Google Fiber is bringing 2 gig service to additional markets in Utah (Salt Lake City and Provo) and to Atlanta. The service is already available in Nashville and Huntsville, Ala.
Google Fiber began testing 2 gig service back in September 2020, through its Google Fiber Trusted Tester program. In a blog post from last week, Google Fiber says thousands of testers from across its network joined the program.
The service is priced at $100 per month and includes whole home Wi-Fi service using mesh technology. Interestingly, though, Google Fiber suggests in its blog post that customers consider a wired ethernet connection to ensure they are getting the full performance of the 2 gig service.
“Unless you have a device with an ethernet port designed for 2.5 Gbps or higher, you’ll need a 2.5 Gb or faster adapter (or dongle) and a Cat6 ethernet cable connecting your device to the router to get the top speed,” the blog post notes.
Google 1 gig service is more widely available and is priced at $70/month. Google Fiber helped push gigabit service into the mainstream when it first launched the offering. It wasn’t the first gigabit provider, but it significantly raised the visibility of gigabit and challenged the broadband industry to make it more widely available.
That was several years ago, yet even today, gigabit service, much less Google Fiber 2 gig service, is hotly debated as overkill for the average residential subscriber. That debate does seem to be shifting though.
The pandemic had something to do with it, as millions of workers started working from home, contending with students and others for bandwidth on their home network. Gigabit service adoption is indeed accelerating.
The most recent data from OpenVault, through its forthcoming 4Q20 OVBI report, indicates that gigabit broadband adoption grew by over 300% in 2020 and is approaching 10% of all subscribers.
In this context, the expansion of Google Fiber 2 gig service is right on time. It fits with the tech giant’s historical role in pushing the envelope.
To be clear, Google Fiber is not alone in this push.
Broadband carriers, large and small, are already pushing this envelope. Gigabit service pioneer EPB already offers 10 gig service in Tennessee and North Dakota based MLGC recently introduced 5 gig service. And those are just two examples of many.