Google develops a lot of new technologies to use internally – including new sources of energy to use in powering its servers and systems, electric cars that may soon drive themselves, and fiber internet access that reaches speeds of about 100 times the current standard. Google has also started to spread some of those technologies outward, and recently announced it would be bringing their ultra-fast fiber web to Kansas City.
The exact speed of the internet connection is one gigabit (or a thousand megabits). To put that in perspective, standard “high speed” internet is typically in the 8 to 15 megabit sector, while standard 4G mobile speeds are between 4 and 10 megabits. In either case, the groups are functioning at about 1% of Google’s speed. Those contrasting Google’s new fiber with dial-up (if we’re looking at 256kbps speeds) will see that Google is running about 4,000 times faster. Gigabit speeds mean that downloads can happen at roughly 125 megabytes each second, meaning that full length movies in high resolution could be downloaded completely in under fifteen seconds. The gigabit connection should be in place by the end of 2012.
It was more than a year ago that Google first announced it would be releasing Google gigabit internet to cities. At that time, Google asked cities to send “applications” to be the center of the experiment. Kansas City was just one among about 1,100 cities to apply. While Kansas City is the first location to see the development, it is expected that other cities will be added to the list in the coming months. The one real tragedy of the introduction of the technology in Kansas City is that it’s likely to make neighbor city Topeka jealous; Topeka was so eager to get the gigabit speed that they even renamed the city “Google” (unofficially and temporarily).
[via the Google Public Policy Blog]