This week during the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference, Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette revealed that the company is currently working on technology that will enable faster data transfer speeds over the Internet than what's currently offered on Google Fiber, which is 1 gigabyte per second. Google is shooting for 10 gigabytes per second, or 10 Gbps.
This makes perfect sense. Google provides software as a service (SaaS) such as Gmail, Google Drive and so on, which is basically cloud-based on-demand software. The faster the speeds, the more these types of services will be used, and the larger the data will become. All this cloud-based software will eventually become the norm, and will rely on super-fast data streams like Google Fiber and beyond.
"That's where the world is going. It's going to happen," Pichette said. "[It may happen over a decade, but] why wouldn't we make it available in three years? That's what we're working on. There's no need to wait."
Currently, consumers really don't need a 1 Gbps connection. Netflix alone only requires 5 to 7 Mbps to stream Super HD, 6 to 12 Mbps to stream 3D, and around 15 Mbps for 4K video. "It's not too bad. If you've got a 50-megabit connection you'll be fine," says Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
Google isn't the only company with a need for more speed. A team of UK researchers revealed in 2013 that they achieved wireless data transmission speeds of 10 Gbps using "Li-Fi," a networking technology that relies on light. Using a micro-LED light bulb, the scientists managed to transmit 3.5 Gbps across each primary color: Yellow, Red and Blue.
Currently, Google Fiber is available in Kansas City, and there are plans to build "Fiberhoods" in Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah.
Google provides three plans to choose from: Free Internet with a basic DSL-like connection, Gigabit Internet for $70 per month, and Gigabit + TV for $120 per month. Both paid plans provide 1 TB of cloud storage across Gmail, Drive and Google Plus. However, the Gigabit + TV package includes a Nexus 7 tablet, a set-top box, a digital video storage box, and a router, or "Network Box." This plan also requires a 2-year contract.