Studies are showing that the number of cable subscribers is declining, but not because customers are dropping their packages. Instead, a new generation of homeowners and renters are declining pay for plans in the first place. But they are willing and ready to pay for the internet. A new innovation in cable choices is headed your way and it might just be the wave of the future.
What is Google Fiber? Google Fiber is broadband network that utilizes fiber-optic communication rather than the more common DSL or coaxial cable networks. Imagined as an experimental project in 2011, Google Fiber is now becoming a reality in Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri, with other locales just around the corner. However, Fiber is new option in internet and television, requiring new fiber-optic infrastructure and several key components.
Google Fiber is dependent on the Network Box. The Box allows access to the network from any point in your home with connection to either the ethernet ports or high-speed Wi-Fi. The network offers a firewall and networking through a simple interface via cloud technology, allowing you access from anywhere. With the Network Box, Google Fiber in play offers three levels of service with differing price points.
The free internet option offers internet service at average speeds, up to 5Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps for uploads, with no caps on data. Free service is guaranteed for at least 7 years, with the option to upgrade to higher speed at anytime without the need for additional equipment or additional fees. The free version includes the Network Box, which is necessary for all speeds of Google Fiber. This option requires a $300 construction fee which can be paid in increments of $25 over 12 months or as a one time payment. All tiers also includes the optional add-on of a Chromebook, Google’s foray into the netbook world.
The second tier option for Fiber is Gigabit Internet, which runs at speeds up to 100 times faster than the average current internet speed. It offers 1 gigabyte uploads and downloads with no cap on data. Gigabit also offers 1 terabyte of cloud storage, allowing you to access your info from anywhere with internet access without worries of losing files from a compter crash or human error. Gigabit requires a one-year contract and carries a fee of $70 each month, plus taxes and fees. For now, the $300 construction fee is waived.
Gigabit + TV
Google’s ultimate option is the Gigabit + TV. It builds upon Fiber’s previous levels by adding some extras that really make it interesting. It includes a TV box allowing you get a full 200 channel line-up all in HD quality. You also get additional unique content, on-demand programming, including Netflix at no additional cost. You can also access the internet or your own computer devices via wi-fi or bluetooth. An included two tera-byte storage box acts as your DVR, allowing you to record up to 8 programs simultaneously without worries of losing space or deleting your favorite shows to make room for the latest episodes. The top tier of Google Fiber’s offering also includes a Nexus 7, Google’s Android tablet. The tablet acts as your remote and, thus, gateway into Google’s stunning world of visual entertainment.
There are other options, you can compare cable providers in your area and find out what services are available in your area.
This foray into Google’s TV land will set you back $120 per month plus taxes and fees, but the $300 construction fee is waved.
Though now only localized to the mid US, Google’s idealized version of seamlessly integrated internet availability and entertainment programming may be a hint at the future of the industry and the shape of things to come.