Google has begun to connect homes in Kansas City, delivering Google routers for high-speed Internet access, along with DVR boxes for those who choose Google TV. The company will give residents free Internet access at today's speeds, but charge $120 monthly for Internet Gigabit speeds. But by the time this service rolls out nationally, not many will have that option. Here's why.
The Google system uses the Nexus 7 tablet to control the television. Alana Karen explains how Google will complete the project in two phases as the company works through each neighborhood. First, the fiber will run from the street to the side of houses. Then someone will contact the homeowner to schedule an in-home installation in specific areas.
Web pages will continue to become more complicated and the use of images, moving graphics, and computer-generated animation made possible by a variety of technologies, such as HTML5, will require faster rendering, ad serving and refresh speeds.
Similar to the way that Google engineers describe the process in several of its patent applications, the act of browsing the Web is not instantaneous. High-speed Internet access may limit this delay to a few seconds, and even a delay of a few seconds can add up to thousands of man-hours of lost time each year.
Free Internet access at today's speeds will work for now, but as online technology, shareable and viewable content and ads become more sophisticated, consumers will need faster Internet speeds to keep up with the flow of innovation. And, yes -- it gives Google a complete picture of consumers in specific geographic areas to target ads via computer, smartphone and TV.
Today, I use Verizon FiOS -- but tomorrow, perhaps Google fiber. At least give it a try. I've struggled for about a year on how to lower my Internet and TV bill, just short of pulling the plug on the TV. I don't watch a lot of TV; maybe an hour or two weekly. So marketers looking to target consumers like me with ads will need to look online.
A few weeks ago I bought an indoor antenna to see if I could live without broadcast TV. I have a couple of TVs hooked into an Xbox 360 and Google TV. Each provides access to the Internet, so I temporarily pulled the plugs on my Verizon FiOS boxes and for a week accessed broadcast TV through rabbit ears, Google TV and Xbox 360.
It worked. The rabbit ears gave me a handful of channels, enough to become briefly entertained and check the news. Not having an app that takes me directly from Google's dashboard to a publisher's site to watch videos of shows run became a little cumbersome. On Tuesday, Google introduced voice search for Google TV. Maybe that will help.
Apparently, lots of consumers have a similar idea, because FiOS prices for Internet access in my area continually rise to compensate for the dropped TV and landline services.