Google Fiber touts 20Gbps download speed in test, promises eventual 100Gbps

Enlarge / Illustration of fiber optic cables.

Google Fiber is touting a test that delivered 20 Gbps download speeds to a Kansas City home, calling it a milestone on the road to delivering 100 Gbps symmetric internet. The company said it will also offer new multi-gigabit tiers in the near future.

“Before, we were asked, ‘Who needs a gig?’ Today, that is no longer a question,” Google Fiber CEO Dinni Jain wrote in a blog post yesterday. “Every major vendor in the US now seems to have gotten the gigabit memo, and it’s only going up from there – some vendors are already offering 2, 5, 8, and even 10 Gig products.”

The Alphabet division recently started selling 2Gbps download speeds with 1Gbps uploads for $100, alongside its long-running offering of symmetric 1Gbps speeds for $70 per month. “In the coming months, we will have announcements to significantly expand our multi-gigabit tiers. These will be critical milestones on our journey to 100 Gig symmetric internet,” Jain wrote.

Google Fiber is “closer than you think” to that goal, Jain wrote. “This month, we took our testing out of the lab and into the home, starting with our first trusted tester, Nick Saporito, Head of Business Strategy for GFiber.” Jain provided a screenshot of a test at Saporito’s home in Kansas City showing download speeds of 20.2 Gbps:

Google fiber

The screenshot does not show download speeds. While Google Fiber only hit those speeds in testing, municipal broadband provider EPB in Chattanooga, Tennessee, recently launched a symmetric 25 Gbps service. However, it costs $1,500 per month for residential customers and $12,500 per month for business customers.

Google Fiber will grow after years of stagnation

After years of stagnation, Google Fiber announced plans last month to expand its fiber-to-the-home service to five new states. Currently, the ISP offers fiber service in 12 metropolitan areas and wireless home Internet access in seven.

Many people who hoped for faster Internet and more competition were disappointed when Google Fiber “paused” its expansion plans in October 2016. Many Americans still do not have access to fast wired Internet or can get it. buy from a single supplier for a high price. monthly fee.

Despite this, Jain expressed optimism about future improvements in US broadband competition. “We believe that many, if not most, communities across America will eventually have at least two, if not three, fiber providers and one incumbent coaxial cable provider. We see this in the communities we plan to build and we we expect investment in the industry to continue,” he wrote.

Having two or three fiber optic providers and a cable ISP is especially unlikely in most communities in rural parts of the United States, where the federal government plans to give ISPs tens of billions of dollars just for a broadband option in unserved areas.

But in communities with multiple fiber-optic ISPs, “a fiber-only network will no longer be the differentiator it once was for ISPs,” Jain wrote. “Unique selling points will be how this network is built to deliver symmetric multi-gig speed at accessible prices.”

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