Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Google Fiber Works


The Future of High-Speed Internet

The existence of Google Fiber and other gigabit providers seems to be spurring the competition to increase available services and speeds to consumers in the areas where they have higher-speed options -- often at lower prices, too. Places without fiber networks sometimes pay massively more per Mbps than those with fiber, especially for business service. This makes having fiber, especially gigabit fiber, a distinct competitive advantage for cities trying to attract industry. Some cities are even taking matters into their own hands by building their own fiber networks, or trying to convince private companies to do so. It's possible that a lot of areas will be seeing near-gigabit networks from entities other than Google, and at reasonable prices.

Potential uses for incredibly high-speed Internet include the things a lot of people will think of, such as watching high-definition video with no delays or buffering, faster response times in online gaming, seamless video conferencing and very fast software download times. These will be nice for the typical customer, but could also lead to great things from heavy users. Researchers in academia and industry could collaborate with each other worldwide in real-time, possibly resulting in important discoveries. Artists could do the same, leading to some incredible creative endeavors. Online education could improve by leaps and bounds. And who knows what IT entrepreneurs will come up with?

Google's own stated aims in launching its experimental fiber network are to spur the creation of next-generation apps and services, learn new fiber optic network deployment techniques, provide a shared open-access network to give users a choice of service providers and make Internet access better and faster for all [source: Google Official Blog]. Hopefully more of us will be able partake of this vision in the near future.