Google Fiber Coming to Area, Not To School

The Southerner

By Alex Durham

The internet connection at Grady is nothing to brag about. Every year, there are countless complaints about slow internet impeding teacher lessons, student’s research, and even standardized testing. Now, there is a cure to Grady’s internet sickness: Google Fiber.

Google Fiber is a new internet connection service that provides connections up to 1,000 megabits per second; that is 100 times faster than basic broadband connection rates. Google lays out thousands of miles of fiber optic cable underground to provide their service in  areas they have chosen to build.

How does Google choose the areas in which they build?  Currently, they build in small neighborhood communities nicknamed Fiberhoods, which are created once enough people in the community have expressed interest in Google Fiber. On the Google Fiber website, people can type their address into a search bar, and the website will show you whether your area is ready to receive Google Fiber or not. As of now, if you type in the Grady address, the website tells you that you must sign up to receive their service, schedule an installation, and then the Google Fiber crews will come and install it in your Fiberhood.

According to an article written on Education Week, a blog specializing in how technology is shaping schools, Google Fiber isn’t planning on coming to schools anytime soon. Google is first targeting small communities, small businesses, and high population areas where a large number of people will be able to utilize the high speeds of Google Fiber in libraries, museums, and more.

Google should make coming to schools a priority as they start to build in a school’s area. Schools all around Atlanta have the same problem Grady has with internet connection, so with Google Fiber those problems would hopefully be fixed.

I’m not sure whether Grady has expressed interest in obtaining Google Fiber, but I believe that the administration would be wise to do so. Grady has some of the slowest internet connection speeds I have experienced, and since the internet is such an important tool that is used so much every day, a change would be good. With Google Fiber, everybody in the school would reap the rewards of fast internet. Teachers would no longer have to frustratingly slam their computers shut when a powerpoint refuses to open. Students using their phones or computers would be able to get work done quickly, and standardized tests on the computers would go by in a breeze instead of crashing every other minute.

On the other hand, I find it odd how Google is not offering schools their services if they are building in the school’s Fiberhood instead of working around them. In Grady’s situation, Google is laying their fiber very close to Grady, but they are not extending their services to include Grady. With Grady being in such a public area, there is no reason to exclude Grady from the fun that the rest of the community will be enjoying. While there are some barriers that may be stopping Google from working with schools (i.e. school filtering requirements mandated by federal law), school officials should try reaching out and try to work out a plan with Google.  This way, schools who do not have the luxury of fully functioning internet service can take advantage of Google’s super speedy internet service.

I can see nothing but a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with Google Fiber. Almost everybody in Atlanta is excited to see what Google has in store for the city, so why should schools be kept from the fast internet Fiber provides? Schools would be the perfect place to see how Google Fiber affects the masses, as everybody would be using it everyday, and Grady is in a prime area to have the new Fiber implemented.