November 19, 2012

HASTEN THE DAY:

Google's Internet Service Might Actually Bring the U.S. Up to Speed : In a radical departure from its core business, the search giant is installing high-speed fiber neighborhood by neighborhood. (David Talbot, November 19, 2012, Technology Review)

Compared to many countries, the United States has slow and patchy Internet service. While a few areas enjoy very fast service, overall the United States ranks 24th worldwide in speed, with consumers receiving an average of 11.6-megabits-per-second download speeds.

An affordable service that is nearly two orders of magnitude faster began in one neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri, last Tuesday.

In planning the deployment, Google carved the metropolis into 202 neighborhoods, and asked interested residents and businesses to pay $10 to preregister for the service. Once a critical mass did so--ranging from 5 to 25 percent per neighborhood (Google calls them fiberhoods), depending on the population density--Google went ahead with the street-level installation. If people reneged on their pledge to subscribe, they'd lose the $10.

The actual service is a bargain compared to many services that provide much slower speeds. Google's gigabit Internet service is priced at $70 per month. When bundled with TV, the price rises to $120--and Google is certainly pushing that additional service (see "Searching for the Future of Television" and "Google Launches a Superfast Internet and TV Business"). Users subscribing for a TV service get a two-terabyte storage box for recorded shows and a Nexus 7 Android tablet to use as a remote control. (As a budget alternative, Internet at five megabits per second is available for a one-time fee of $300.)

The US mail is faster than our local FairPoint service.
Posted by at November 19, 2012 7:54 PM
  
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