How does Google Fiber work?

By: Matt McGovern Email
By: Matt McGovern Email
San Antonio is one step closer to becoming a Google Fiber city.

Google Fiber

SAN ANTONIO, TX (WOAI) - City Council approved a lease Thursday that would give Google the ability to install Google Fiber in San Antonio.

The internet service is 100 times faster that what we're used to, making it a lucrative product cities across the country are vying to have in their communities. But it's not a done deal just yet.

Think of it like a Facebook friendship: they've asked Google Fiber to be their friend, but Google still has to say yes. In the meantime, they're figuring out exactly how Google Fiber would work and what you would have to pay. Downloading a full-length Hollywood movie would take just 33 seconds through Google Fiber.

So how do you connect to it? You pay for it, just like you would for any service. That makes Google Fiber competition to internet providers. Mayor Julian Castro says more competition benefits the average person.

So what's the bottom line? Local technology experts at Geekdom tell us in other cities, Google offers two price levels. The first one is called a free service, but it would actually set you back $300 in something called "construction fees." You would get the same internet speed you have now for seven years. The second price level would give you that super-fast connection - 100 times faster than what you're used to - for $70 a month. You could also add on cable TV for $50, bringing the total monthly cost to $120. That's roughly what most people pay now for TV and internet.

In other cities, Google Fiber started in three to five neighborhoods and expanded over time. Geekdom's experts say this creates the possibility of a digital divide between neighborhoods that can afford Google Fiber and neighborhoods that can't.

San Antonio Mayor Castro said the city is talking to Google about working with schools, especially in lower-income areas. He says CPS Energy could help by using its fiber-optic network to help bring those neighborhoods into the digital age. San Antonio is not providing any financial incentives to Google, and they do have competition from nine other metro areas that are also in the running for Google Fiber. It will take a couple of months to find out if Google chooses San Antonio.

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