Google has huge ambitions to make its super-fast internet service, Fibre, even faster.
Maybe even 1,000 times faster.
A recent Google Fibre job posting advertises an opening for a photonics engineer up for the challenge of innovating internet technology “to enable scalable access network bandwidths beyond Gb/s per user in a cost effective manner.”
Right now, Google’s Fibre service provides speeds of up to to 1 gigabit per second, which is nearly 100 times faster than the basic 11.7 megabits per second speeds that many people in the US deal with today.
What exactly lies beyond gigabit per second speeds? Terabit per second is the next major step up, but that’s something that’s still quite a ways off from becoming a reality.
7 millisecond movie downloads
A move from gigabits into terabit per second speeds would be almost unimaginably fast. If spreading gigabit internet service — which allows you to to download an HD movie in only 7 seconds — is this generation, terabit service is definitely next generation. Imagine downloading that HD movie in 7 milliseconds.
Right now, Google Fibre service is only available in a small handful of cities. And its 1Gbps service isn’t the fastest out there — there are already several other companies offering 10Gbps download and upload speeds in certain regions. But one of the benefits of fibre optic cables, is that they’re relatively “future-proof” — for example, researchers in London have achieved 1.4Tbps speeds on existing fibre optic cables.
Much of the research in terabit fibre optics right now appears focused on using the technology for the internet backbone that transmits data between data centres and continents.
While Google’s job posting does not explicitly mention terabit per second speeds, it does make a point of noting that it’s focused on “per user” data throughput that’s above gigabit per second, suggesting that Google is not just thinking about backhaul connections.
The pitch to go beyond gigabit per second doesn’t mean Google is currently working on technology that it plans to roll out any time soon. The aggressive goal could simply be a way for Google to attract really smart, ambitious people to join its team and focus on a big “moonshot.”
Still, it’s a sign that Google’s vision for Fibre is much bigger than the broadband internet and television service that’s currently available in several cities.
Google’s always been known to preach a philosophy of “10x” improvements, but looks like in this case we’ll have to tack a few more zeroes onto the end.
Google declined to comment.