Google Fiber can’t come soon enough. From Quartz:
All of which helps explain why the price of cable TV is holding steady in the US, while internet bills rise. Take a look at Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second-largest cable company (behind Comcast, which is attempting to acquire it). For its residential customers, the average monthly cost of TV service is $76.08, just a dollar more than it was two years ago. But internet service prices are up 21% over the same period, to an average of $47.30 a month.
The rising price of internet service could have something to do with more customers eschewing cable TV service in favor of internet-only/streaming (thus, justifying a jump to a more expensive, higher-bandwidth tier). But my own experience demonstrates the cable companies aren’t too motivated to extended the attractive promotional pricing they offer for the first year of service. And with the FCC recently voting to change the definition of broadband, it’s going to be an interesting couple of years on the broadband front.
A few weeks ago, my Internet Service Provider sent me a letter informing me that the special price I was paying for 50 megabit per second download speed was about to expire. Not to worry, the letter went on, because even though I would be paying $30 per month more for service unless I downgraded, I was still saving $9/month … off the regular price1 of service. What a gift.
This morning, Google officially unveiled plans to bring their fiber-optic gigabit internet service to the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area, as well as a few other cities. The announcement comes just shy of one year after announcing their selection of Raleigh-Durham as a target city, proving that as exciting as the news is, change is not going to happen quickly. In other words, I’m stuck with my scumbag of an ISP for a while yet, but I can at least be optimistic about the future of this first world problem2. And I don’t have to put all of my eggs3 in the Google basket, as AT&T and Frontier are making moves in the area as well.
It goes without saying that this is great for the area and it certainly can’t hurt our chances for continued growth. The build-out will be slow, but the reward should be great. It’s easy to overstate, but I think there is substance here – this has the potential to impact and transform the Triangle in many positive ways. Be excited, Triangle, this is a big win for Tobacco Road.
Photo Credit: Google Fiber