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Google Fiber is launching these faster broadband services

Google Fiber's 5 Gig and 8 Gig plans are coming to some locations in the US, but prices are yet to be revealed.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Blue Planet Studio / Shutterstock

Google Fiber, the US ISP subsidiary of Alphabet, has announced two new 'Gig' plans offering customers 5 Gbps and 8 Gbps, and has teased 20 Gbps speeds.  

The Alphabet ISP hasn't revealed pricing yet, but the new plans will sit on top of its existing 1 Gig plan for $70 a month, and the 2 Gig plan at $100 a month. Both of those offer symmetrical download and upload speeds and come with 1 TB of free cloud storage.

I'm happy with my 300 Mbps broadband service in Paris, but Google Fiber thinks its super-fast plans will be sought after by creatives, scientists working with lots of data, finance analysts, and households with a lot of people working or studying from home. 

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According to Amalia O'Sullivan, director of product management at Google Fiber, the 5 Gig plan answers the need for simultaneous file uploads and downloads, while the 8 Gig plan helps with real-time demands sensitive to jitter and latency. 

They're products for a future where households have 8K streaming options, virtual reality (VR), a ton of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and more immersive games. 

The new plans, which aren't available yet, will answer AT&T's 5 Gig plan announced in January that offers symmetrical speeds at $180 per month or $395 per month for small business accounts. Some providers already offer 10 Gig services. Comcast last year tested a 10G HFC connection with a DOCSIS 4-based virtualized cable modem termination system (vCMTS)

"While 2 Gig answered the call for many gamers and power streamers, 5 Gig and 8 Gig are designed for even heavier internet users – creative professionals, people working in the cloud or with large data, households with large shared internet demands," writes O'Sullivan

"People who create and utilize large files need the ability to transfer them efficiently. For those who work on the cloud or in real time, like with financial transactions, it's helpful to know there's less lag between pushing send and making something happen."

Google Fiber chief Dinni Jain last month announced 100 Gbps as its future and boasted that an employee got 20Gbps download speeds in Kansas City. 

This summer, Jain announced plans to bring Fiber to Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Idaho over the next several years, marking the first expansion of its fiber network in five years.     

O'Sullivan hasn't said which Google Fiber cities will be offered the speeds, but noted customers "especially in Utah, Kansas City or West Des Moines" could have access as early as next month. 

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