Google fiber disappoints on price

displayfile (1).jpegWell Google fiber is on its way, they’ve sprayed marked across our front yards this week ready to install the vaults, most people don’t understand these will be buried in your front yard, after all fiber optic cable isn’t your parents cable.

In other news, Google have announced the Austin pricing and service speeds, and I have to say, it’s pretty disappointing really.

WTF are Mpbs?First up as seen in this screen capture, their website lists speeds in Mpbs. I work in the tech sector, heck I used to be a networking specialist, I admit I have no idea what Mpbs is. So I googled it, and Google asked Did you mean: Mbps

Normally network speeds are indeed listed as Mbps. Megabits per second. Unlike disk/file storage which is most often described as MB, and sometimes MBps megabytes per second. In storage you are storing files and characters, so a byte has a meaning and it’s important to understand. In networking, especially streaming music, tv, video it really doesn’t, so bytes really don’t have any meaning, and Megabits is the norm. Also, Megabits are also in units of 1000, in the old days it was often expressed as 1024 but no longer.

So we really have no idea what Google are offering. Lets assume thats just sloppy web content creation, and that 1,000 Mpbs is really 1,000 Mbps, which is 1-Gigabit, which is what Google have been touting, by coincidence. I’m really left wondering though what their free offering is though? 5 Mbps is really for the most part unusable for anything other than sending email asynchronously. So I assume that should really be 5 MBps, as in megabytes. But as discussed earlier that isn’t really a usable measure, although it’s pretty standard marketing BS from the existing cable cartel companies used to confuse people.

If it is 5-MBps, then it could be 40-Mbps, which would be more usable, either way the web page is a shambles.

Given these assumptions, overall the Google pricing is disappointing. Google are for the most part just joining the existing cable cartel. Yes they are bringing fiber speed but they are really doing nothing to help with pricing. The $300 installation fee for the entry services is a barrier to entry for low income households.

$70 is great for those that can afford it, getting potentially a 100x increase in download speed, if the network inside your house can exploit it. Remember you’ll need gigabit ethernet ports on all your devices, gigabit wifi(which doesn’t exist as a domestic standard) and of course a Google compatible gigabit cable modem and switch.

What is more disappointing is the pricing though. It’s slightly more expensive minus taxes and fees than the TWC Service I’m paying for at the moment.. What about something in between for low income households? $35 a month for 100Mbps?

Disappointing

Author: Mark Cathcart

Formerly an Executive Director of Systems Engineering and a Senior Distinguished Engineer at Dell. Prior to that, an IBM Distinguished Engineer working for the Systems Group in NY and Austin. I’m currently “retired until further notice”.

5 thoughts on “Google fiber disappoints on price”

  1. If you are into corrections, then you need to correct the verbs in your blog. You use ‘are’ multiple times when ‘is’ should be used.

  2. Thanks for contacting us. Below is a transcript of your recent chat with a Google Fiber Team Member:
    [5:29 PM] Mark Cathcart has joined the room
    [5:29 PM] Robert has joined the room
    [5:29 PM] Robert: Hi and thanks for contacting Google Fiber! My name is Robert. How can I help?
    [5:29 PM] Mark Cathcart: hi I’ve been looking at your Austin page https://fiber.google.com/helloaustin/
    [5:30 PM] Mark Cathcart: can you tell me what Mpbs is please?
    [5:30 PM] Robert: Megabits per second.
    [5:31 PM] Mark Cathcart: no, thats Mbps…
    [5:31 PM] Mark Cathcart: its confusing http://markcathcart.com/2014/11/25/google-fiber-disappoints-on-price/
    [5:32 PM] Robert: I’m sorry about the confusion. I will report the error.
    [5:33 PM] Mark Cathcart has left the room

  3. First off, yes, that is definitely right, that’s a typo, don’t be a smartass.
    Second, there are a few things you got incorrect about the Free plan.

    The Free Internet plan is sufficient for streaming HD quality movies from Netflix (5Mbps recommended), Amazon Prime (3.5Mbps recommended), Hulu (3Mbps recommended).
    The Free Internet plan is half the speed of the national average Internet speed, which was 10Mbps in Akamai’s 2014 survey. It is faster than the average internet speed in the bottom 6 states.
    To put this in perspective, in a 2010 article, PC World stated ( http://www.pcworld.com/article/190143/how_much_bandwidth.html ): Getting 5Mbps Internet to every business (and home) in America will be a lofty achievement. While cable modems and other fast connections are common in many areas, much of the nation remains unconnected.

    Google is offering us a frikkin option for free internet for at LEAST 7 years. I’m not sure if you read all of the everything like a good consumer should, but you don’t have to pay the whole $300 at once. You can pay 25 bucks a month for a year, and pay it off the same way.

    GRAND PICTURE MOMENT: America has some slow ass speeds. South Korea has a 10 Gb per second connection they’re getting up soon, if it’s not already up. Murrica is being suppressed by AT&T, TWC, Comcast, Cox, Frontier, and any others I can’t think of with their piss poor internet speeds. Since announcing GF in Austin, TWC and AT&T have stepped up their game. They’re afraid they may have to spend money to upgrade their stuff to get up to speed. Imagine if we could all get 500 Megabits per second as a basic package what kind of tech we could have developed that would make use of that transfer rate?

    Also, do your research before claiming it should be bytes instead of bits. http://lifehacker.com/the-difference-between-bits-and-bytes-and-why-it-matte-510705022

    Good day

    1. No one reads everything they should, you for example clearly didn’t read all my prior posts on Internet access and how America was rapidly falling behind. You’d have also realized why I found this so disappointing.

      The net net of their free option is that at the 5Mbps speed, one person in a household should be able to stream a movie. Who knows what the rest will do. Yes, its a great price and yes I read the T&Cs and yes that is a big deal.

      But Google could have done better. I can easily pay the $70, and yet I don’t need the 1-Gbps connection. There are lots of home who will need something between the 40Mbps free and the 1000Mps paid, and that was the point of my post. When Google can’t get something like Mbps right in what is there largest announcement of the year for fiber, it’s disappointing.

      Thanks for taking time to comment, Happy Thanksgiving.

      1. People not reading everything they should is part of a big problem. When I do anything with terms and conditions that costs me money, I read the crap out of it, because I want to know what I’m paying for.

        I can totally understand where you’re coming from there, but people are still paying for dial up. If google starts offering free internet at low end broadband speeds, it’ll force competitors to step up their game and either improve their networks, or lower prices. I hate paying $60 for internet that’s less that 20 down and 1 up, and then google comes in and offers a gig connection for 70. I really wish I could jump on that.

        Also, Mbps stands for megabits per second. You don’t get it in megabytes per second, it’s just not how it’s measured. It’s 5/1 megabits per second, and 1,000/1,000 megabits per second.

        Plus I had a 3Mbps connection for a long time, and it’s enough for 4 devices, (3 wireless, 1 wired) to stream and game.

        Thank you for your time.

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