Google Fiber finally launched on Tuesday in Kansas City, Kansas, and the speeds are nothing short of breathtaking. Customers, who pay $70 per month to have the Google Fiber internet service, have reported consistent speeds up to 700 Mbps via fiber, and speeds up to 200 Mbps via wireless connection. Even the 200 Mbps wireless speed is over 10 times faster than almost all currently available internet services.
This afternoon I checked the speed of the University of Pennsylvania’s wireless network using Speedtest.net and the download speed topped at 18.19 Mbps. With speeds at over 10 times as fast as wireless service at an Ivy League institution (which should have a pretty fast internet connection relative to most locations), Google Fiber truly is a gamechanger in terms of facilitating all kinds of Internet-based services – business, e-commerce, cloud computing and storage, and even some promising future endeavors, like 3D printing services.
Google Fiber is so promising that some Kansas City natives are hoping to cash in on travelers who want to try out the service for a day or two. Local web developer Ben Barreth detailed to Ars Technica his plans to rent out bedrooms in his house via AirBnB to “Google Tourists” so enamored with light-speed Internet that they will plunk down $50 per night to stay and zoom across the web.
A national Google Fiber grid is years, if not over a decade away. But noting that Americans pay more per megabit than any first-world country, and that speed increases have lagged significantly behind advances in storage and processor power, Google hopes the consumers will sway the market with their dollars and spur the existing ISPs to start upgrading their networks sooner than later. Tax breaks and other incentives from Congress as part of any future infrastructure Jobs Bill could also swing the pendulum in the direction of Google Fiber and similar super-fast Internet networks.
Do you currently live in the Kansas City, KS area and have Google Fiber? Or do you know someone who does? Let us know in the comments how you feel about Google Fiber!