I was reading an article on ZDNet Tuesday morning about Google Fiber and had planned to write a quick post on it. But when I opened up the BGR dashboard, I found that I couldn’t access it because my wireless modem had crapped out… for the third time in less than two hours. Sadly, this is a fairly common occurrence — as a Boston resident, I’m basically stuck with Comcast (CMCSA) as my ISP because it has a regional monopoly.
Needless to say, Comcast is absolutely horrible. I’m paying around $66 a month for an Internet service that constantly forces me to reset my router. You may ask yourself, “Why don’t you just call up Comcast and ask them to help?” My response is, “Have you ever dealt with Comcast before?” There’s a reason why they’re consistently rated one of the worst companies in America for customer service. Heck, just look at some of the responses in their customer service forums: the company is lousy at fixing things even when they try.
Comcast right now is like the girlfriend I’ve decided to break up with, but not until I’ve found a new apartment to live in. In other words, I’m still helping her out with the bills and rent, but there’s no way I’m putting any further effort into maintaining the relationship. And besides, I’ve had my eye on another gal who lives in Kansas City at the moment but whom I’m determined to convince to move into my neighborhood.
Yes, I’m referring to Google Fiber. And this all brings me back to the ZDNet article I was reading Tuesday morning because it not only shows what a great deal Google is offering but it exposes what lousy deals the cable companies have been getting away with for years now. To recap: for $120 a month and a two-year service commitment, Google Fiber subscribers get a 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home connection, hundreds of fiber television channels on-demand and in full HD, and a full terabyte of storage on Google Drive. What’s more, Google is selling customers this service with no broadband caps or overage fees.
And that’s not even the best part. As ZDNet notes, Google is actually giving customers in Kansas City a basic broadband service that promises 5Mbps downloads and no bandwidth caps for around $25 per month over the span of a year, after which the service becomes free for the next six years.
For comparison, consider that right now I’m paying $66 a month for an Internet service that gives me around 20Mbps download speeds but that also consistently either grinds to a halt during peak hours or that blows out my router and forces a reset. To make things worse, that $66 a month only covers basic television service — not basic cable stations, but basic network television service that happens to be delivered over cable. I have this because it would actually be more expensive for me to just have Internet-only service due to Comcast’s wonderful love of bundles.
So clearly, we need some more competition for Internet services in my neighborhood and Google Fiber looks like the perfect candidate. And why might Google want to come to Boston? Well, we may not be Silicon Valley (or the Silicon Prairie in Kansas City, for that matter) but the Kendall Square area in Cambridge has a thriving biotech industry and both Google and Microsoft have opened up campuses there. Also, we’re kind of a big college town, if you haven’t heard. There’s Harvard, MIT, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, Suffolk University… basically, we’re loaded with learning institutions that would all absolutely love to have top-notch fiber connectivity for their students.
So how about it, Google? I know you’re still waiting to see how your Kansas City experiment is working out, but if it does well, how about giving Boston a look? I’ll take you to a Red Sox game and buy you a cup of chowder when you get here. Promise. It’ll be great.