Network Effects and the Implementation of Google Fiber

After learning about network effects, and how a new product or service must be adopted by certain nodes for it to spread across a network, I thought about Google Fiber.  Google Fiber is a new internet service that has greater features than the current internet services provided by cable companies.  Google Fiber is currently in a position where it is being implemented in certain cities.  Google Fiber is interesting because in order for it to be successful, the network effect will have to work in its favor over competitors like Verizon and Comcast.

Google Fiber already has a greater value to consumers than the services that are currently offered, because it runs at speeds 100 times faster than the broadband offered by others.  This means that as soon as Google Fiber is adopted by the right cities, it will spread to the surrounding cities and potentially take over the network.  Google already has implemented this service in Austin, Provo, and Kansas City, and has listed its potential future cites as Portland, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, San Antonio, Nashville, Charlotte, and Atlanta.  When looking at a map of the United States, you can see that these cities are all spread evenly across the country.  This mostly like means that the people working at Google are taking the necessary steps to ensure that the network effect takes over.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the future.  As more and more cities adopt this service, it would make the most sense that it eventually takes over the entire network, unless the competing providers improve their services and match Google Fibers low price.  As a consumer, I can only hope that those at Google have done their homework on network effects and network theory, and chose the right cities to implement Fiber in, so that Google Fiber can eventually make its way across the network and be available to me in Philadelphia.

 

https://fiber.google.com

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