RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Already called the “fastest internet provider” by a third party’s studies, Google Fiber is launching faster services in its North Carolina markets and other service areas. But, hold on internet travelers, even more speed is promised to be coming soon.
That means faster in to your PC, faster out to the net – and better wireless in the house.
Google Fiber, or GF, on Wednesday announced an increase in its maximum service offering to 5 gigabits from 2 gigabits, which was first offered three years so. The company thus matches the top speeds of AT&T and Metronet. AT&T covers much of North Carolina. Metronet, which is based in Indiana, provides service in Fayetteville.
Looking ahead, GF already has its sights set on delivering 8 gigabit speed.
- MORE COVERAGE: To compare prices, services and availability, visit Highspeedinternet.com
GF’s move comes as more and more fiber-optic network providers enter North Carolina markets or long-time providers such as AT&T, CenturyLink and Spectrum update network capabilities. The drive is on to deploy “universal” broadband across the state announced fiber service in more rural areas of the Triad and eastern N.C. Those efforts are driven in part by federal and state funding. MCNC, for example, is expanding its state-wide fiber network to reach more areas.
And on Tuesday, Hickory-based Commscope disclosed plans to boost its fiber-optic production capacity, adding 250 jobs.
GF, however, is focused only metro areas such as the Triangle and Charlotte, where competition is most intense, pushing available speeds higher and higher.
More speed equals what?
So what does an increase to 5 gig mean? Faster business. Faster games. Faster home networks But you may need a newer computer to cash in.
“Five gigabit capacity will certainly be a good thing for gamers. It won’t solve all problems. The network inside the home, congestion in the provider network, and server capacity all have a role to play,” says North Carolina broadband consultant and veteran network executive Mark Johnson.
“The higher speeds will be helpful to those working from home with a need to move a lot of data and for homes where more than one person is working out of the house.”
Then there are benefits for Zoom and other videoconferencing tools.
“Higher speeds often mean lower latency as well providing better video conferencing and gaming,” Johnson, a former senior exec at the UNC System and at MCNC, says.
Don’t forget wireless
But there’s more: enhanced Wi-Fi.
“The high end Wi-Fi system they are including will make a difference in homes that have the latest computers with wifi6,” Johnson adds, referring to the latest version of Wi-Fi wireless technology.
However, there’s a caveat to all this. How new is your gear?
“Older computers will not see the advantage,” Johnson warns.
Notes Google: “Based on an industry wide study, Wi-Fi 6 is 30% faster than Wi-Fi 5 on average (if your phone, laptop, tablet, or other device is ready for Wi-Fi 6).”
Who’s No. 1?
From the data at Highspeedinternet.com, which studies internet services nationwide, Google Fiber will be enhancing its network’s delivery:
“Though it’s available in only 19 cities, Google’s flagship fiber-optic service has been the fastest internet provider since 2018, handily beating out all competitors every year. And soon it may see bigger gains as it unrolls new plans advertising 5,000Mbps [5 gigabits] and 8,000Mbps [8 gigabits] speeds.”
GF is pricing its new offering at $125 a month – $25 more than its 2G service; the 1G offering is $70.
“5 Gig and 8 Gig have the potential to change the entire experience of ‘work-from-home’ for creative professionals and those working in the cloud,” said Jess George, GF’s head of Government & Community Affairs, “We’re looking forward to seeing how our customers put this speed to use.” We’re looking forward to seeing how our customers put this speed to use.”
The 5G package
Here’s what you get in the 5G package:
- Symmetrical upload and download speeds at 5G
- A Wi-Fi 6 router, up to two mesh extenders,
- A 10 Gig Fiber jack
- One terabyte of cloud storage
- No data caps
- No annual contracts