Will Google Fiber Bring Relief to Time Warner Cable Sufferers?
March 3, 2014

Will Google Fiber Bring Relief To Time Warner Cable Sufferers?

While Time Warner Cable customers warily track the potential Time Warner-Comcast merger (another rate hike?), Google is not-so-quietly launching its own telecom network – sort of.

Recently, Google announced that it was looking it expand its fledgling “Fiber” network from connecting a few lucky neighborhoods in Provo, Utah; Austin, Texas and Kansas City to 34 other municipalities.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Time Warner announced that it would be boosting speeds in the Austin area.

While Time Warner customers may be chomping at the bit to give Google Fiber a look – it appears that the internet search company is far from challenging long-established cable networks. Yet Google appears to be making enough noise to warrant some kind of response from Time Warner. Kathy Brabson, the regional vice president of operations for Time Warner Cable in Central Texas, even alluded to Google the press release announcing the speed increase.

“In stark contrast to our competitors, upon completion of this short rollout phase, these faster speeds and choices will be available to every Time Warner Cable customer in every area we serve in the Austin market, not just select neighborhoods,” she said.

So far the subscription plans for Google Fiber look very competitive. In Provo, the company is offering TV and Internet, with speeds up to one gigabyte per second, for $120 a month. The high-speed Internet by itself is going for $70 and the company is even offering free Internet at 5 megabytes per second to those few lucky Utah souls who are connected to Fiber.

It should be noted that one gigabyte per is fast – really fast. At that speed, the average Netflix movie could be down loaded in seconds – instead of the glacial pace of a couple minutes it takes over the typical cable connection.

But is that speed too fast? Downloading a movie in seconds might be a neat party trick, but do you really need to see Navy Seals, like right now?

Google and other experts are speculating that the apps of the future will demand these speeds. Also, with every device in the future potentially being connected via the “Internet of things,” all that future traffic could eventually strain the existing infrastructure.

“We’ve long believed that the Internet’s next chapter will be built on gigabit speeds,” Google said in a recent blog post.

It remains to be seen if Google will be one of the companies building that chapter.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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Brett Smith is a freelance journalist from Buffalo, NY. When not writing about science, medicine or other newsworthy topics, he enjoys Upstate New York by camping and hiking in the summers and snowboarding in the winters. Like most Buffalonians, he eats chicken wings year round.

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