Google Fiber web evaluate: Honest pricing for a premium service


Julie Denesha/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photos

I dwell in a metropolis the place Google Fiber is out there, although I’ve by no means had the chance to join service. Protection in my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, was mild earlier than enlargement got here to an abrupt halt in 2016, however now that enlargement is again in full power, and I am holding onto hope that Google Fiber will ultimately come to my neighborhood. I will join it if it does, as a result of the worth is simply too good to cross up.

Once I say “worth,” I am not essentially speaking about low-cost web. In reality, Google Fiber has one of many highest beginning costs of any prime ISP. You get what you pay for, nonetheless, as speeds begin at 1,000 megabits per second, aka gigabit service. Add within the widespread customer-friendly perks like limitless information and no contract necessities — in addition to free tools rental, an unusual one — and the premium value turns into extra justified, the worth extra obvious.

Do not Like

  • Just one, possibly two plan choices
  • Lowest beginning worth $70/mo.
  • A lot of room to develop

As one who appreciates high-speed web and is prepared to pay somewhat extra for it, I might say Google Fiber is certainly price trying out. Few fiber suppliers, if any, can match Google Fiber’s pace potential, not to mention service from cable or DSL suppliers. You will need to take into account greater than pace on the subject of purchasing for web service in your space, although, so here is a full rundown of what you may count on from Google Fiber. We even have the way it compares to different ISPs that will help you decide if the service is true to your residence.

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FCC/Mapbox

Google Fiber availability

Google Fiber’s availability is nowhere close to rival fiber suppliers like AT&T, Verizon Fios and even CenturyLink, however the supplier does supply service in some pretty giant metro areas. Kansas Metropolis and Huntsville, Alabama have the best Google Fiber protection, however service may also be present in elements of Orange County, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte and the Raleigh/Durham space of North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Austin and San Antonio, Texas; Salt Lake Metropolis and Provo, Utah; and coming quickly to West Des Moines, Iowa.

Availability doubled from 2016 to 2020

The listing of cities the place Google Fiber is out there is rising, as is the provision in markets the place Google Fiber is at present out there. CNET’s Ry Crist touched on Google Fiber’s enlargement in his breakdown of the latest FCC information, noting that the supplier’s buyer base elevated by 100% from 2016 to 2020, greater than some other supplier.

Admittedly, that enhance introduced Google Fiber’s nationwide protection up from a paltry 0.46% to 0.98%, so it is nonetheless out there to lower than 1% of U.S. residents. That mentioned, the expansion is spectacular and the speedy enlargement continues. A Google Fiber spokesperson tells CNET that the corporate is “constructing in all current markets” and “constructed extra in 2021 than any 12 months beforehand.”

Moreover (and inspiring to a suburbanite like myself), Google Fiber is displaying indicators of enlargement outdoors metropolis limits. For instance, Google Fiber is about to develop into Harmony and Matthews, North Carolina, two Charlotte suburbs I’d not have anticipated to be eligible. I am nonetheless ready for Google Fiber to achieve me somewhat additional south of Charlotte, but when it is out there in your space or the place you are transferring to, here is what you may count on so far as plans and repair particulars are involved.

Quick, however restricted, plan choices

Google Fiber comes with two plan choices: quick (1 Gig, 1Gbps) or tremendous quick (2 Gigs, 2Gbps). Whereas gig service is widespread from fiber suppliers and most cable suppliers, Xfinity is the one different main supplier to supply 2Gbps service. And in that case, it is solely out there to a small fraction of subscribers. 

Choose cities — particularly Chicago, Denver, Miami, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle — have entry to Google Webpass, a high-speed mounted wi-fi web service much like Starry Web. There’s just one plan out there with Google Webpass (gigabit service), however cheaper pricing could also be out there in case your constructing’s community cannot help gigabit speeds.

Google Fiber plans

Plan Month-to-month worth Max speeds Tools value Knowledge cap Contract
1 Gig $70/mo. 1,000Mbps obtain, 1,000Mbps add None None None
2 Gig $100/mo. 2,000Mbps obtain, 1,000 Mbps add None None None
Google Webpass $70/mo. or $63/mo. with a yearly plan 1,000Mbps obtain, 1,000Mbps add None None None

Extra, and cheaper, plan choices can be good (Google Fiber beforehand provided a 100Mbps plan for $50 per 30 days) however I’ve to confess I like that gig service is the baseline. As streaming in HD and 4K turn out to be the norm and we’re connecting all the pieces from smartphones and tablets to audio system, thermostats and a plethora of different gadgets to the web, plans with speeds round and under 100Mbps have gotten much less sensible, even when they’re simpler on the price range.

Going again to worth, Google Fiber plans are literally higher priced than most, though no “low-cost” possibility is out there. At $70 per 30 days, Google Fiber’s gig service is priced decrease than Verizon Fios and cable suppliers comparable to Cox, Spectrum and Xfinity. Then there’s the $100 per 30 days 2 Gigs plan, which continues to be cheaper than what some suppliers cost for single gig service. As I discussed above, the one different main supplier to supply 2Gbps service is Xfinity and it comes with a hefty price ticket of round $300.

indicator of worth is value per Mbps, which you will discover for any web plan by dividing the month-to-month value by the max speeds. Google Fiber’s 1 Gig plan begins at $70 per 30 days for speeds as much as 1,000Mbps, which involves an estimated value per Mbps of $0.07. The two Gigs plan is even decrease at $0.05 per Mbps. A sub-dime value per Mbps is commonly an incredible web deal, and the price per Mbps of each Google Fiber plans is on par with or decrease than most suppliers at any pace tier.

Easy pricing with no added charges

Google Fiber would not have introductory pricing, which suggests you do not have to fret a few looming worth enhance after 12 months. That is to not say the worth won’t ever go up, however there is no assure that it’s going to after a sure variety of months. Moreover, Google Fiber plans include limitless information (so no overage charges) and no contracts with a required service size (so no early termination charges). Limitless information and no contracts are pretty widespread amongst ISPs, however there are some big-name suppliers that can require a contract to get the bottom pricing or tack on $50 or extra in overage charges for exceeding your information restrict.

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Google Fiber

No tools prices, even for mesh Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi 6 routers

Google Fiber’s 1 Gig plan comes with a Wi-Fi router and as much as two entry factors, which lengthen the vary and protection of Wi-Fi service all through your house, as much as round 3,000 sq. ft. For those who want extra protection, you should buy extra entry factors for $100 every. You even have the choice to make use of your personal router, however seeing as how Google Fiber contains one at no further value, I am unable to think about why you’d need to except you want a top-of-the-line router for critical gaming or different specialised makes use of.

The two Gig plan comes with a Multi-Gig Wi-Fi 6 router, which is the newest out there Wi-Fi know-how and estimated to be roughly 30% sooner than the earlier Wi-Fi iteration. The know-how is thrilling, however Wi-Fi routers is usually a bit dear, so it is good that Google Fiber contains one at no further value. Like with the 1 Gig plan, Wi-Fi extenders are included if wanted to make sure whole-home Wi-Fi protection. There isn’t any possibility to make use of your personal tools with the two Gig plan, however the system ought to be greater than appropriate for virtually any customary residence web use.

How does Google Fiber stack up?

If Google Fiber is out there in your space, it is possible to imagine you even have a cable supplier and presumably even one other fiber supplier out there at your handle. In that case, you may need to know the way Google Fiber compares.

In comparison with different fiber suppliers — or actually any ISPs — Google Fiber goes to have the next beginning worth. You will discover decrease month-to-month beginning costs from AT&T Fiber ($35), CenturyLink ($50), Frontier FiberOptic ($50) and Verizon Fios ($40) however once more it’s price noting that these cheaper plans include considerably decrease speeds. If these speeds, usually round 200 to 300Mbps are ample to your family, a less expensive plan like what’s out there from AT&T or Verizon Fios could also be your greatest wager. 

For those who’re excited about gig service, Google Fiber goes to be powerful to beat. Beginning pricing for Google Fiber’s gig service is a contact decrease than Frontier and Verizon (each are round $80 per 30 days) and although it is somewhat increased than AT&T and CenturyLink (each round $65 per 30 days), the free tools rental that comes with Google Fiber nonetheless makes it a greater worth in the long run. You additionally will not discover 2Gbps service out there from the opposite large fiber suppliers.

The identical benefits and drawbacks of Google Fiber versus different fiber suppliers are largely relevant when evaluating Google Fiber to cable web service. You are going to get extra plan choices with cable web, together with a couple of cheaper, however slower, plan choices and a relatively priced gig plan. 

The most important distinction between Google Fiber and cable web can be your add speeds and connection high quality. Fiber web usually delivers symmetrical add and obtain speeds, or within the case of Google Fiber’s 2 Gig plan, max add speeds of 1,000Mbps in comparison with max obtain speeds of two,000Mbps (which continues to be ridiculously quick). Add speeds with cable web prime out at round 50Mbps, so you will not get wherever close to the identical add speeds — that are very important to working and studying from residence — with cable web service. The connection high quality that comes with a fiber connection can also be usually higher than a cable one, which will be inclined to slowed speeds as a consequence of community congestion, particularly throughout peak utilization instances. 

What do prospects consider Google Fiber?

Google Fiber is not particularly included with the American Buyer Satisfaction Index nationwide studies (it is grouped in with “All Others”), however that is to not say prospects didn’t share their suggestions with the ACSI. 

In line with a Google Fiber spokesperson, the corporate partnered individually with the ACSI to get a gauge on buyer satisfaction and the way it compares to the nationwide figures. The outcome? Google Fiber reportedly ranked No. 1 in 17 classes, together with Buyer Satisfaction, Perceived Worth, Safety of the Wi-Fi Connection, Reliability of Service and Perceived Total High quality in 2020. 

Diving somewhat deeper, I turned to the Higher Enterprise Bureau to research the variety of complaints, if any, prospects had filed in opposition to Google Fiber. There have been over 2,000 complaints filed throughout the final 12 months alone, however as I waded via them, I discovered that the overwhelming majority of them have been in reference to different Google providers, comparable to YouTube Premium and Google Advertisements, Google gadgets, or issues with digital content material and merchandise purchases. I could not discover a single criticism particularly referring to Google Fiber filed within the earlier two months.

Downdetector.com signifies that service points aren’t fully extraordinary, however they appear pretty few and much between. Thus far, there have been two reported points in September, however solely 4 whole in August, none in any respect your complete month of July and just one in June.

The underside line

For those who’ve acquired the necessity for pace, there’s maybe no higher supplier than Google Fiber — if, that’s, service is out there in your space. Google Fiber has a number of the greatest pricing on gig service and is the one main supplier with a fairly priced 2Gbps plan. Favorable service phrases comparable to free tools rental, limitless information and no contract necessities, add to the worth and certain contribute to Google Fiber’s excessive buyer satisfaction ranking. The service is not for everybody, nonetheless, particularly those that could also be on the lookout for an affordable plan below $50 per 30 days. In any case make sure you take into account your entire residence web choices earlier than committing to at least one particularly.

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