Google announced last October that they would be beta testing their Google Fiber initiative in a small residential neighborhood affiliated with Stanford University, and one lucky Redditor posted the results. The service is being provided free to the faculty and staff of Stanford that live just off campus and the speeds are mostly unheard of in this country. This beta test, of course, comes ahead of the roll-out of their Kansas City experiment in 1 Gbps fiber internet service. Speedtest results linked and pictured below for you to drool over. 

Source: Reddit




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  • Spivonious - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    I may be wrong, but isn't it government-subsidized too?

    I'd love to see speeds like this across the U.S., but I don't see a demand for them. The real future is 4G LTE. Putting up a tower is a lot easier than running fiber in the ground.
  • kxp - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    Sorry to burst your bubble but LTE isn't actually 4G. LTE-Advanced is and that is still under developement. LTE is the closest they've come so far to achieving real 4G.

    Unfortuanately most US carriers are used to lying to their customers and brand even HSPA+ and CDMA as 4G.

    According to the standard, to be certified as 4G you need to have 1GBps for stationeri clients and 100Mbps for moving clients. Those are theoretical speeds of course.

    The other thing about 4G is that it costs too much to spread to rural areas. The demand is too low for an investment of this size.
    For the part that small countries are easier to cover - they're actually not. The technology and the investment is quite big for newer tech and clients aren't really keen on paying it. Bigger networks have more money to spend and test out new technologies. What's harder for them is to have enaugh stability in the system to support all of the load that clients can and probably will make.
  • TheMouse - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - link

    You're misinformed. LTE (and WIMAX for that matter) is indeed 4G. Reply
  • Conficio - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    And what do you think does the back haul to those towers? You guessed it, it is fiber.

    LTE and other wireless technologies is only for the last mile access. And it can't compete with fiber in terms of capacity. Not by a long shot, unless you give up the enormous spectrum allocated to radio/TV and the military. And even then there is a limit.
  • jbooth - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    While the point about most countries in europe being sized like individual US states, that doesn't address why even reasonably sized cities here have such terrible broadband. It isn't like I live in a po-dunk town (100k+ pop) but large parts of this community don't even have more than a single broadband option (bombcast). In theory ATT/SBC was doing uverse, but it seems that was only for the parts of town already serviced by their DSL and they're missing my neighborhood... despite it being built in the late 60s.

    Too bad we lost out on the google fibre bid.
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    There is also a lot bigger market in US. US is a lot more densely lived (especially big cities) compared to Scandinavia so putting fiber in big cities shouldn't be a problem. Fiber is only available in big cities here in Finland (and mainly on new buildings), so it's not like we all have fiber. I'm still using 10Mb/s ADSL even though I live in Helsinki (the capital of Finland).

    I think it's more about overall network scheme in US. From what I have heard, there is less competition (e.g. one ISP owns this are and the other owns that area) in the US, given that you still have those ridiculous data caps and hefty prices. When there is no competition, the ISP can do whatever they want and in this case, they have no need to install fiber as people will be staying as their customers anyway. No competition, no innovative services.

    It is true that our governments have supported the fiber program though.
  • ajp_anton - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    I never understood the size argument. If it's so "easy" to get fast internet in a small country, wouldn't it also be easy to do it in one state? And by extension all or most states "individually"?
    Not to mention individual cities. Sweden and Finland combined have the same amount of people as Los Angeles.
  • Exodite - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    The US is about ~22 times larger than Sweden, talking about surface area, while enjoying ~33 times the population.

    Any argument regarding population density is thus nonsensical, though I can understand why it's popular.

    Fiber in Sweden isn't government subsidized per see, though a lot of the initial infrastructure that were built for SUNET (the Swedish University NETwork) were obviously done with government money since the universities are state-funded.

    What's happening is that cities and individual companies owning/renting housing are building fiber into the apartments and leasing out the actual management to existing ISPs.

    For example, the company who rents out my apartment provides 10 Mbit fiber as part of the basic package (along with water, garbage collection etc.) and I can choose between 7 different ISPs when it comes to upgrading the service. Currently enjoying 100 Mbit for 69 SEK a month (~11 USD).

    It's a great system since it means ISPs don't have to lay down their own fiber out to each end-user but can focus on management and service.

    Since the fiber is dug down and installed en masse it also keep the pricing down.
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    It's actually different here in Finland. With ADSL, I can get the ISP of my choice because the lanes are not owned by any specific ISP. However, with fiber, the fiber is usually owned and installed by a specific ISP.

    They do this because if I have ISP A atm and have no reason to change (ADSL prices are fairly similar), the ISP B can install fiber and thus get me as their customer (higher speed + cheaper bill = nobody will refuse).
  • Exodite - Monday, August 22, 2011 - link

    As long as ISPs don't try to force higher prices I suppose that could work out as well.

    Are ISPs mandated to share their infrastructure with others, for fair rates, in Finland as well?

    That particular rule sets a precedent that discourages price inflation as well I'd say.

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