Google Fiber

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Sonal, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

In India, it is a common knowledge that catalyzed by smartphones, internet penetration is increasing speedily. Some network providers have moved on to 4G while other infrastructures like cell towers are being set to cater the same. These companies have to set new towers every time their allocated spectrum changes. However, the wired internet connection that we have, is still the outdated one. It should be noted that a wired internet connection today has the capability to deliver more speed than its cellular counterpart. What we need to appreciate is the presence of our good old phone networks and the mesh that they create across cities. Combine this with a vision of Google Fiber and we get a wired network that can give us the internet speed of around 1 Gbit/sec or 1000 mb/ second.

Google Fiber is Google’s fiber-to-the-premises service in the United States, providing broadband internet and cable television to a small and slowly increasing number of locations. After the Google’s restructuring last year, we saw google moving less central services and products into a new umbrella corporation, Alphabet Inc. making Google Fiber a part of Alphabet Inc. Google fiber was an experiment that was first run in Kansas City for three years that covered 20 Kansas City area suburbs. On December 2012, the experiment was declared as a viable business model when Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt stated “It’s actually not an experiment, we’re actually running it as a business.” Since, then it has went on expanding its services. Google Fiber offers three options: a free internet option, a 1 Gbit/s internet option, and an option including television service (in addition to the 1 Gbit/s internet). The internet service comes with one TB google drive space while television service comes with two TB Digital video recorder in addition to the google drive space. In order to avoid the complexity involved in laying down the fiber lines in various cities, google fiber relies on aggregators dubbed Google Fiber Huts. From these huts, the utility poles carry fiber into neighborhood homes and end at an Optical Network Terminal in each home. Cities are chosen by a competitive selection process. The good thing that is happening now there , is that the Google Fiber does not need to build everything from scratch. In Provo, Utah, service is being delivered over a network they purchased from the city. In Atlanta, Georgia, they are both constructing their own network, and using existing fiber to provide Google Fiber to some apartment buildings. And now, due to the leadership of the Mayor and Huntsville Utilities CEO Jay Stowe, they are working with a muni-owned network to bring their high speed service to Huntsville.

What we need to learn from here is that , we may not be a developed country but there are plenty of simple innovations that we can incorporate to leverage our benefit of being the late comer.

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