Earlier this year Google Fiber announced plans to expand its high-speed Internet offering into four new cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham. This is fantastic news for businesses in general, particularly those that are making web-based communications and cloud applications an essential part of their core business, and we are fortunate to have a heavy footprint across these markets.
One of the biggest challenges facing tech-focused businesses across the country has been a lack of choice when it comes to selecting a broadband internet service provider. According to FCC data from 2013, 55% of the population has no choice whatsoever in their broadband provider. Unsurprisingly, the FCC and Justice Department stepped forward earlier this year to block the proposed tie-up between Comcast and Time Warner Cable that would have moved that figure upwards of 66%.
As with Google’s previous expansion into Kansas City and Austin, the incumbent service providers are making network upgrades of their own and responding with higher bandwidths and lower pricing. We have already seen XO and Comcast respond with service and pricing enhancements in the Nashville market, and Time Warner Cable is actively doing the same thing in Charlotte.
Building out fiber-based networks is expensive, and Google is one of the few companies with enough cash to build its own broadband service. We applaud them for their long-term vision and commitment to making the web faster and better for everyone. Whether Google Fiber ultimately makes money is yet to be seen, but the fact that they are putting pressure on the incumbent ISPs to make enhancements and deliver more bandwidth for each dollar is fantastic news for businesses and consumers alike. Competition at work can be a beautiful thing.