RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Fighting internet congestion at your house? Google Fiber may have the answer.

The fiber-optic- based internet service provider is preparing to double the speed of its top internet access package to 2 gigabits plus improving Wi-Fi access – and you could be among the earliest users as testers.

“[W]e’re more than a little excited to announce 2 Gig today — bringing even more bandwidth and speed to customers in internet-intensive households who may need more than a gig to do their thing, whatever that may be,” wrote Amalia O’Sullivan, Director of Product Management at Google Fiber, in a blog post Monday evening.

According to website, 2 Gbps, or 2,000 Mbps, is currently the highest speed offered by any major provider, the other being Xfinity.

Is there a need for that much speed? Well, AllConnect notes a multi-user household with workers at home, streaming and gaming at the same time, speed demands increase such as:

  • Stream in standard definition with speeds up to 3 Mbps.
  • To stream in 4K or Ultra HD, you’ll need speeds up to 25 Mbps.
  • 2 Mbps to host a single, dual or triple screen Zoom call
  • 3 – 4 Mbps to email and utilize basic computer programs like Microsoft Word
  • 10 Mbps to host a group Skype video call
  • 40+ Mbps to transfer large files
Availability, testing

Nashville and Huntsville, Ala. are the first cities to get the service.

O’Sullivan noted that the increase in speed comes as millions of Americans are working from home and children are utilizing remote learning due to the COVID-19 panedemic.

“This year has made this need for more speed and bandwidth especially acute, as many of us are now living our entire lives — from work to school to play — within our homes, creating unprecedented demand for internet capacity,” O’Sullivan pointed out.

Unfortunately for the Triangle where Google Fiber offers service in some areas, Google Fiber’s 2G won’t be available until “later this fall,” O’Sullivan said.

The cost will be $100 a month – $30 more than the 1G offering.

Beefed-up Wi-Fi

But Google Fiber also says it is improving wireless coverage.

“With downloads of up to 2 gigabits and uploads of up to 1 gigabit, 2 Gig supports serious internet use,” Google says at its website.

“And with a Wi-Fi 6 router and a mesh extender included, you’ll be able to go 30% faster and use even more devices at the same time without slowing down when you’re wireless.

“So forget about interruptions, congestion, and dead zones with Wi-Fi.”

Google Fiber also is looking for testers to break in and evaluate the new offering.

“Our testers help us make sure we’re launching the best products and services possible for our customers, and we appreciate their help! Sign up here for an opportunity to be among the first to test 2 Gig in your city,” O’Sullivan said.

The 2G offering is far faster than Google Fiber’s initial offering when it began offering service a decade ago.

“Google Fiber brought you 1000 megabits in 2010, and we’re upping that 2000 megabits for 2020,” O’Sullivan said. “This is just the start of many more product launches to come.”

Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass (wireless) is available in 19 markets.

(Note: This story has been corrected to remove a reference to Huntersville, N.C.)