Google Fiber hits 20 Gbps in field trial as it plots multi-gig step up

Google Fiber helped lead the multi-gig charge wit the rollout of a 2-gig product back in 2021. Now, the company is preparing to offer even faster options as fiber markets become more crowded and competitors increasing embrace service tiers providing everything from 2 Gbps to 10 Gbps.

In a blog, Google Fiber CEO Dinni Jain revealed it conducted field tests this month in Kansas City, achieving download speeds of 20.2 Gbps at the home of Google Fiber’s Head of Commercial Strategy Nick Saporito. Jain did not provide any details about what vendors it is working with nor did he share what upload speeds it hit in the trial.

However, it seems the results are promising enough. Jain stated Google Fiber will “dramatically expand our multi-gigabit tiers” in the coming months. Ultimately, he said the company is aiming to provide symmetrical speeds of 100 Gbps, though didn’t provide a timeframe for doing so.

Jain pitched the forthcoming speed boost as part of Google Fiber’s plan to remain competitive in an increasingly crowded broadband marketplace. He cited a previous Fierce story which noted at least six fiber players – including Google Fiber – have homed in on the city of Mesa, Arizona and highlighted an increasing amount of overlap in operators’ build targets.

“We believe that many, if not most, communities across America will ultimately have at least two, if not three, fiber providers and an incumbent coax provider,” he wrote. “This means that a fiber network alone will no longer be the differentiating factor it once was for internet providers. The unique selling points will be how that network is built to deliver symmetrical multi-gig speed at accessible pricing.”

The news comes as Google Fiber plots expansions into five new states over the coming years. In addition to Arizona, it is eyeing Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska and Nevada.

Google Fiber has not disclosed what cities it is targeting in the latter four states. However, as Jain noted, plenty of other players are also active in these areas. For instance, Lumen Technologies is working to roll out its Quantum Fiber service in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska and Nevada. Ting Internet is also building in Colorado while Ziply Fiber is expanding across Idaho. AT&T is also building fiber in Arizona. Ziply and AT&T both offer 2-gig and 5-gig service, while Lumen recently trotted out an 8-gig tier for customers in select cities.

Beyond offering faster speeds, Jain said Google Fiber will look to gain a competitive edge through an “obsessive focus on providing the best customer experience possible.”