Remember how revolutionary the 56 kbit/s modem was for its time? Well, maybe some of you don’t, but I can still hear the distinctive dial-up sounds. It’s more of a trauma than anything… as if you were in a war, and heard a gunshot many years later. It’s a sound you don’t forget. In other words, I can’t say I miss them, or look back fondly on the days of slow page loads, constant disconnects, or ridiculous storage cost per megabyte. There wasn’t even an auto-resume for downloading files, which seemed to always get hung up on the last little bit, before in a fit of rage, you reset your connection and tried again. All these things just added to the mounting stress and anxiety experienced in wishing your computer kept up with the tasks at hand. Then came DSL, at speeds 50 times faster than dial-up, with cable soon following at maximum speeds of 30 Mbps. Most of us are more than happy with even a third of that, but why is this so? Why is it we settle for less, when we can have more? So much more!
It seems to me, it’s not often we hit the ceiling cap for download speeds these days, aside from a few of us that push the limits. Websites in the days of dial-up lived within their means, or at least tried to, in order to keep the end-user relatively sane. With DSL and Cable, more and more sites began to implement a barrage of new code, such as Java, C#, PHP, Python, and even the ill-fated Flash. We all enjoy and are happy with streaming content from YouTube and Netflix, albeit a little choppy and pixelated at times. But all in all, we are happy with the status quo because the content providers try to maintain our sanity.
Now comes the interesting part: Google Fiber. With speeds of up to 1 Gbps for both download and upload, what will the new internet look like? There are bound to be changes in the aesthetics of our online life… maybe it’s time for virtual reality to come in. With this high of a data transfer rate, things can get really interesting.
Here is a quick summary of the future, which is closer than you think:
The Full Google Experience
Experience the Internet like never before. Instant downloads. Crystal clear HDTV. And endless possibilities.
Up to one gigabit upload & download speed • Full channel TV lineup • 2 year contract • No data caps
Nexus 7 tablet • 1 TV Box • Storage Box • Network Box • 1TB Google Drive • $120/mo + taxes and fees
source: Google Fiber
What I find really interesting about this, aside from the awesome bundled gear, is that Google is now competing as a service provider. You hear a lot of talk about how Amazon and Netflix are trying to wrestle away customers from cable providers, but Google is the one that has a real edge here. Unfortunately, the service is only available in cities within the Kansas and Missouri states… for now…