Last week, Google announced a new internet service called Fiber. Not only is Google Fiber priced affordably (the basic package is actually free), but it’s 100 times faster than the average ISP speed in the United States.
As of now, Google Fiber is currently in pre-launch mode in Kansas City (of all places). If Google Fiber attracts enough interest (which it should), then it will quickly appear in cities across the United States.
Any time a tech giant like Google enters a new industry, there are going to be lots of pros and cons. Fortunately for consumers, Google Fiber is mostly filled with ‘pros’. Without further ado, here is a list of the best pros and cons of Google Fiber.
ISPs have some serious competition: Google Fiber has a 5MBps plan that features no monthly fee. Although customers do have to pay a $300 setup fee, the internet service itself is 100% free for up to 7 years into the future. Meanwhile, for around $100, Google Fiber offers incredibly fast internet and TV packages. No other ISP even comes close to that pricing. This means that the rest of America’s ISPs will have to take note of the competition and adapt. Expect lower prices and better service packages in the future.
Fiber doesn’t have a bandwidth cap: Whether your family has 17 different smartphones, tablets, computer, and laptops accessing the internet at any one time, or you simply download a lot of stuff through BitTorrent, you’ll be pleased to note that Fiber does not have a bandwidth cap. Fiber will also feature Netflix access, which means that users can watch as many HD videos as they want without worrying about bursting through their bandwidth cap.
Support for Chromebooks: Whether you have a Chromebook or you plan on buying one in the future, the so-called Google Laptop will integrate with your Google Fiber internet and cable box. While the specific benefits of this have been vague so far, expect great things.
Free Nexus 7 tablet: That’s right! Signing up for Google Fiber means you receive a free remote for your TV. That remote just happens to be Google’s popular Nexus 7 tablet. Just like Chromebooks, users can expect extensive integration features between the Nexus 7 and the Fiber network box. You don’t even have to use your Nexus 7 as a remote if you don’t want to.
A massive amount of storage space: If you hate deleting old shows from your PVR, then you’ll be pleased to note that Google Fiber TV features a 2TB hard drive. You can also record 8 (!!!) different shows at one time. Even if you don’t sign up for Fiber’s Internet+TV package, you’ll still get 1TB of online cloud storage, which should be more than enough space to store your important documents.
Now that we’ve got your hopes up about Google Fiber, let’s bring you back down to Earth. Fiber will have some shortcomings. Whether these shortcomings are deal breakers or not is up to you.
No ESPN: Sorry sports fans. Google Fiber TV will not feature ESPN, which apparently costs five times as much as a typical network channel. While Google is still negotiating with networks to fill its programming, it’s unknown whether or not ESPN will make the final cut. Other channels not included with Fiber are:
By the time Fiber is released, some of these networks might have jumped on board, but for now, Fiber certainly has some programming holes to fill.
Limited release: Fiber isn’t going to appear in Kansas City until September 9. And even in September, it will only be hitting a few select neighborhoods. Fiber’s rollout will be slow, and who knows when it will start to appear in other cities. Although demand for Fiber seems massive, Google appears to be taking its time with the rollout.
Google will know what you like to watch on TV: Google already keeps track of an astonishing amount of information about you. It monitors which websites you visit, which ads you click on, your age, interests, your personality, and all sorts of other information. Once Fiber is installed, Google will know what you like to watch on TV. If you’re the kind of person who gets uncomfortable with a multibillion dollar corporation knowing your sensitive personal data, then you might not want to use Fiber.
What do you think? Is Fiber going to cause a major shake-up within the ISP industry? Or will consumers be too worried about Google monitoring what they watch on TV? Let us know in the comments!