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Google Fiber Moving to Austin, TX May Reignite the Next Videoconferencing Boom.

April 10, 2013 | Joshua Parker


At this point, most people have heard of Google's 1Gbs Google Fiber service. With their first successful deployment in Kansas City completed, they have made the decision to expand. Austin, TX here comes Google. As they announce the move to Austin TX they have internet providers trembling. Similar to T-Mobile's new approach that is shaking the cell phone market, Google is shaking the Internet market.�

T-Mobile's CEO John Legere was quoted saying "Stop the Bullsh*t" in the direction of Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. The top four cell phone service providers have had a long history of providing limited service speeds at a costly inflating rate. Standard economics should allow the prices to go down after the technology grows old but we are failing to see this happen.

The same monopoly styled model is unfortunately used in the Internet providing arena by internet giants Verizon, Comcast and Cox. While many cities have only one choice for Internet service (which leaves no room for competition) other cities have inflated pricing, especially in larger cities that have multiple markets. Inflated pricing limits business options for internet service and will often result in subpar speeds provided by low quality providers.�

In 2014 Google will be in Austin TX. Yesterday, moments after Google made their announcement, AT&T announced they too will be in Austin and will be providing the same speed of service at the same price. This is the revolution that consumers have been waiting for. With Google Fiber being more readily available, the Internet giants will quickly be losing the millions of customers that have made them billions of dollars, and they know they have change to keep up.�

Video steaming services like Netflix and Hulu provide services that (with sufficient bandwidth available) can easily start competing with the TV services sold by today's internet providers. This means that these providers have good reason to not provide fast or cheap internet. Fast/Cheap internet means consumers may choose to watch their favorite TV shows over the internet, and cut back on their cable TV packages. A great example of how this change is in effect is the recent news of broadcasters going to Washington to fight against the new startup Aereo which provides streaming TV service from scooping up the free signals that are distributed in the local areas of most metropolitan cities.

As our society is moving to a new era that embraces streaming video services like Netflix and constantly uses video calling service like Facetime and Skype, our existing internet bandwidth is quickly being maxed out and providing little room for other internet based activities. Businesses deal with the same issue. Many of the higher end videoconferencing systems support up to 1080p resolution, which can requires over 2Gbps+ internet speeds up and down. This alone almost maxes out the typical connection, and is out of the question for low bandwidth environments. Now imagine supporting two connections at this speed while trying to run a VOIP phone system, or other bandwidth intensive business applications. This unfortunately can result in a poor quality video experience, as well as impacting other business internet traffic.�

With quicker internet speeds, like Google Fiber, being provided at a cost that is extremely competitive, more consumers and businesses will have access to speeds that will easily support multiple 1080p calls simultaneously with plenty of speed to spare. Many videoconferencing providers are already able to provide 1080p resolution at 60fps and are currently available to businesses and consumers, with affordable quality bandwidth, businesses may be able to fully utilize these cutting edge solutions without requiring expensive QoS support."

The quality videoconferencing technology we have long waited for is available today. In addition, the quality bandwidth required to fully support it is available and will soon be at a price point that any consumer or business can access. As more and more people use Facetime and Skype in their homes they will feel more and more comfortable using similar services in the office. This will allow businesses to finally enjoy the productivity and engagement benefits of ubiquitous face to face communication with co-workers, partners, and clients.

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