Google

It’s been over 10 years since Google Fiber first deployed fiber network infrastructure supporting gigabit speeds so perhaps it’s not surprising to hear that the company is aggressively replacing the GPON equipment that it initially deployed with XGS PON. The company also is being aggressive in updating older-generation Wi-Fi to support faster speeds within the home.

The company, which brands its high-capacity networks as GFiber, said that that most of its new customers will be served by XGS PON by the end of this year. Already, almost all customers in single family homes have speeds up to 8 Gbps available to them, the company said.

All the speeds that Google Fiber offers are symmetrical. Speed options and pricing are: 1 Gbps ($70 per month), 2 Gbps ($100), 5 Gbps ($125) and 8 Gbps ($150) levels.

The company also is increasing speeds within the home. It has replaced legacy routers and is deploying Wi-Fi 6E to all new customers — and will move to deployment of Wi-Fi 7 devices as they become available at the end of the year.

In addition, GFiber has replaced legacy network boxes. And all products supporting 1 Gbps or faster speeds now include mesh extenders. None of these upgrades changed prices to end users, the company said.

“[The upgrades point to] the robustness of our network for each customer on connectivity, speed and coverage — all the way to the GFiber Wi-Fi router and beyond to the mesh extender,” Chief Technology & Product Officer John Keib wrote in a blog post.

“It includes the quality of the internet coming into their home and to the router, how well their network is working inside their home, down to whether the extender is positioned ideally in the home to maximize coverage.”

Moving ahead, Google Fiber plans to deploy Nokia’s 25G PON equipment to enable symmetrical 20 Gbps service in all of its markets by the end of 2024. It has begun upgrades from XGS to 25G as part of the GFiber Labs early access program. Installations began last month in North Carolina.

Keib cited two interesting early use cases of 25G that have emerged from the early access program: Austin PBS is using it to upload the entire archive of 50 years of “Austin City Limits” and The United Way of Utah County is using it to connect with its clients. 

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