Google announced vague plans today to expand its Google Fiber network. Nashville is one of nine cities being considered for the company’s “Gigabit internet”. Google is already offering Fiber in Kansas City and building the infrastructure for it in Austin, TX and Provo, Utah.
Apparently the next steps include Google sitting down with city leaders and gathering information about things like “topography, housing density and the condition of local infrastructure”. So, we’ll see.
How Fast is A Gigabit?
Google says its Fiber connections are “100 times faster than what most of us live with today”, advertising speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps (Megabits per second). Let’s say Google Fiber delivers that. How does it actually compare to the internet connection speeds we have in Nashville now?
According to network speed testing site Speedtest.net, Nashville is currently edging out the national internet speed average of 21.23 Mbps with 24.48 Mbps. Comcast, whose ads claim speeds up to 100 Mbps, is actually averaging 28.35 Mbps here. AT&T U-verse, though much faster than traditional DSL, ranks a fairly distant second at 12.41 Mbps. The other options in town are below 10 Mbps, and thus truly 100 times slower than the 1,000 Mbps Google Fiber advertises.
But Can Google Deliver That?
If Nashville is selected as a Google Fiber city, will we really get 1,000 Mbps internet? Back to Speedtest.net. A speed check of Kansas City — where Google Fiber is already being offered — shows Google’s Fiber network measuring just over 110 Mbps. That’s a lot faster than Time Warner Cable and AT&T U-verse there, which look pretty much like Nashville’s Comcast and U-verse speeds. But, on average, Google isn’t measuring in the ballpark of 1,000 Mbps.
Not to rain on the parade. Internet speeds some are getting in Kansas City would still be a dramatic change for Nashville.