Can Cities Wait Until 2084 for Google Fiber?

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Technology is becoming the new religion, and the dogma is just as impenetrable. Issues of personal privacy, social equality, and economic policy are each day bound tighter to outcomes in the digital world.

As technology becomes a progressively more integral part of daily life, the stakes are raised in equal measure.

The broadband market is changing quickly, and America’s emotional investment in tomorrow’s winners and losers grows ever more entrenched. Google is disrupting the increasingly concentrated broadband market with Fiber, a brand of gigabit networks being built in Kansas City; Austin, Texas; and Provo, Utah.

Being an innovative tech giant, flush with cash, and also a newcomer to the broadband market is allowing Google to play by a different set of rules, and the existing providers are paying close attention. Fiber offers customers connection speeds sometimes 150 times faster than what they were getting, and at just $70 a month. The idea of being freed from the incumbent providers has captured the attention of the public at large, as thousands beg for Google to build in their cities.

In February, Google announced 34 cities where Fiber may build next, but experts are unsure of Google’s commitment to becoming a force that does more than just agitate the market. In the few areas Google does operate, though, they are forcing competition where previously there was none, and that was probably Google’s intention from the start, Mastrangelo said.

“That’s why Google excites people -- it gives them a choice and a really fantastic service,” she said. “It’s something that isn’t available from the competition, so they have a tremendous competitive advantage in the markets that they’ve entered.”

Can Cities Wait Until 2084 for Google Fiber?