Let me start this post by saying I sell internet fiber for a living. Mostly international fiber on undersea cables. So, anytime people are getting faster internet links, I think, “ka-ching” (you know, the cash register sound).
Big-time ka-ching every time Google expands somewhere, which is what is going on in Provo.
What this means in practice is that people in Provo will get (according to Google):
if the deal is approved and the acquisition closes, we’d offer our Free Internet service (5 Mbps speeds) to every home along the existing Provo network, for a $30 activation fee and no monthly charge for at least seven years. We would also offer Google Fiber Gigabit Internet—up to 100x faster Internet than today’s average broadband speeds—and the option for Google Fiber TV service with hundreds of your favorite channels. We’d also provide free Gigabit Internet service to 25 local public institutions like schools, hospitals and libraries.
Other sources indicate that in reality gigabit internet is about 125 megs, which is, let’s face it, super-super fast. Usually you can get this at home for $70/month.
So, this is definitely good news for Provo, but my question is: how many people truly need gigabit internet?
I work with several people who are big internet users, and they say they just don’t need something over about 20 megs right now. Yes, you can download movies and songs like lightning, but it’s not like they spend all day long doing that. What most people do is blog and get email and perhaps watch videos or songs on their internet. Netflix and Amazon Prime (and watching General Conference) work great with 10 megs. I have 15 megs to my house, and it is more than enough.
So, let’s agree that Gigabit ethernet is a great thing for the future. We can all imagine scenarios (gaming, super HD video, etc) where having more bandwidth may be necessary. Let’s also agree that for schools, hospitals and libraries, Gigabit ethernet is a great thing. I am simply wondering what people in Provo (and elsewhere) would do with all this bandwidth at their home if they had it. Would it make a difference in your life?