Finally parts of the U.S. might see some real internet speeds:
Google says it will run fiber-to-the-home trials at the astounding data speed of 1 gigabit per second. They’ll sell this service at “a competitive price” to 50,000 people, possibly rising to 500,000 people.
It’s at this point that I’d like to toss around some choice slang that is not acceptable when printed under the NPR banner. But I can’t. So I’ll just leave it at this: Holy cow!
I can’t get past that speed number: One gigabit per second. Google says that’s about 100 times faster than most home broadband connections. I’d say it’s more than 100 times faster. My DSL connection is certainly not running at 10 Mbps. This is the kind of number that makes you sit back and wonder, if they can do that, why isn’t someone else — a dedicated ISP, for instance — already doing it?
Internet speeds in the United States suck to the point that the birthplace of the internet is now ranked 28th in the world for internet speed. When it comes to broadband penetration, the U.S. is slightly better, ranking at 20th. So why hasn’t the existing ISPs been doing anything? Simple – they are greedy. Infrastructure is a big cost and they don’t want to invest in it.
What we need is a big government project to bring the U.S. back to the lead of the internet revolution, something akin to the interstate project. Think of the number of people that will put to work stringing fiber optic lines all across this nation. The government can also offset these costs by coming up with a “leasing” type agreement, where ISPs pay a certain fee back to the government for each user. Other local companies would get tax breaks by providing the repair and maintenance on the new, national network.
The United States hasn’t embraced the online world like it should. It is a key component in the 21st century economy, with more and more people telecommuting to work now. An investment like this won’t only help employment in the short term, but also in the long term. It will make the U.S. a strong competitor in the technological economy and provide decent internet to the millions of Americans who are still stuck on the early 90s connection speeds of dial-up.
So big kudos to Google for working to push the U.S. to this goal. I just wish I could enjoy it, but fiber optics here in Butler County, Ohio is a bad word thanks to Republican corruption and greed that put a halt to our attempts to bring fiber optics to all area.