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Yet another hugely important reason Google Fiber is better than your broadband service

Zach Epstein
May 22nd, 2014 at 9:05 AM
Google Fiber Fast Lanes

Say what you want about Google being “evil” — I, for one, love how evil Google is — but the company has repeatedly shown us that its high-speed Internet service, Google Fiber, is quite possibly the least “evil” option in the country. In the two markets with access to Google Fiber, Google offers three tiers of home broadband service: 5Mbps/1Mbps service for free (that’s right, free Internet), 1Gbps service for $70 per month, and 1Gbps service with 150 TV channels for $120 per month.

Compared to widely available packages from leading ISPs and pay TV companies, those rates are amazing. And now, in light of the net neutrality issues that have reemerged in recent months, we have yet another reason Google Fiber is better than your current broadband service.

The FCC recently voted to move forward with its controversial new net neutrality plan, and it is already ruining the Internet. If they’re made into law, they will likely ruin the Internet at a shocking pace.

In a nutshell, the new “net neutrality” guidelines allow ISPs to create fast lanes that service providers can pay a premium for, thus giving their services a huge advantage over the services offered by their smaller rivals.

Here’s how you can fight the FCC’s new net neutrality proposal, if you’re so inclined.

In a blog post on Wednesday evening, Google decided that it was a good time to remind the public that it does not employ the fast lane business model. It also doesn’t charge for peering, the interconnection process that a few ISPs recently forced Netflix to pay a “ransom” for. What’s more, the post suggest that Google has no plans to engage in either practice moving forward.

“So that your video doesn’t get caught up in this possible congestion, we invite content providers to hook up their networks directly to ours. This is called ‘peering,’ and it gives you a more direct connection to the content that you want,” Google Fiber Director of Network Engineering Jeffrey Burgan wrote.

He continued, “We have also worked with services like Netflix so that they can ‘colocate’ their equipment in our Fiber facilities. What does that mean for you? Usually, when you go to Netflix and click on the video that you want to watch, your request needs to travel to and from the closest Netflix data center, which might be a roundtrip of hundreds or thousands of miles. Instead, Netflix has placed their own servers within our facilities (in the same place where we keep our own video-on-demand content). Because the servers are closer to where you live, your content will get to you faster and should be a higher quality.”

Burgan went on to explain that Google Fiber gives companies access to space in its facilities for free, in order to help provide its customers with the best possible service. “We don’t make money from peering or colocation; since people usually only stream one video at a time, video traffic doesn’t bog down or change the way we manage our network in any meaningful way — so why not help enable it?” Burgan wrote.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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