As I predicted, Google's fiber experiment in Kansas City is fast succeeding. As the rollout pushes forward, it's educating the general population on what real broadband Internet service is like. If that weren't enough, Google is tossing in goodies like HD television channels, DVRs, tablets, and cloud storage for seemingly free.
Make no mistake, Google is not just embarrassing the competition -- it's humiliating its rivals. It's like Muhammad Ali vs. Napoleon Dynamite in a cage match. Some reports say that Time Warner, the incumbent ISP in the area, is going door to door, asking customers if they're satisfied with their service.
Time Warner can't compete with Google at this game -- Time Warner has worked hard at not investing in its infrastructure for years, leaving the carrier bereft of options other than to watch helplessly as its customer base dwindles. Time Warner has two choices: upgrade its infrastructure to match Google's or bail out entirely.
Now that Google Fiber is a reality and houses are connected, we see pleas like this one from a poor soul stuck in metropolitan Boston with a Comcast cable connection that would be an embarrassment in rural Romania. This is the sad reality of broadband in the United States, especially in the major cities.
It could be argued that the big ISPs deliver better service in rural areas (the ones they actually reach) due to the lower concentration of subscribers, as well as the nature of DSL and cable plants. This starves more densely populated areas of reasonable bandwidth -- resulting in exactly the situation described by the disgruntled Comcast customer in Boston. Business-class services may be less impacted, but residential broadband is simply terrible in many of the population centers of the United States. That's just depressing.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc