Anyone who regularly listens to Leo Laporte over at http://twit.tv/ has probably heard him state that the telecoms normally overcharge and under deliver when it comes to broadband.
“What does this mean to me?” You may ask.
Well what it means is that here in the U.S. on average, we pay high prices for low speeds. Many of the telecom companies tend to create a intentional scaricity of broadband. They tend to place caps on usage claiming that broadband is a scarce resource and needs to be heavy regulated in its use in order to “save enough for everyone”.
The reality of this situation is that there seems to be plenty of broadband available for everyone. During the ‘dot.com’ boom we overbuilt the networks, laying down much more fiber optic cable than we ended up using. All this extra fiber optic cabling is often referred to as “dark fiber” due to the fact it is not in use.
Now with Google’s announcement to light the “dark fiber” and enter the world of being an ISP, this may change everything we know. Google claims to be able to bring speeds approaching 1 Gigabit per second to the average household. If Google sucedds in this it will revolutionise the broadband buisness here in America, no longer will ISPs be able to brag about 10 Megabits per second being “lightening fast”. Internet providers will have to scramble to bring their network speeds up in order to compete with Google.
As we move further into the 21st century and the majority of media is consumed through an internet connection, faster speeds will become a requirement. The ability to transfer large amounts of data almost instantly will hopefully give birth to new technology. The ability to consume any media on-demand with out the need for buffering or downloading it first will change the way we use the internet.