Thinking Tech

Google experiments with one gigabit per second to the home

Google experiments with one gigabit per second to the home

Posting in Technology

Google is launching a one gigabit per second to the home service and you can apply to bring it to your community.

Just what is high speed Internet these days?

To Google, it's a gigabit a per second (gbps) or well more than a 100 times faster than the 23 megabits per second (mbps) download speeds I am getting at the moment from Verizon FIOS (5.1 mbps on uploads).

Google this morning in its blog said will offer one gbps as an experimental effort to 50,000 and possibly as many as 500,000 people on an experimental basis at "competitive prices." Since I don't have a clue what competitive prices are on such lightening speeds, I looked around.

As you might imagine, one gbps service into the home is almost non-existent. After all, one gbps is a solution in search of a problem given what most of us do on the Internet today.

Communications company KDDI Corp. in Japan just started offering it for about $66 a month (5,985 yen). S. Korea (see chart) is spending almost $25 billion to build out a one gbps service that is supposed to be ready by 2012. And Verizon said in December, it has lab tested an optical network with speeds of 10 gbps downstream and 2.5 gbps upstream.

Google's says it has three goals for the service: encourage the creation of new generation "killer apps," new ways to deploy fiber optics and open access to other Internet Service Providers to create more options for consumers.

"Imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the web and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York. Or downloading a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes. Or collaborating with classmates around the world while watching live 3-D video of a university lecture. Universal, ultra high-speed Internet access will make all this and more possible," Google said on its blog.

It also said, the experiment bolsters The National Broadband Plan funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that mandates all U.S. households have five mbps broadband service by 2012. Google is allowing communities to apply for such a service until March 26.

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John Dodge

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor John Dodge has written for the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, PC Week (now eWeek), EDN, Design News, Electronic Business, Bio-IT World, Health-IT World, Lowell Sun, Haverhill Gazette and Newburyport Daily News. He is based in Massachusetts. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure