Over the past few years, Google has made Google Fiber an afterthought. They paused rollouts while purchasing Webpass, suggesting a possible switch in technologies. Since then, little has been done with the brand, with even the Webpass acquisition seemingly languishing. However, that seems to be changing, as the company has announced some major enhancements to the existing service.
The Google Fiber brand has announced an upgrade in speed, moving from the standard 1 Gbps service to 2 Gbps instead. The new, increased speed, will still only set customers back $100 per month. Considering that there are still markets in the US where the normal speed is 100 Mbps or less, 2 Gbps, which equates to 20 times that speed, is nearly comedic in comparison. However, the biggest difference in this service would be in the upload speed. Because cable services provide asynchronous speeds, a 100 Mbps package would likely only offer 10 Mbps upload. On fiber, though, the speeds are synchronous, meaning that you could have uploads that match your downloads, or a combination of the two. So, you could upload at 300 Mbps and download at 1700 Mbps with this new service upgrade.
The test, which will begin this Fall, will launch in two cities: Huntsville and Nashville. Google Fiber users who would like to be included in this test can apply for the Google Fiber Trusted Tester program. Being part of the program is not guaranteed, but it is worth the shot. The new service, following the test, should roll out to all Google Fiber customers in 2021.
As part of the new service, users will receive a Wi-Fi 6 mesh network router. Wi-Fi 6 would be the best way to wirelessly use as much of the available bandwidth as possible. We are finally starting to see a general acceptance of Wi-Fi 6, with Verizon and AT&T recently releasing 5G hotspots that also feature the new standard.