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Optical/IP Networks

Google Fiber is about to go big with the Gigs

Google Fiber's fastest tier currently hits 2-Gig downstream by 1-Gig upstream, but the fiber-fueled service provider will soon unleash a broader set of multi-gigabit speed options, according to CEO Dinni Jain.

Jain, a former Time Warner Cable and Insight Communications exec, revealed today that Google Fiber will "dramatically expand our multi-gigabit tiers" in the "coming months."

(Source: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)
(Source: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)

Jain didn't let loose with any specific speed tiers and pricing that's on the horizon. Google Fiber's current high-end tier – 2-Gig down by 1-Gig up – sells for $100 per month, and its baseline symmetrical 1-Gig service fetches $70 per month.

However, Jain did note that Google Fiber's coming multi-gig options represent "critical milestones on our journey to 100 Gig symmetrical Internet."

Trial pumps out 20-Gig down

Meanwhile, Google Fiber touted some progress it's made on the trial front. Following earlier lab trials, Google Fiber ran a home-based test at the Kansas City-area home of Nick Saporito, Google Fiber's head of commercial strategy, that pumped out 20.2 Gbit/s in the downstream.

Click here for a larger version of this image.  
(Source: Google Fiber)
Click here for a larger version of this image.
(Source: Google Fiber)

"Google Fiber's differentiating factor has long been our vision that the Internet should be measured in gigs, not megs," Jain wrote.

Google Fiber is teasing new, faster speed offerings amid an acknowledgment that major US broadband providers have already pushed well past 1-Gig, with some offering symmetrical services of 2-Gig, 5-Gig and even 10-Gig. Meanwhile, US cable operators, including Comcast, are already pouring the foundation for symmetrical, multi-gig services that will debut in select markets starting next year using DOCSIS 4.0.

"We believe that many, if not most, communities across America will ultimately have at least two, if not three, fiber providers and an incumbent coax provider," Jain wrote. "We see it in communities we plan to build in, and expect investment in the industry to continue."

In addition to speed tiers and pricing, Google Fiber did not indicate a rollout cadence for the new multi-gig tiers and which markets might get it first. Google Fiber has been asked to clarify if the new multi-gig offerings will be limited to the company's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) footprint or if they would also be applied to Webpass, its fixed-wireless platform.

But Jain promised to expand a bit on how Google Fiber is building its networks and how speed will be maximized inside customer homes in the coming weeks.

Google Fiber's speed plans surface as the company presses ahead with renewed network and service expansion efforts.

Last month, Google Fiber announced that it is in talks with city leaders as part of a plan to expand into parts of a handful of midwestern states, including Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Idaho.

Here's a list of Google Fiber's current and planned network and service deployments using FTTP or Webpass:

Table 1:

Market FTTP or Webpass
Atlanta, Georgia FTTP
Austin, Texas FTTP
Charlotte, North Carolina FTTP
Chicago, Illinois Webpass
Colorado FTTP*
Denver, Colorado Webpass
Des Moines, Iowa FTTP
Huntsville, Alabama FTTP
Idaho FTTP*
Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri FTTP
Miami, Florida Webpass
Nebraska FTTP*
Nevada FTTP*
Nashville, Tennessee FTTP
Oakland, California Webpass
Orange County, California FTTP
Provo, Utah FTTP
Salt Lake City, Utah FTTP
San Antonio, Texas FTTP
San Diego, California Webpass
San Francisco, California Webpass
Seattle, Washington Webpass
*Google Fiber FTTP deployments coming to cities yet to be announced.
(Source: Google Fiber)

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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