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Google Fiber early review: Download speeds approach 200Mbps; not perfect but still ‘outstanding’

July 31st, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Dave Greenbaum of GigaOm this week spent some time in Kansas City to get a first-hand look at Google (GOOG) Fiber in action, and found that while the service has flaws, it’s “outstanding” overall. In fact, the major flaws with the service mostly boiled down to the current limits of other technologies. For example, Greenbaum noted that current Wi-Fi standards such as 802.11n aren’t anywhere near up to snuff when it comes to transmitting data at Google Fiber speeds and Greenbaum found that he got much faster service over a wired Fiber connection (around 176Mbps download speeds) than a wireless connection (around 42Mbps download speeds).

Another issue Greenbaum encountered was that while Google Fiber is designed to transmit data at speeds of up to 1Gbps, most servers aren’t designed to come anywhere near those speeds and thus inhibit the fiber network’s potential. What’s more, Greenbaum found that some prospective Google Fiber TV customers were annoyed that the television service wouldn’t be offering certain key channels such as Disney, Comedy Central and ESPN.

Some prospective customers also griped that Google Fiber didn’t provide landline IP telephone service similar to what is currently offered by cable companies.

All that said, Greenbaum said he was “delighted [Google and Google Fiber] have bucked the trend against slow speeds and obnoxious bandwidth caps” that have become popular with many ISPs and said that Google Fiber “looks to be an outstanding service for Kansas City.”


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