Today the Google Fiber blog announced that the next major expansion for the fiber optic network will be in Austin, Texas. This makes Austin the second city to be fortunate enough to get 1 GB per second internet speeds after Kansas City. Of course we don't know what Austin will do with this new opportunity just yet. Although the service will be available to residential and commercial customers, Google generally focuses on the potential for entrepreneurs to use these speeds to innovate.
Google Fiber has certainly done some amazing things for Kansas City so far. Although the service hasn't been available long enough for us to have some hard numbers to show economic growth in the area, we do know that Kansas City has seen an explosive growth in the number of start-ups, and businesses relocating to the area. The "Silicon Prairie" term has been coined surrounding the gold rush of businesses hoping to use the exceptionally fast download speeds of Google Fiber to fuel the growth of their idea.
Just how fast is Google Fiber? To put these numbers in perspective, your average home DSL connection probably ranges between 1 and 5 MBps. If you have a cable internet connection you might have anything from 20MBps up to 30MBps. Comcast recently added an extra tier to their most expensive internet service that can bump you up to 50 MBps, but this is fairly expensive. Of course any of these speeds can vary quite a bit depending on the time of day or the connection speed of your router.
Google Fiber, on the other hand, offers speeds of 1 GBps. That is essentially 100 times faster than what the average DSL customer gets, and it is twenty times faster than the highest speed available to consumers through any other company. Google's goal is to push the internet forward by improving the quality of our communications networks
Imagine a world where DSL and cable internet connections didn't exist. There would be no Youtube, no Netflix, certainly a lot less social network interaction, people would get less of their news from the internet, the world would be a very different place. Google is hoping that Google Fiber is the catalyst for the next big leap forward.
Google is hoping to start installing Fiber in the first homes in Austin, TX sometime in mid 2014.