Google Fiber plots speedy multi-gig future


Google Fiber hopes to expand its reach to deliver one of the fastest fiber networks to multiple U.S. communities.

server rack with fiber optic cables attached to front panel switch ports
Image: xiaoliangge/Adobe Stock

The era of big data and the explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is here. This trend leaves us with a high demand for a super-fast internet connection. The global fiber optic market will be worth $12.6 billion by 2030 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7%, according to a report by Market Research Future, with North America as the dominant force in the market.

That is why in the U.S. today, there is a huge commitment from the government to expand high-speed internet access to all Americans. This commitment is already on display as the U.S. Department of Agriculture stated in July that the Department would invest $401 million to provide access to high-speed internet for rural residents and businesses in 11 states.

To meet the growing yearning of U.S. internet users for an internet connection that is ultra-fast and reliable, many telecommunications companies across the U.S. are looking at fiber-optic broadband connection, commonly referred to as fiber, as the solution. One of the companies pushing to meet this growing demand for faster internet speed is Google Fiber.

In a recent blog post, Dinni Jain, Google Fiber CEO, announced that the company has achieved a 20.2Gbps download speed in a field test in Kansas City and a handful of Google Fiber locations across the country, such as Texas, Atlanta, Austin and North Carolina.

Google fiber-optic internet has been around at a speed of 1Gbps and 2Gbps. Although it’s faster than DSL (Digital Subscriber Line), cable or satellite internet, it was not up to the ideal speed capable of making a difference in the fiber-optics market. Hence, the increase from 1Gbps and 2Gbps to 20.2Gbps may be considered a significant feat in the telecoms industry.

What is playing out in the US fiber optics internet market?

Earlier this year, a Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) study emerged, revealing that fiber optics is entering the largest investment cycle ever in the U.S. The research further shows that fiber broadband now serves over 60.5 million homes in the U.S. The report said that this increase in fiber broadband deployment is playing out because fiber continues to outperform any other broadband technology in terms of capacity, reliability, latency and customer satisfaction.

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Due to these benefits, the U.S. is currently witnessing more competition in the fiber broadband sector as more companies are trying to outperform each other to provide fiber networks with the highest speed. In addition, the FBA report revealed that if the federal infrastructure funding on fiber networks continues, more fiber could be deployed in the next five years.

At the same time, with speed becoming the common denominator of fiber networks, this announcement may well place Google Fiber as a huge player in the market. Although in terms of speed, Google Fiber is not the first in the U.S. to push high-speed fiber internet access to its customers. Chattanooga’s EPB Fiber, a few months ago, announced that it had increased its fiber internet speed offering to 25Gbps. Similarly, AT&T and Xfinity, earlier this year, announced the arrival of their fiber network speed of up to 5Gbps and 6Gbps, respectively.

With this latest announcement, there is a higher possibility that more innovation from other prominent players in the U.S. fiber market will take place. Some key players in this space are Optical Cable Corporation, Verizon, Ziply Fiber, Aventes, Luna and Corning.

Google Fiber targets further expansion

Before this announcement, Google Fiber’s CEO also made public via the Google Fiber blog that the company has been busy plotting ways to expand its reach to more U.S. communities.

“If you’ve been following Google Fiber, you know we’ve been pretty busy lately,” said Jain. “We’ve been steadily building out our network in all of our cities and surrounding regions, from North Carolina to Utah. We’re connecting customers in West Des Moines—making Iowa our first new state in five years—and will soon start construction in neighboring Des Moines and Mesa, Arizona.”

Jain also followed this up by stating, “as communities across the country look to expand access to gigabit internet, I’m happy to say that we’re ready to grow alongside them. Our team has spent many months traveling across the country, having conversations with cities looking for the best way to get better internet to their residents and business owners as quickly as possible.”

While Google Fiber’s previous announcement focused on the need to widen its reach to more communities across the U.S., this announcement focuses on providing a fiber network that meets customer satisfaction. Apart from providing a high-speed fiber network, it will aim to provide a multi-gig service to customers in terms of pricing, value and reliability of the product.



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