Google officially announced that Google Fiber is now available in Huntsville, Alabama, and is looking for Internet users to test it before it becomes publicly available.
Google Fiber was launched back in 2010, offering speeds of 1 Gigabyte. Ten years later, faster Internet has become a necessity in many homes.
This year has made the need for more speed particularly critical, as many people now live their entire lives from work to school to Games in their homes, creating an unprecedented demand for Internet bandwidth.
As an initiative to learn from its customers and the market, Google says they've learned that many people need more ways to work better, learn smarter, provide games and entertainment in new ways, and drive innovation and entrepreneurship across the economy.
Let´s explore how much Google Fiber is in Huntsville AL and whether you should use it or not. We asked the opinions of Google Fiber users in Huntsville to determine what the overall local opinion was.
Based on the results, it seems that the locals value Google Fiber a lot!
Without further ado, let look at what Google Fiber is, how much is Google Fiber in Huntsville, and you can determine if you should use it!
What is Google Fiber?
Before proceeding to the discussion of whether to choose this option or not, it is better to first understand what Google Fiber is.
Google Fiber is Google's fiber-optic broadband Internet service that debuted in 2010. Its main mission is to provide high-speed connectivity for businesses and individuals in some cities.
Currently, Google Fiber and its wireless version, Google Fiber Webpass, are available in 19 cities across the country. Google Fiber first became available in Huntsville in 2017.
A big part of the appeal of Google Fiber is its speed. Google Fiber boasts a maximum speed of 1000 Mbit/s (or 1 Gbit/s) at the highest level of service. This is one of the highest speeds in the country.
With such a plan, the whole family will enjoy high bandwidth and high-speed internet access for surfing, gaming, and watching HDTV.
Google Fiber also supports all smart home technologies within your four walls and makes your home fit for the future.
Google Fiber is a reliable and fast service at a reasonable price. Cable is becoming obsolete, so the availability of a new generation of services - fiber optics - is largely geared towards the future of our community and development infrastructure.
In addition to high-speed internet, Google Fiber offers competitively priced TV and phone plans that you can add to your plan. Google's Fiber Internet + TV plans offer 220+ channels, multi-device streaming, an HD DVR that records 8 shows simultaneously, and more.
Advantages of the Internet provided by Google Fiber
If you're still looking for reasons why you should connect Google Fiber at home and still have doubts about it, let's take a look at some of the useful options and opportunities it provides to its users.
No more problem with buffering
With download and upload speeds of up to 1000 Mbps, Google Fiber is 100 times faster than the Internet connection most people have today. This means that if you are faced with video buffering, cloud gaming that slows down your entire home, then it's time for you to go google fiber.
Since you are offered continuous streaming, online training, training, games, and video chat - all at the same time. This enables every user of the network to go about their business on the Internet without interruption.
When you have gigabit downloads, you don't have to worry about always "disconnecting" from the meeting and then apologizing for the quality of your internet. Your Internet should be convenient for work and play.
How Much Is Google Fiber in Huntsville?
Traditional Internet service providers such as Time Warner Cable and Comcast usually offer combined TV and Internet packages for about $80-90 a month. However, Google offers a basic Internet package for $70 a month and a combined package for about $120 a month.
Both of these packages have a $300 construction fee. The fact that Time Warner charges almost the same price for Internet service at just 15 Mbps makes Google's services very affordable.
This competitive pricing seems to be an excellent selling point, here is what Marita from Huntsville like about Google Fiber:
From a billing standpoint, I like that the bill is a fat rate and there aren't hidden fees.
Needless to say, this can make a big difference in making broadband services available in low-income communities, which in turn can help bridge the digital divide.
Develops competition between Internet service providers
Many observers believe that as more people begin to experience the benefits of Google Fiber, broadband providers will be forced to improve their offerings in order to stay in the market.
Comcast also lowered its prices in Utah when Google launched its service there. There are analysts who claim that Google's Internet service forces many existing providers to pay close attention to every step Google takes in terms of hiring people for the company.
The lesson is clear: the more competition, the better the service for users.
Google Fiber boasts about the reliability of its service. Their boasts have not been in vain! An Alabama local loves the reliability of Google Fiber in Huntsville:
It's awesome. The reliability is worth every penny. Our service would drop off and slow down with Comcast multiple times a day, not anymore with Google Fiber. We've had it about 2 years now and we've only had a handful of service interruptions or being dropped. Supposedly, it will be expanded to the entire Huntsville Utilities service area. So, not just new developments.
Positive impact on the educational system
Faster Internet will really improve the country's education sector. This will help students increase their learning opportunities by taking online classes, tuning in to virtual 3D lectures from around the world. Students can also download learning apps in seconds.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, students who have broadband at home are more likely to graduate than those who don't. And the basic Google Fiber service could allow families in low-income areas to afford broadband for the first time.
Research has shown that students with broadband Internet access at home study more, watch less TV, and improve their grades.
Meanwhile, schools and universities across the country are experimenting with distance and online learning. Teachers and teachers could simultaneously broadcast their lessons to classrooms across the city, or across the country.
Students could collaborate on research projects with their peers at other schools. And with the advent of 3D broadcasting, students can view a visualization of planets orbiting the Sun in the Solar system projected directly into their classroom.
Contributes to business development
Companies in cities with Google's Internet service are bound to thrive, as they will pay less for faster Internet speeds. In addition, large companies in other cities that are interested in this service may decide to move to cities that have Google's fast Internet service.
Since Google introduced its service in Kansas City, Kansas, a community of startups has sprung up in the area. For example, the so-called 'startup village' originated in a city area called Hanover heights.
Locals in the city also benefit from 'fiber' tourists who want to check out Google Fiber and the burgeoning startup scene.
Step to a smart home
Another advantage that you may not have thought of is that Google Fiber is an amazing fit for your home automation devices. Homeowners are adding more and more smart devices to their homes, from energy monitoring systems and smart home appliances to CCTV cameras and smart thermostats.
When you have high-speed Internet, you don't need to worry about the time delay when someone calls your video door phone or you try to adjust the temperature and lighting from the app on your phone.
Possible disadvantages of Google Fiber
However, any coin has a downside, which also applies to Google fiber. They should also be taken into account before deciding to switch to this type of Internet provider. Here are some of the main drawbacks.
Limited availability of the service
As it was mentioned even the great services have their blind spots. And Google Fiber's biggest blind spot is the most part of the USA. A Huntsville natives comment really shines a light on how limited Google Fibers range is in Huntsville:
I live about 5 miles from the Google fiber office and can't even get it
A comment local from Madison demonstrates the main issue Google Fiber has, coverage:
I would LOVE it if I could get it! They are focusing only on new subdivisions for the most part. Where I live, most homes are 30 years old and more.
Until the company can get better coverage in suburban and rural areas, it will never be a true leader in the world of Internet service providers. Getting access to the Google Fiber Internet service in other parts of the country can be a challenge.
Takes a long time to install
Many customers have complained that installing high-speed Internet is a lengthy process. As mentioned earlier, this process involved installing a fiber network consisting of thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable, and it took several months, if not years, to fully optimize the city for Google Fiber.
Since Google Fiber has already been fixed and installed in the selected locations and canceled in the remaining locations, negative feedback about the infrastructure installation time probably won't apply to you.
Lack of Support in some cases
An Alabama resident found himself in a situation where Google Fiber's customer service just wasn't there:
The ONLY issue that I have found is. I need my network box moved to a different location, GF will not send anyone to do this, even though I offered to pay. GF policy is that I would either move it myself or find/pay someone else to do it. The issue I have is, I don't want to be responsible for their equipment. This problem will be solved as soon as they release the 2 gig service ($100.00 btw), as it requires a new install of equipment.
Absence of some popular TV channels
Popular channels such as AMC, HBO, and ESPN are currently not included in the list of Google Fiber TV broadcast channels. Some channels may also require additional fees, probably those considered premium in current cable packages.
The good news is that Google seems to be in negotiation with some networks to get a more complete offer. By the time the fiber starts working, it's possible that some of these big TV channels will be on board.
The speed of the free Internet packet is quite slow
It's also important to note that although Google Fiber is one of the few service providers offering the basic internet package for free.
According to a third-party speed test, the internet speed accompanying the free package and network box is no better than the standard internet speed of any other provider.
The limited bandwidth of the free plan can be easily overwhelmed by multiple devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Some negative reviews describe the free plan and complain about slow and unreliable download and upload speeds; keep in mind that this experience might be the reviewer's mistake when choosing a free plan if they had the opportunity to purchase a package.
If this ISP is available in your area and you choose a free data plan, don't expect amazingly fast internet.
Should you use it?
After considering both the pros and cons, the question arises: so should we use this service? As an Internet service provider, Google Fiber provides impressive service packages at competitive prices, and the potential of a free plan is a generous perk.
Kenneth Goodman found that he is pleased with the pricing strategy of Google Fiber:
So far my experience has been the best of any ISP I've had. It's $70.00 flat, on the nose, every month. Never more, never less, tax included. If there is an outage they prorate your account with a proactive credit based on the amount of time the service was down. I got one for $0.77, but it's the principal. That $0.77 says a LOT
But while Google Fiber provides Internet speeds 100 times faster than competitors, its expansion and installation processes were significantly slower than those of competitors.
This can be illustrated in Valerie´s comment:
What I know is that ALL MY NEIGHBORS would switch too if google was an option, because as it stands the 2 options we do have suck!
Overall, Google Fiber is committed to quality customer service and generous policy. You may be impressed with what Fiber has to offer, but you might be put off by Fiber's announcement of a suspension of expansion could this mean future cancellations in existing cities?
The truth is that we still don't know all the innovative ways that 1-Gigabit Internet service will be used. Richard Castle of Huntsville confirmed this with his comment:
It is an incredible service. I have the $70 a month plan and in our year living here I don't believe we've ever had an outage. My wife uploads so many photos to websites like Shutterfly to make photo books. I don't necessarily need the 1 gig download speeds, it's the 1 gig upload that makes the service so important to our family. We also don't have cable. Being able to just select things to watch on Netflix or Amazon video and just have the video start without buffering is so taken for granted now
Fifteen years ago, when most people still had slow, dial-up connections, many of the broadband applications we now take for granted would have seemed far-fetched. Video conferencing services like Skype didn't exist for the average consumer.
Based on what Saphira had to say about Google Fiber, it is clear that it is worth it.
You truly can not find better. We pay $70/mo. flat, including tax and any associated fees, no contract, for an actual, tested, real-world Gig up and down, consistently. No bandwidth caps. No downtimes. No issues. Super nice tech. We are considering moving to another state someday, and access to Google Fiber is at the top of our "must-have" list. You should see the tomfoolery the other ISPs are trying (and in most cases, succeeding) in passing through the FCC because of how much Google doesn't play by their book!
Now millions of people use Zoom to communicate every day. There were no Internet streaming services like Netflix. Today, millions of people use Netflix to watch movies and TV shows over the Internet.
What will the next generation of engineers and developers do with Google Fiber? It's hard to say because so few people currently have access to this service.
But Google is laying the groundwork for new Gigabit apps that haven't been invented yet. "Gigabit is the future," said Kevin Lo, CEO of Google Fiber, announcing that Austin will get a new service.
"At Google, we have always invested in the future of the Internet. When more people are connected to each other, it makes our communities stronger."
Fiber-optic Internet services are already widely used in the EU, South Korea, and even Japan. These countries used their fiber-optic networks to improve their education and communications sectors.
In addition, Google Fiber also benefits Google because faster Internet speeds allow people to do more searches, send more emails, and watch more YouTube videos.
Therefore, it can be said Google Fiber gives a lot of opportunities to be more flexible in the online space and do not struggle with low-speed problems anymore.
While there are some issues accessing it, it is worth mentioning that Google is doing its best to solve them.
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