How Fast is Google Fiber?
If you were around for the early days of the World Wide Web, in the late 1980s, early 1990’s, then you are probably aware of the speeds available to access the internet. It was not uncommon to have no more than 14.4 Kbps (14,000 bits per second) speeds . Toward the end of the 1990’s speeds reached up to 128 Kbps, but that still paled in comparison to the average available in the US today (10 Mbps).
Having access to 14 kbps meant that a jump to 1 Mbps seemed like a distant future dream, in the early days of the world wide web. And now where 1 Mbps seems slow, and 1 Gbps is coming over the horizon, that pattern appears somewhat familiar. in 1991, at the debut of America On-Line (AOL), text-based email was bottlenecked by the available speeds. in 2015 when the term “Netflix” is ubiquitous in common language because of drastically increased speeds.
Google Fiber is fast enough to bring down a full DVD movie in < 1 minute, a Blu-Ray in 5 minutes, a high-end graphics video game in < 10 minutes. But knowing that, it’s not so much how quickly you can bring down a large download, but possibility of multiple streams both to and from the internet simultaneously. Where a 1 Mbps down and 512 Kbps up will allow maybe 1 or 2 people to stream Netflix. Google Fiber will allow the entire family to stream both movies, music, and downloads without hitting a speed cap.
What will be interesting in the future, is the change between 1 Gbps and 1 Tbps (terabits per second or 1,000 Gbps). Will we bemoan the slowness of our holographic downloads and grocery teleportations? Or will the industry figure out that faster is better for everyone? I just hope that Google beats everyone else to the punch, and rolls out 10 Gbps, and 100 Gbps to their current customers in the next few years.