Most of us can’t imagine trying to watch a YouTube video and not waiting for it to buffer or for the rainbow wheel to catch up, but come 2014 in Austin, Texas, that is about to change.
“We got over 1100 applications from cities across America who all wanted gigabyte connectivity,” said Google Senior Communications Associate Jenna Wandres. She says Austin, known for being a tech hub and a leader in innovative technologies, stood out from the start. It’s what led to Google’s announcement this spring that it will bring Google Fiber to the almost one million people that make up our central Texas city.
What Does Google Fiber Mean and Why Should You Really Care?
It means instant gratification for both residential and business users. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two decades you’ve most likely downloaded and uploaded files, pictures or managed to watch a video (or two, or three) online. (Don’t worry we won’t tell your boss.) There’s nothing worse than conducting a video conference call where there is lag time, or standing in front of a room full of people for a presentation and waiting for files to download. Google Fiber will allow you to do all those things more than 100 times faster than you likely do now. Wandres says Google Fiber is about moving the Internet forward.
“A lot of the reason why we are doing this is because we think there are potential new applications out there that haven’t been invented, or aren’t available to people now because there aren’t gigabit speeds,” said Wandres.
Increased connection speeds means you can communicate your ideas faster and share insights instantaneously.
Let’s Talk Numbers
Americans experience, on average, speeds of 7.2 MB per second, while Google Fiber will boast up to 1,000 MB per second. Think of it as a race where Google Fiber is a Bugatti Veyron, the fastest car in the world, while you and I are currently walking at 2 MPH. It’s no competition.
Google Fiber will also offer 1 Terabyte of cloud storage, which is A LOT of cloud space. Consider this; all of the books in the U.S. Library of Congress put together contain a total of about 20 terabytes of text. 1Tb is much more than the average person will ever need but it will be there for you to try to fill regardless.
What Does it Mean for VoIP?
It can only get better. Despite the common misconception, VoIP doesn’t use much bandwidth. The average one-to-one cloud call takes only 30 kilobytes. Conference calls and call centers don’t use more than 90 kilobytes. If it’s a small dot on the 7.2 MB of bandwidth most Americans use, it’s a mere speck on Google Fiber. This means VoIP quality will improve while more bandwidth will be available for things that actually need it. Fiber will be a great thing for business productivity any way you look at it.
The Bottom Line
Currently the most popular way to connect is broadband, which can slow down depending on the number of users and devices on the network. According to TIPS.com, broadband speeds in the U.S. are typically the slowest between 8am to 10am and 4pm to 6pm. It’s one of the reasons the U.S. ranks fourth when it comes to quality of high-speed internet. Our friends across the pond in the U.K rank first. Ouch! But make no mistake Google Fiber will help tip the scales in our favor soon enough.
“We believe the future of the web will be built on gigabyte speed,” said Wandres.
To receive updates on the progress of Google Fiber in Austin you can sign up here.