You have to give credit to Google for coming up with fun catchphrases for those fortunate enough to use some of their latest technology. For Google Glass, early adopters and beta testers were known as “Explorers”, and now neighborhoods being chosen for Google Fiber are becoming known as Fiberhoods. If you think that also sounds like the name of neighborhoods making a commitment to fiber diets, perhaps there’s going to be some trademark overlap. With Google trademarking nearly every term they’ve been using, though, most likely it’s going to be protected. And those in “Fiberhoods” are probably going to revel in being part of the Google fray.
Right now, it’s Portland, Oregon that’s overly excited about being one of the first major cities to get Google Fiber very soon. If you still don’t know what Google Fiber is, it’s a faster Internet service and the possible saving grace against the emerging monopolies of cable and Internet service providers. Once Google Fiber becomes a mainstream endeavor in America, subscribers to Comcast in the future may finally plummet after years of users putting up with overpriced bills and Internet service that isn’t as fast as it could be.
Considering I don’t live far from Portland, the idea of obtaining Google Fiber nearby is more than a little tantalizing. However, considering I don’t live directly in Portland, I’ll likely be out of luck since it doesn’t mean any surrounding city in the valley of Oregon. Only direct Portland residents and the immediate vicinity will be the first to experience the ability to download an HD movie in seconds and use a DVR that holds hundreds of shows rather than just dozens.
The above are just some of the features in an incredible new Internet and cable option that we never thought would get here. It’s also a race against the clock as Comcast lobbies like hell (and brings figures in from Hell to be the lobbyists) in order to snag their merger with Time-Warner Cable. If that Comcast merger goes forward this year, you have to wonder what census figures will show someday in relation to people flooding Fiberhoods with new residents.
Will Portland See a New Influx of People in Order to Use Google Fiber?
Oregon once saw an increase in population during the 1990s when people were escaping California to get away from higher prices and earthquakes. While some former Californians found solace living in the valley of Oregon, many of them soon found out that high prices finally plagued us, as well as earthquakes. When the economy went rotten here, many of those who’d moved here started moving out within the last decade. This included the influx of Hispanics who had moved up here from California or Mexico for a better way of life.
With the economy still not the greatest nationally, a Comcast merger is the last thing anyone wants to hear about. It’s almost a given that if you’re paying over $200 a month for Comcast’s bundles as I am, you’ll be inevitably charged more once the merger with Time-Warner Cable goes through. This might persuade many to move to the Fiberhoods in order to obtain Google Fiber and get away from paying more for slower Internet speeds.
The reason this influx might happen is because Google currently charges $120 for the full package, meaning Internet and cable. That’s already less than what I pay for Comcast’s service for Internet and cable combined. It’s all enough where Fiberhoods could end up becoming overcrowded cities within the next couple of years if Google ends up dominating with Google Fiber and Comcast loses customers.
That’s not necessarily a good prospect for Portland, a city already fighting the first signs of pollution from a population increase after years of being one of the cleanest cities in the nation. In that regard, being a Fiberhood may mean paying a major price just to be the first in bringing a technology the public craves. As Google Fiber slowly spreads over the coming decade, things will possibly even out.
In the meantime, a future census may see Fiberhoods as being population havens to get away from the ever-growing problem of monopolies shaping how we gain our Internet and cable. As Internet and TV shape who we are on a daily basis, it won’t need much sociological analysis why the exoduses happened.