Remember back in 2015 when the internet was abuzz with excitement over Google Fiber — Google’s initiative to bring high-speed internet to over 1 Million Americans in just a 5-10 year span.
At the time, Google’s own brand of high-speed internet was already active in three test cities across the US. Google Fiber was poised to be our savior from “Big Internet,” offering GiGabit internet speeds for $70 or less a month. The plan was to expand to over 34 big cities, from Dallas to San Francisco.
Fast forward three years and the promised rollouts are nowhere in sight. What’s more, Google has all but seemed to lose interest in their Fiber branch, focusing instead on wireless, virtual reality, self-driving cars, electronic healthcare and the Internet of Things.
But, maybe, that was the plan all along.
Maybe Google’s goal was never really to take on the role of “internet savior” for the masses and instead wear the hat of industry disruptor, forcing cities across the US to be more welcome to fiber-based home internet and pave the way for other companies to offer the technology to millions of American citizens.
The story of Google Fiber serves as a great example for how all tech transformations should take place: get a big player to shake up space and make room for smaller players to offer consumers better service for a lower price.
But first, let’s start at the beginning. Let’s review the story of how Google Fiber came into being, what it achieved, and what it taught community leaders, customers and the big internet service providers (ISPs).