When it comes to the excitement of cities like Provo getting faster Internet with Google Fiber, Comcast vice president David L. Cohen thinks you should slow your roll. While defending his empire in an editorial for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Cohen claims Google Fiber will be incompatible with today’s technology.
“The issue with such speed is really more about demand than supply. Our business customers can already order 10-gig connections. Most websites can't deliver content as fast as current networks move, and most U. S. homes have routers that can't support the speed already available to the home. As consumer demand grows for faster speeds, a competitive marketplace of wired and wireless broadband providers will be ready to serve it,” Cohen says.
Though he doesn't directly mention Google Fiber, it's a not-so-subtle dig. Google Fiber will provide 1-gig connections to entire cities like Provo, offering up connections that are about 200 times faster than the lowest-tier Internet service offered by Comcast. “The challenge we face now is how best to continue our broadband and Internet leadership,” continues Cohen.
That is a challenge, and one that Comcast certainly faces. Comcast, whose slogan is "The future of awesome," lost nearly 400,000 cable subscribers in the past year. In lieu of cable subscribers who think cable is awesome, Comcast has become more reliant on its high-speed Internet services. And while some may be satisfied with its services, many are obviously not.
In 2013, Comcast, placed fourth in companies with the worst customer service, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. According to this list, Comcast is worse than United Airlines and American Airlines, though it's apparently not quite as bad as fellow cable-giant Time Warner. Plus, in 2010, Comcast was named the worst company in America by the Consumerist and has been in its top three since 2008.
This isn’t the first time an ISP executive has spoken out against gigabit speeds. National Cable & Telecommunications Association CEO, Michael Powell, said reaching gigabit speeds was an “irrelevant exercise in bragging rights.” Time-Warner Cable CTO, Irene Esteves, has said Time-Warner doesn't plan on implementing a fiber network because there’s no evidence American consumers would want it.
Despite trash talk from Comcast, Google Fiber’s arrival in Provo seems to be right on track. Google Fiber is set to launch in late 2013.
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