Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Google Fiber?

So, while a few friends of mine were discussing their problems with Comcast, and I was telling of similar issues with Suddenlink, someone brought up Google Fiber.  This was after I lamented about the death of net neutrality, and the fact that a small handful of providers control the bulk of the internet.  I admit it, I am not the front runner of technology these days, the price I pay for living where and how I do.  But as always Google is a handy tool, so, here is what I found out.

So, here is the deal...  Apparently Google believes that they can run their internet service at speeds up to about 1 Gbps, they list it at 1,000 Mbps, which they claim is around 100 times faster than the fastest internet in America.  Actually, according to the Washington Post in January of this year the national average for transfer is around 18.2 Mbps.  That is a lot faster, even when compared to the town that has the fastest internet in the US (85.5 Mbps), that is still over 100 times faster.  Even at half of that speed, you will likely download/upload many things nearly instantly, depending on how the speeds break down (they don't give upload and download speed, and they are rarely identical).  I admit it, Google now has my full attention, and I need to get a rag, I might start drooling.

So the next thing on the Google Fiber website they talk about television.  Apparently they seem to think that they will have enough bandwidth to push true HD television, without being forced to compress the signal.  Basically, when the signal is compressed repetitive or unnecessary information is removed from the signal, and it is then shipped to you.  The problem is, it kills quality, let me ask you all, have you noticed something that is filmed in HD, and you start getting those slightly darker spots in the picture, usually in something that is dark to begin with?  That would be a result of compression.  That information in the signal is lost, gone forever.  Same thing when you observe what appears to be a slight haze in your picture.

Want to DVR two programs, how about eight with Google Fiber.  I rarely encounter that issue.  I do not have a DVR, but when I did, I would usually record one thing, while I watched another.  It happened often when I would watch Dexter, and record True Blood.  Otherwise I was recording shows while I was sleeping or at work.

Now, if things had not gotten complicated enough, with Google Fiber, you can use your smart phone as the television remote.  I guess we really won't have to worry about loosing the remote, unless we loose our phones.  Sorry, I had to chuckle about that one.  Then again, most smart phones have GPS, so unless you have also lost your computer, you can track it within several feet.  Spouses and significant others who hide the remote are now crying. 

Now comes the On Demand viewing.  I never got into that, I could never afford it.  And with everything Google Fiber is offering, this is becoming a very large question.  Anyway, they are offering 200 HD channels, and "tens of thousands of shows".

Now, here is another figure for you.  Google Fiber offers 1 terabyte of "Cloud" storage.  I am not a huge fan of storing things on the "Cloud".  But the fact is, it appears to be the wave of the future, storing stuff online somewhere.

Google Fiber will also be running the current standard for WiFi signals.  But they will also be running 3x3 MIMO antennas, which in layman's terms, increases the routers efficiency. 

Sadly though unless you live in Provo Utah, or Kansas City you do not have access to it.  But it will be available in 10 more cities shortly, with the Provo service under construction.  But where you can get it, you are looking at $120 a month for their highest end package.  I have yet to see any customer reviews for the service, but at that price, it is cheaper than most places I have lived.  Also, it might just force the big boys to start treating us right, but we need to get in contact with Google, and see if we can get them into our towns and cities.  Good internet is not a privilege anymore, it is a right.