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Imagine not ever waiting for your movie to buffer or download while on Amazon, Hulu or Netflix. One can dream right? Well, some folks in Kansas City, Missouri are living this dream. Google has created Fiber Space, as part of its internet access project in Missouri. It is within this space that individuals can experience ‘Google Fiber’, a low-cost broadband that is about 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to now.
The new technology has not been in any homes, but it available for the public to view and test. So what could one do or download with 1-gigabit broadband? Try downloading an 8-gigabyte game and watching not one, but two HD movies, all within a course of 10 minutes. Or watching a football game while video chatting with friends. Carlos Casas, lead of the Google Kansas City team, hopes that the Kansas City experiment will inspire broadband providers to deploy similar networks around the country.
So why aren’t broadband providers like Comcast or Verizon looking into upgrading their broadband? The answer is lack of demand and costs. These companies currently face no pressure from the general public to upgrade because cable provides faster broadband compared to telephone providers, and it’s expensive. Verizon spent more than $20 billion building its Fios fiber network to more than 17 million customers, but then stopped. Bob Elek, company representative for Verizon, stated that nobody appears to using all the available bandwidth.
On the other side, you have companies that offer bundle packages (phone, Internet, TV) to lure customers away from cable; and TV programmers who are not interested in making internet-streaming available to consumers.
“The programmers are making tens of billions of dollars by selling that programming in big bundles to cable distributors,” states Susan Crawford, a former tech adviser to the Obama administration. “And they have no incentive to break up those bundles and make those individual channels available online. They’d make much, much less money.”