Well, that was fast. Two weeks after it hit 20 Gbps in a multi-gig field trial, Google Fiber unveiled plans to roll out symmetrical 5 Gbps and 8 Gbps service tiers in early 2023. And it is looking for guinea pigs to help it work out the kinks before the plans make their commercial debut.
Google Fiber’s Director of Product Management Amalia O'Sullivan said in a blog it is looking for customers in its existing markets – but especially Provo, Salt Lake City, Kansas City and West Des Moines – to test the plans starting in November. She said it plans to contact those who sign up to get more detail about their broadband needs.
According to O’Sullivan, the plans are designed for broadband super users, specifically those in creative professions, those working in the cloud or with large data files and households with large shared internet demands. The 5-gig tier will run $125 per month, while the 8-gig tier will cost $150 per month.
“5 Gig will make it easier to upload and download simultaneously, no matter the file size. And 8 Gig will make sure that everything you are doing online is happening in near real time (without jitter and with low latency),” she wrote.
Google Fiber already offers a 1-gig service for $70 per month and an asymmetrical 2-gig option for $100 per month. The former rolled out in 2010 and the latter in 2020.
The operator’s move to roll out faster plans will help it better compete with the likes of Lumen Technologies and AT&T, both of which it will encounter in Arizona if not elsewhere as well. AT&T currently offers 2-gig and 5-gig service tiers for $110 and $180 per month, respectively. Lumen recently debuted 3-gig and 8-gig plans in select cities for $150 and $300 per month, respectively.
O'Sullivan did not specify whether Google Fiber is planning to offer the 5-gig and 8-gig plans in its forthcoming fiber markets, but it’s likely a safe bet it will. The operator said in August it plans to bring its service to cities in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Idaho over the next few years.