Google Fiber is officially coming to Austin, Texas, giving people yet another reason to want to live in the edgy city. Google has not yet revealed the rollout schedule, but don't let that fool you--they'll likely be splitting the city up into different "Fiberhoods" like what happened in Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri in order to gauge the areas of highest interest. Google Fiber offers 1 Gbps broadband Internet, television service, and phone service through a direct fiber to the home connection. This marks the thirs city that Google Fiber is making an appearance in, as Google's Eric Schmidt recently said that Fiber is a "real business"--here's hoping we see quick expansion to additional neighborhoods in the US.
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At the NCTA Conference in Chicago, Roberts characterized the demonstration as the next generation of Xfinity, the company's hybrid cable-based video/phone/data service. The company launched it two years ago as "Project Infinity".
First, however, Roberts showed off the future of the Comcast interface.
"What I want to show you today is not the future, but right here, right now," Roberts said, showing off the "Xcalibur" interface that is currently in trials in Augusta, Georgia.
Xcalibur is based on cloud computing - not clpoud storage, but cloud-computing. The guide actually resides in the cloud, Roberts said. Users can see a traditional channel view, or view programs by genre or for different users. An On Demand view also uses a similar format. The Xcalibur's new remote also uses RF technology, which is not limited by line of sight. Users can also type in "HBO" using numbers - like a phone number - and pulls in additional information via the cloud.
Oh, hello there, crazy drool-worthy and inexpensive ultra high-speed Internet from Google! Yeah, that’s right, Google is looking to launch an experimental, ultra high-speed broadband network in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We are talking about Gigiabit fiber to the home speeds here. The only thing that currently comes close is Verizon FiOS, and their current download speed tops out at 50 megabits per second. Gigabit would be 1000 megabits (or, 128 MB) per second, which is just insultingly fast. Even better? They want to launch it at inexpensive prices in the launch/test cities. So, why would they do this, and what would be the benefit?
First, competition. Google wants to bring the price down while bringing the service level up, and they are putting their money where their mouth is and challenging other ISPs right on their home turf. If you had a choice between crazy-fast Google Internet and sucky Comcast, you’d likely end up going with Google in a heartbeat, since it’s like 200x faster, and less expensive. Second, Google is getting into the web apps business hard. It would be ideal for them for web applications and native desktop applications to have no difference in speed, and you can bet that they’d be deploying these tests to optimize the hell out of their web app products. Make no mistake, they want Google Docs to run just as fast in your browser as Microsoft Word runs when you launch it on your local machine.
We love this, and despite having a 50/20 FiOS connection, we want it badly. Google, bring this to Seattle, k?
Read More | Google Fiber for Communities