Google Fiber: The Evolution of the Internet

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If you are a computer geek like me, you will know exactly what a beta test is. You will know how exciting it is to be a part of it, how it makes you feel like the coolest of all the geeks. A beta test is when a product is almost ready but has some kinks and quirks that only regular users can notice. So in exchange for letting you try out their amazing product early, a company would collect feedback on how it is performing. Google have taken beta tests to a higher level. They have created a project so massive that they are making a whole city take part in its beta test!

The Problem

The Internet is a marvelous technology. Providing an alternative to everything from making phone calls to watching television, it has made our lives much more connected than they used to be. There is only a slight problem of it being completely unreliable. How many of us have waited for videos that would load for ages? How many of us have had problems with Internet calls stuttering all the time, or having to refresh a webpage over and over again? As much as the Internet provides, it still cannot replace the good old technologies because it is not perfect enough yet.

How Things Are

Nowadays, most people access the internet through phone cables with what is known as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). These cables can transfer normal voice, as well as Internet data, simultaneously through a technique called Frequency-Division Multiplexing (FMD). This is achieved by giving each signal a separate range of frequencies at the sending side, then separating them by filtering each frequency range alone at the receiving side. Imagine transporting oil and water in the same container then easily separating them later on because technically, they had never mixed. The problem with phone cables is that they have a limited range of frequency that you can use, known as their bandwidth. With all its bandwidth used up it can give you a maximum download speed of 24 Megabits/s.

How Things Will Be

The limitations of phone cables can be overcome if Internet data was transferred through a different medium. Fiber glass is a transparent material that can be bent like cables. Through it travels light beams, which makes them a hundred times faster than phone lines. Previously expensive to setup and maintain and only deployed by governments or large companies, they will one day come to your home, thanks to Google Fiber. Google Fiber started out as an experiment in Kansas City. People would sign up for the service, giving them a speed of 1000 Megabits/s, HD television and storage on the Internet. Now it is slowly expanding to nearby cities, allowing more and more people to take part in the beta test of such a promising technology.

References

www.bricklin.com
fiber.google.com

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