Do American cities need ultra high speed internet service?
Someday, the entire world will have high-speed internet available.
Google Fiber is working on getting us to that day, one major United States city at a time.
In late February, Google announced that it is eyeing 34 cities around the country to offer to install a high-speed internet system that would use the Google Fiber technology. Google would pay to construct the networks, even though it would include laying hundreds or thousands of miles of cables and be extremely disruptive to the communities who accept the offer.
So far, Kansas City, Austin, Texas and Provo are in the process of having the fiber installed. There are nine other metropolitan areas on the company’s expansion board, including Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City, Charlotte and Nashville.
There is a push by some communities to make sure they get the next set of infrastructure necessary. In fact, Cincinnati is battling Google for the chance to participate.
It’s a classic case of supply and demand. The demand is huge and Google Fiber can only provide so much supply.
“We aim to provide updates by the end of the year about which cities will be getting Google Fiber,’’ Google said in a statement. “Between now and then, we will work closely with each city’s leaders on a joint planning process that will not only map out a Google Fiber network in detail, but also assess what unique local challenges we might face. These are such big jobs that advance planning goes a long way toward helping us stick to schedules and minimize disruption for residents.”
Google Fiber reportedly offers internet speeds that are 100 times faster than an average broadband connection. Such speeds, with widespread availability, would make any city extremely desirable to businesses looking to relocate.
There are cities who are not on Google’s expansion map that are looking for other providers to match Google’s offer. Among them are neighbors Louisville and Cincinnati.
“Given all the work we’ve done in this community with our startups and entrepreneurial efforts, there isn’t any reason we shouldn’t be on that list of cities being considered,’’ said Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfield to www.Cincinnati.com.
“We love the enthusiasm, but we can’t take anyone else right now,’’ a Google spokesperson told Cincinnati.com.
There are people that say the speeds offered by Google Fiber are wasted on individuals, who simply can’t make use of the technology.
But one Harvard professor of intellectual property said even if Google gets into all 12 communities it presently is making plans for, it will only affect 3 percent of the population
“It’s disrupting what has otherwise been a very smooth, unbroken, complacent approach to communications in America,’’ said Susan Crawford to National Public Radio. “(Google) is choosing places where they know they will do well. And they are hoping that other companies and other cities will take up the mantle.”
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.