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Featured: Google Fiber: Pros and Cons of a Great Service Product

July 30, 2012 - Written By Christina Gardner

We all have seen pieces on Google Fiber here and there, and quite frankly more need to talk about this! I’ve been waiting for this day! I can only hope the day it comes to my area! I would without a doubt get rid of my internet and Dish for Google Fiber, who wouldn’t?

First things first, what is Google Fiber? Google Fiber is an ‘experimental’ broadband internet network infrastructure that uses Fiber-Optic. I can remember not long ago talking about this with a group of my Android friends. The day Google puts outs services like this for the entire US, is the day that ISP providers and cable companies should fear, because it could potentially put them out of business. Talk of Google Fiber started in July of 2012, and it will offer 3 options to its customers.

  1. Option one – Free 5Mbps/1Mbps broadband internet
  2. Option two – $70/Month at 1Gbps
  3. Option three – 1Gbps Internet PLUS TV which includes 2TB DVR storage and 1TB drive.

Ah, I’m not sure about you, but I’m totally game for this!! I can record 8 shows at one time?! No way! Life would be good. I do find the ‘free’ internet option to be a bit unbelievable, because let’s face it, nothing in this life is free without some catch.  Each option comes with an ‘Installation cost’ BUT it can be waived with the signing of a contract. Sign a 2 year contract with Google, or 2 year contract with Verizon? I’m going with Google.

Option three also comes with a 1TB Google Drive service, and of course the 1TB DVR recorder in addition. What’s the kicker to this already great option? IT COMES WITH A NEXUS 7 TABLET! The tablet then acts as remote control for the system. All I can say is ‘Wow!’

So far, this technology has only been made available in Kansas City, and boy oh boy do I wish I lived there at the moment! Google Fiber is a 1 gigabit per second symmetrical connection, which is said to be 100 TIMES FASTER than what most American citizens have today.

Now that we got a bit of history of Google Fiber, let’s get to some pros and cons. I came across these this morning in my weekly PCWorld e-mail, and I felt compelled to share this with Android Headline readers.

Pro Number One

ISPs are going to need to react, and quickly at that. What does this mean for ISPs really? It means they are going to have to step up their game, and make faster Internet, but for cheaper prices if they wish to compete with Google Fiber.

Pro Number Two

NO BANDWIDTH CAPS! Google is not making any type of caps for their service. Plus it’s adding Netflix when it could have been focusing on their own products like YouTube and Fiber TV.

Pro Number Three

Who wouldn’t like getting the Nexus 7 as a remote control? It’s not an extra price you have to acquire to get the newly released tablet, because it’s already included in the $120 per month price. I’m sorry but this to me sounds like heaven, and I’m just wondering where the catch will come out in all of this? However, you are able to opt out of the Nexus 7 and go for a Google Chromebook for $299.

Pro Number Four

Look at all the storage you can get! If you decided to go with the Internet and TV package you are provided with a DVR that allows you to record EIGHT, yes I said EIGHT, TV shows AT ONCE!  Now, I’m one that enjoys making sure all my shows are being recorded and I hate having to let one slip by because it conflicts with another show. It’s no fun, and who has money to afford a system that contain more than 2 TV tuners? I know I couldn’t. This is absolutely PERFECT! Not only do you get that, but you also get a 2TB hard drive which allows for up to 500 hours of HD video.

For those of you who may not be interested in the TV package, the Internet “only” option provides 1TB of cloud storage via Google Drive.

Now those are all some great sounding pros if you ask me, but with pros come cons it’s inevitable to avoid in any situation. We all know there is no device, service, or package that is completely perfect. Each one has some type of disadvantage whether it be hardware, software, or product services. I’m definitely one who knows this, and I will be the first to say nothing is ever ‘perfect’ when it comes to technology. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have to be constantly upgrading or updating.

Con Number One

No ESPN! Yes that’s right sport’s lovers, you read that right. No sports channel for you, but I’m sure the countless female spouses may see this as more of a pro than a con. Sorry fellas. Not only is ESPN not included, neither is:

  • Disney
  • AMC
  • TBS
  • TNT
  • HBO

Well hey I’m safe there, because I only watch two of those channels and that’s AMC when it’s Halloween season and my son enjoys Disney in the mornings. However, I’m sure the Android lovers who are also ESPN lovers may feel a slight pinch of pain there. It will be okay boys, I can promise it’s not the end of the world.

The reason for this is Google and Time Warner can not seem to reach agreement regarding ESPN especially. Time’s Magazine had quoted this regarding ESPN:

“ESPN charges cable providers around five times more than the average network.”

So you can see why Time Warner may not be so quick to just give out this channel.

Con Number Two

Google Fiber won’t be rolling out anytime soon unfortunately. As much as I wish it was, we will all have to wait, unless your lucky and live in Kansas City.  September is when Google should start announcing a calendar of where, when, and who will be the next to receive Google Fiber. I don’t’ know about you, but I’ll be waiting impatiently!

Con Number Three

“Google will know EVERYTHING about everyone who uses their product.”I had to chuckle a bit at this one. It is true however, Google already knows a lot about us as users. Where we browse online, what kind of products we buy, and where we take our Android phones. If your like me, I don’t’ have a problem with this. I love sharing what I’m browsing, where I’m at (yes I’m a big “Check In” person via Google Latitude and Foursquare). To me it’s fun and entertaining things to do. However, Google’s privacy record isn’t the greatest and causes concern to some when it comes to TV and movie consumption. Again, I had to laugh when I read this. I’m in IT so I know about privacy and security, but I have to admit I’m a bit more comfortable with Google, then anyone else.

Con Number Four

“A gigabit Connection can be overwhelming.” WHAT?! Now this has just got me laughing. Who doesn’t want a fast and top of the line connection? However, this can be the case for some. If you look around we have so many different speeds, different providers, and different income levels. GigaOm stated:

“..the Internet is reciprocal so it’s no fun if you have the speeds to send a holographic image of yourself but no one on the other end can receive it.”

Okay, so that makes some sense, but not really. No matter what, I want fast and top of the line. So I just find this “con” to be slightly amusing.

 

Conclusion

So there you have it. Google Fiber’s history, specs,  pros and cons all rolled into one. Some people will love it, some people will dislike it. I’d have to say I’m in the “love it” category. Of course, I may wait to see just how well this all goes over before I decide indefinitely, but as of right now, I would without a doubt cancel both my ISP provider AND my Dish Network for Google Fiber. I would be much happier giving my money to Google, a company who knows technology and what users of technology want and expect, compared to over priced small town ISP and cable providers who have poor customer service and support, not to mention their tech support read from a scripts instead of actually troubleshooting! I hope Google Fiber goes far, and I look forward to the day it may come to my state. The next best thing from Google will be when they start providing their own mobile phone service! That will be one great day for me, and one bad day for cellphone carriers.

 

Sources: PCWorld / Wikipedia