Gizmodo on Monday hosted a chat session with Max Ross, a former software developer and current co-owner of the Fric and Frac restaurant in Kansas City who just got his business hooked up to Google’s (GOOG) shiny new fiber optic network on Sunday. During his chat, Ross said that he was getting average download speeds of around 14Mbps with the new fiber service while he used to get only 0.8Mbps on average from Time Warner Cable (TWC).
While some on the chat said that 14Mbps didn’t seem like all that much on a network promising maximum downloads of 1GBps, Ross replied that his downloads were limited by the speed at which the servers he was connecting to would allow him to extract data. And even so, he said that as servers get upgraded, his average download speeds would only increase. Ross also said that the fiber network would spur more investment and innovation among incumbent ISPs that have gone far too long without significantly upgrading their networks.
“The fact that we now have a choice in our area is HUGE,” he said. “Until now Time Warner was all we could get. Now companies are going to have to innovate.”
Ross also said he was excited for his fellow Kansas City residents who would soon get access to a high-speed network that blows away their current connection speeds.
“25% of people have dial up or lower or nothing at all,” he explained. “I’m just happy to see the digital divide getting smaller here. The free tier (minus the construction fee) I think is one of the coolest things about Google Fiber here.”