Google Fiber experiment takes cable and cost by surprise
Google, always on top of their game, experiments with cable television start-up, but not without a hefty pricetag.
Don't jump the gun just yet. Google Fiber is still in its infancy. Even so, it's gushing with Google goodness. Features? Check. Speed? Check. Extras? Check. Google Fiber is impressive right from the get-go: installation. The installation technicians give you an exact time that they will be there to set up. Rather, you give them an exact time that works for you, and voila. No more "window waiting." In other words, no more having to take off the whole day of work because the technicians might come at 8 a.m or they might come at 2 p.m. or anywhere in between. Precision of time. Isn't that just grand?
As you would expect, Google Fiber includes regular television, as well as several features that seem standard with many cable boxes nowadays, i.e. DVR functionality. We can't miss another episode of the best season of our favorite show! All of this at a speed that's about 80 times faster than regular cable now, namely 1 Gbps! And get this: no extra fees to watch HD. With live TV, On-Demand, Internet content, DVR, Bluetooth capability, and a very unique remote, Google Fiber looks solid!
So what is this remote? It's just a Nexus 7 tablet, is all! It's free with a two year contract, but that's well worth it because not only do you get a tablet, you get to use it with the Fiber cable box. That's quite refreshing with the minimization of funky buttons on "analog" remotes.
There's some good news and some bad news. The bad news is, it's not readily available anywhere but 2 cities. The good news is that you can visit the Google Fiber page to see what cities are on the "Coming Next" list, to stay up-to-date, and see some other cool things offered like the Network Box.
Does this sound too good to be true? Goldman Sachs had something to remark on this, specifically that Google Fiber was a costly endeavor. In fact, it would alledgedly cost more than what Google currently has. What are those figures, you ask? Google has around the likes of $45b, as per its Financial Tables. According to a report by GS, this experiment runs in the ballpark over triple that, at about $140 billion. GS Telco analyst Jason Armstrong stated in the report that "…if Google devoted 25% of its $4.5b annial capex to this project, it could equip 830k homes per year, or 0.7% of US households. As such, even a 50mn househould build out, which would represent less than half of all US homes, could cost as much as $70bn.
Even though only two cities are available, Google has to start somewhere. The "Coming Next" list is a good sign! The Sachs report continued, "[G]oing direct to consumers with internet connectivity and video distribution could give Google the potential to become the end user's sole channel for media consumption." All in all, Google's latest experiment will only serve as an enthralling challenge for them.