Is it really cool to have gigabit network connectivity? Or is it more like it would’ve been to be one of the first thirty offices with a fax machine?
Google plans to launch its fiber to the home network in Kansas City on Thursday with the goal of seeing what people there can do with a gigabit connection. But as one city that already has a gigabit network can tell you, the answer so far may be, “Not much.”
For the last two years, Chattanooga, Tenn.’s public utility (EPB) has offered customers a gigabit fiber-to-the-home connection costing roughly $300 a month, so I touched base with a group of investors and entrepreneurs who have built a program to try to see what people can do with that fast a connection. So far, the limits of equipment, the lack of other gigabit networks (much of the Internet is reciprocal so it’s no fun if you have the speeds to send a holographic image of yourself but no one on the other end can receive it) and the small number of experiments on the network have left the founders of the Lamp Post Group underwhelmed.