It’s impossible to start a conversation about FTTP (Fiber To The Premises) companies without mentioning Google Fiber. For over a decade, the Alphabet affiliate has been building its name as an internet service provider supplying broadband internet services in select cities across the United States.
The company is top-rated for its fast internet, with remarkable speeds of 25Mbps for downloads and 3Mbps for uploads. It couldn’t get much better than this. Or could it?
Google Fiber Packages
Currently, Google Fiber offers two packages to pick from for their home fiber internet; the 1-Gig and 2-Gig options. While the 1-Gig option guarantees download speeds of 1Gbps, the 2-gig option grants you more incredible speeds of 2Gbps for downloads and 1Gbps for uploads.
Both routers come with a tri-band Mesh Extender supporting Wi-Fi 6, ensuring reliable, stable, and fast internet at all times. Undoubtedly, the existing Google Fiber packages are one of the best offered in the country.
However, the broadband service seeks to build on its successes and improve its internet’s speed and efficiency. Recently, the company announced plans to launch a new wave of symmetrical multi-Gigabit speed options with 5-Gig and 8-Gig packages. Google is expanding the availability of 5 and 8 Gig services to a significant number of their cities. This rollout includes the upcoming Google Fiber cities like West Des Moines, Des Moines, and Mesa, Arizona, where the infrastructure is being prepared to offer 5-Gig and 8-Gig speeds right from the initial stages of planning and development.
This announcement has sparked lots of curiosity amongst subscribers and prospective clients. Namely, what they would gain from the soon-to-be-rolled-out packages. Well, let’s find out.
5 Gig and 8 Gig Plans: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Download Speeds||5 Gbit/s||8 Gbits/s|
|Upload Speeds||5 Gbits/s||8Gbits/s|
|Latency||-1 ms||-1 ms|
|Storage Included||1 TB Google Drive||1 TB Google Drive|
|Equipment||Fiber JackGoogle Fiber Multi-Gig RouterTri-Band Wi-Fi Mesh Extender||Fiber JackGoogle Fiber Multi-Gig RouterTri-Band Wi-Fi Mesh Extender|
|Price||$125 per month||$150 per month|
History of 5 Gig
You may confuse Google Fiber’s soon-to-be-launched 5-Gig internet for the recently rolled out 5G internet, but the two are incredibly different. While they offer fast download and upload speeds, they represent two different technologies. 5G internet allows you to access the web through cellular data, while Google’s 5-Gig internet transmits data through fiber-optic cables.
The 5 Gig internet Google plans to supply starting early next year is the next generation of Gigabit internet. The multi-gig plan is an expansion and improvement of single-gigabit internet, which was first introduced in 1998 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Since the concept’s inception, it has undergone various improvements to increase speed and connectivity.
Initially, Gigabit Ethernet was distributed in fiber optic cables through high-capacity backbone network links that allowed for data exchange in specific computer networks. However, with the introduction of the 1000BASE-T connection, all computers could get on the web.
And with subsequent advancements in technology, single-gigabit internet was upgraded to multi-gig. The first multi-gig fiber internet was the 2 Gig internet that offered download speeds of 2Gbps.
Google Fiber is amongst the various companies supplying the 2 Gig fiber internet. They do so through their Wi-Fi 6-enabled home-installed routers, which give wireless access to the internet through their fiber optic cables.
However, major fiber service companies, such as AT&T, have since upgraded to 5 Gig fiber packages, providing incredible speed and stability. With the upgrade, users enjoy seamless surfing in their streaming, gaming, or downloading endeavors, as there is minimal latency. This is the service Google Fiber aims to give.
History of 8 Gig
With infrastructures such as optical network terminals and a network of dark fiber optic cables, it was only a matter of time before the 8 Gig internet was introduced. As plans to unveil the first 8 Gig service are underway, some players in the fiber internet service already supply 5 Gig internet services.
For most service providers, upgrading to greater speeds is just a matter of turning some switches and conducting a few software updates. However, although the mechanisms were available, it was not financially feasible for fiber companies to conduct the upgrade.
It would be expensive for them and prospective clients, who would be forced to pay top dollar for the services. At the time, most home fiber subscribers were content with the 1 Gig and 2 Gig packages’ speeds, so very few would be willing to pay an extra buck for faster speeds. The ones at their disposal worked sufficiently.
Demand for Fast Internet Speeds
However, the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic was a blessing in disguise for internet service providers. With lockdowns and several restrictions forcing people indoors, the demand for fast internet speeds was at an all-time high.
Even as the restrictions are waived, most people continue to work and learn remotely. This increases the number of devices connected to the internet in a household, as well as the need for a system to accommodate data use.
With these logistics, internet service providers like Google Fiber saw the need to provide faster internet speeds for their clients. It was necessary and would yield considerable returns as more people conducted their transactions online.
While most companies launching faster fiber internet speeds rolled out 5 Gig packages, Google Fiber is setting itself up to launch 8 Gig packages as well. With the needed fiber connection systems in place, the Alphabet affiliate is set to be the first 8 Gig internet service in the nation as it rolls out its package early next year.
Features of 5 Gig and 8 Gig
The most crucial factor to consider before settling on an internet service is its features. This lets you know what you are getting yourself into and what to expect from your ISP. With that said, as the latest generation of gigabit internet, 5 Gig and 8 Gig have contemporary features of fiber internet technology.
1. Fiber Optic Cables
This is the first prominent feature of both the 5-Gig and 8-Gig internet packages. The broadband connection is transmitted through fiber optic cables containing thin strands of glass that transmit data at 70% of the speed of light.
Although they may be directed into homes differently, the cables are often threaded through telephone lines and directed into each house individually, just like cable service TV.
Unlike standard cables, fiber optic cables are impervious to damage as they can withstand severe weather conditions and resist electrical interference. Consequently, you are unlikely to experience malware-related interferences with 5-Gig and 8-Gig internet.
To access 5-Gig and 8-Gig internet, you will need a fiber-ready router that acts as a gateway to the internet services. Most ISPs provide clients with routers during installation. These are compatible and designed to optimize the fiber connection they provide. However, some service providers require you to purchase the essential device.
Whether provided or purchased separately, routers in your 5-Gig and 8-Gig connection have a singular purpose: to create a wireless connection. Most, if not all, connections are wired to a Wi-Fi 6-enabled router. It optimizes speed and provides a greater range for your Wi-Fi connection.
Once installed, you can locate the Wi-Fi network on your device and enter the assigned password. Both the Wi-Fi name and passwords are customizable.
What’s the point of having an internet connection if its speed does not meet your requirements and needs? With a 5-Gig or 8-Gig connection, internet speeds are the least of your worries.
Both packages offer symmetrical speeds with minute latency. They allow users to connect multiple devices to the wireless connection and enjoy fast upload and download speeds. Whether you are gaming online, streaming music videos, or video chatting, you can count on a buffer-free internet connection.
You can bid farewell to dead zones and other impediments that get in the way of your connection. However, while both the 5-Gig and 8-Gig connections give you multiple access points and an impressive connection, there is a considerable difference in their speeds.
8-Gig packages are faster, with download speeds of up to 8000 megabits per second, while the 5-Gig packages have lower download speeds (up to 5000 megabits per second).
Nonetheless, with either package, everyone connected to the service could do what they want simultaneously and still enjoy the fast internet without additional equipment. The only limitation is the device you use.
5-Gig and 8-Gig Plans: Are They a Buy?
Now that you are up to speed with the features of the 5-Gig and 8-Gig packages, you may be wondering whether they are worth your money. Well, it all depends on your needs.
If you opt for the 8-Gig option, then you cannot compromise speed for your household’s connectivity needs. It provides the fastest and most reliable internet no matter how many people use the wireless connection. So, if you have a large family or more than ten devices, consider Google Fiber’s 8-Gig package.
However, if you don’t need such fast speeds, the 5-Gig package is a viable option. Better yet, you could stick to the available 1-Gig and 2-Gig packages.
Either way, it is paramount that you consider your internet needs. This will help ensure that you don’t incur unnecessary costs paying for internet speeds you do not need.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©sdx15/Shutterstock.com.