• Aaron Magruder

Google Fiber for Communities: The Real Cost to Consumers and Businesses



Since Google announced Kansas City as the winner of the Google Fiber 1 Gigabit Internet project, many people have commented how they are looking forward to the service, but do they know the true cost to their business. Did you know your cost will extend beyond the monthly service?

Google Fiber Community Official Page

Residential Consumers

First, let’s look at the residential internet consumer. Some plug their computers directly into their DSL or Cable Mode to obtain internet access, using the built-in Windows Firewall for security. Some use a Wireless DSL or Cable Router. The Network Interface Card (NIC) in many PC's are 100Mbps which is only 1/10th as fast as the 1Gbps Google plans to offer. Upgrade Numero Uno will be the NIC in your PC. Upgrade two will be your wireless router to support 1G of internet throughput, if you can find one, along with 802.11n. You'd be lucky if your old one supports 1/20th of 1G worth of internet not to mention that the wireless is probably 802.11g which has a throughput rate of 54Mbps. (In reality, you will only get 15Mbps over 802.11g.) Since you upgraded your wireless router, upgrade three will be your wireless adaptor in your laptop to an 802.11n adaptor.

How much will all this cost me? Depends on what brand, model and when you purchase.

Business Consumers

Now let’s look at business internet customers. Some businesses will fall into the residential category and use consumer grade devices to connect to the internet. If you fall into this category, reference the consumer section above.

Businesses have firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), Proxy Servers, 100Mbps switches / router and 802.11a/b/g wireless that provide internet connectivity. Since their infrastructure is much larger, there are more pieces that need to be upgraded to support 1Gbps Internet. The Return on Investment (ROI) may be justified by the monthly cost of the Google Internet connection vs their current internet service cost but this is TBD until Google announces their pricing. Will Google charge businesses to bring fiber into buildings without any fiber facilities? This may also be additional cost to consider in your ROI calculations.

Summary

I'm as excited as the next person in Kansas City about the possibility of Google Fiber 1G Internet Service but also want you to think about the full cost of the services when you do your ROI calculations. There may be other intangible benefits such as increased employee satisfaction or productivity increase. Or other tangible benefits such as the ability to move from traditional telephony services to Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSP) using SIP Trunking.

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