Richard Phelps, a freelance writer who concentrates on the internet, ecommerce, gadgets, cell phones, technology, computers and other relevant issues; those searching for computer accessories may want to view the kensington ipad 3 cases by visiting kensington.com.