It seems everyone’s talking about it – and even more so since Google announced that it will be bringing its much ballyhooed Internet service to Charlotte, the Triangle, Atlanta and Nashville. But how does something like Google Fiber impact business here in Wilmington?
What is Google Fiber?
Essentially, it’s ultra-high-speed Internet service.
Like many of us, Google was frustrated with the state of Internet access. It’s too slow, the speeds fluctuate too much, and confidence in reliability is at an all-time low. Plus, because most providers have a hammer-lock on the competition, customer service is seldom a priority.
With the big push to the cloud, the folks at Google were concerned about both speed and reliability of the current offerings. So they worked around the current situation and created a plan to, selectively, offer Google’s own service. Kansas City was the trial, and since then it has expanded elsewhere.
The great and not-so-great
Fresh and Clean: To begin with, it’s great because it’s new. Any new network coming online is fresh, clean and generally less congested. This means you are much closer to actually receiving the “up to” speeds that the company advertises. But like any shared service, the more users you add, the less likely you are to actually reach those much-hyped speeds. This is one of the reasons Google is focusing on consumers for this product – businesses have to be able to rely on speed.
Super Speedy: What excites people most is the speeds: 1 gigabit per second. That means you’ll get a 10 GB file (about three full-length movies) in 10 seconds. For those of us who have a 50 x 5 Mbps line and a cable connection that is running at its best, you’ll download about three movie trailers in the same 10 seconds. (When I say “at its best,” I mean that you might reach those speeds if you’re not sharing that line.)
Remember – Google Fiber is a “best effort” solution. There are no guarantees that you will get those speeds. Google, like cable and DSL, does not offer a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which is your guarantee of connectivity and speed. Businesses that depend on the Internet need the reliability that comes with an SLA or commitment from the provider to, well, actually “provide.”
Kinda Cheap: Google Fiber is relatively inexpensive. Prices average $100 a month, plus $20 for a static IP address, and a $300 non-refundable deposit. Of course, Google isn’t making money on this, and it may never make money on it. It doesn’t have to – it will use the faster speeds to offer more of everything that Google offers (YouTube, anyone?).
When will Wilmington get Google Fiber?
We won’t be getting it any time soon – if ever. It’s likely that Google would never install it here because our market is just too small.
Other ultra-high-speed Internet offerings have been popping up all over the country, and from many different providers. AT&T, for example, told us last spring that they were considering Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem as locations for their gigabit fiber offering. When we asked about Wilmington, they took a question from someone else, not willing to admit that we’re just not a target community.
What can we do to get the benefits of Fiber?
The real question is: Do you need it? Before you start pining for Google Fiber, ask yourself: What are you using the Internet to do? If you’re a digital media firm or a hospital that has to transfer huge media files, you may actually need gigabit. But we have customers with 200 employees working in the cloud – and they barely touch a 50x50 Mbps connection – when it’s accompanied by a SLA.
Of course we always suggest that you look to hometown businesses to help hometown businesses. It’s like the Hometown Hires campaign that’s taking hold, underscoring that we have strong, talented people right here in our community; hiring from “within” enriches the community in which we live and work.
CloudWyze has developed an Internet service that brings Wilmington dedicated, reliable high-speed Internet (with great customer service, no less) at less than half the price charged by cable and phone companies, and it will only get faster and less expensive as we grow.
Unlike Google Fiber, it’s a business solution that comes with guaranteed speeds.
And it’s available right now.
Shaun Olsen is the CEO and President of CloudWyze. CloudWyze was created to help businesses focus and perform at their optimal level by crafting and executing custom technology plans for businesses of every type and size. To learn more about CloudWyze, visit www.CloudWyze.com. Shaun can be reached at [email protected] or 910-795-1000.
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