But when we slowed down our expansion, our pace of product innovation slowed down too. In the last three years, we’ve made tremendous strides, upgrading our products, services and network. We’ve focused on not just keeping up, but going beyond — being one of the first to offer 2 Gig, to roll out Wi-Fi 6 and whole home Wi-Fi 6E, to bring 5 Gig and 8 Gig to whole cities at affordable rates, and to offer 20 Gig in a home setting. And we don’t intend to stop any time soon.
While the last few years were productive, we’ve been asking some fundamental questions about where the internet industry needs to go next:
What if we are just scratching the surface? Is 100G really fast enough for what the future demands? Are we positioned to deliver a world of connectivity powered by cloud applications, AI and even someday quantum computing services? Have we developed advanced network services that can deliver the best content experience for customers today? And what if we invest in infrastructure and services that can lead to groundbreaking evolution for education and commercial applications that can fuel the US economy and provide economic opportunities for all?
Asking audacious questions got us to this point, and we aren’t stopping now. That’s where GFiber Labs comes in — asking the next generation of hard, exciting questions to bring a new level of innovation to our industry.
GFiber Labs will serve as an innovation hub dedicated to exploring what’s possible for the internet — major efforts focused on speed to the home and speed in the home are already underway, paving the way for a whole new internet experience for customers that will touch every part of our business.
And we won’t just be doing this by ourselves. We’ll collaborate with other companies working to push the internet forward. This isn’t about a single ISP — the entire internet ecosystem — from those working on deployment to those working on content and everyone in between has a role to play in getting us to next.
So what kind of challenge are we talking about? When it comes to the Internet, we’re setting no limits. Let’s push speed to the home and in the home to 100 Gig and beyond, using Wi-Fi 7 and 8 to make home networks truly multi-gig. Let’s reimagine what’s possible with advanced content becoming commonplace (3D, Augmented VR, 16K video and beyond). Let’s create a network that can self heal in real time. Let’s offer bespoke customer experience, designed for and by our customers, at scale. Let’s use technologies like photonics, millimeter wave wireless, and others to bring high quality internet to more people, in more places at even faster speeds. And just as importantly, let’s drive digital equity and make Gigabit internet the baseline of service in the US.
We have so much to do. As an industry, we need to kick innovation into high gear. We should be trying new things faster, finding out what works in the real world. GFiber Labs will do this by bringing these emerging technologies to early adopters. We’re actually already doing this — we rolled out 20 Gig to UMKC late last year, and we’re testing it with consumers today. These projects fall under GFiber Labs, and they are just the beginning.
We love what we do, and we believe in what we do. We are playing for the right things – bringing the full potential of the Internet to consumers to improve their lives. This is an incredible privilege and a huge responsibility. We won’t always get it right, and we definitely won’t do it alone. But with our learnings from GFiber Labs, we can build the foundation for the Internet of today, and tomorrow. So stay tuned — much, much more to come here.
Note, you might have noticed it’s GFiber Labs – not Google Fiber Labs. Over the past year, we’ve been incorporating the use of GFiber into our company branding and communications. It’s a nickname we’ve used informally both internally and externally, and allows us flexibility to incorporate more of our work, from GFiber Webpass to GFiber Labs, under one umbrella.