Google Fiber: What the Hell Is Gigabit Internet and Do You Want It?

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

There has been much ballyhoo in tech circles about Google Fiber and its gigabit Internet. The concept, boiled down, is that the service provides broadband Internet at speeds up to 100 times faster than a standard broadband connection. So, if you have Comcast or AT&T for your Internet, Google Fiber will smoke them and run laps around their service.

The service uses fiber optic cabling to boost the connection speed of your home to the Internet. It makes streaming music and TV sound like a legitimate reality, particularly with HD bandwidth. While you can get that now through your cable provider, it is often buggy and not as clear as with a cable connection.

For now Google Fiber is only available in Kansas City, where it has been tested. But, within months, it will be available in Austin and Provo, Utah. After that, we have to assume larger markets will begin to start seeing coverage.

As with any wired service, it requires connectivity and laying cable, not an easy task. That means it could be years before Fiber is available in cities lacking infrastructure, poorer parts of towns that are on the wrong side of the digital divide and rural areas. But, more importantly, should you want it?

If you use the Internet a lot and really want to stream TV shows, the answer is most likely yes. Combined with their router, storage box and tablet app, there is no reason to think Google Fiber isn't on the cutting edge of Internet service. Still, some broadband providers don't think there is much demand for faster service noting that business plans already provide similar speeds. But Google Fiber is actually offering normal speed Internet FOR FREE and their faster service for $70 per month. That's a substantial difference.

For now, it doesn't matter because the vast majority of the country has no access to it. But, if you live in KC, Austin or Provo, it might be worth looking into.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.