So, Google announced its short list of who might get Google Fibre. I am incredibly excited, and was when I got an embargo based release announcement before the public announcement. But, I do have to say, people need to understand some of the state of ISPs in the US. Do you need Fibre?

First, let me say, for the bandwidth, Google Fibre is pretty incredible. Heck it's down right awesome! Locally our Fibre option is $300+ for an enterprise fibre connection, plus a few grand for a connection fee, which for the most part is lighting up dark fibre that they already have the infrastructure for. Google's a huge change from that and a good deal. But there are some questions that I really have for people blasting their ISPs.

Do You Need the Speed?

Fast speeds are great. Blast speeds are great. Who doesn't like being able to download things quickly. But do you really need 1Gb/s download speed?

Right now many of the cable providers and smaller local Fibre providers give relatively affordable 30Mb and 50Mb packages. Do you realize what you get with that? You can stream up to ten 720P videos at the same time on 50Mb. Do you want the new 4k 7.1 SuperHD from Netflix, that's around 15-20Mb/s.

Let's be real, the complaint is for downloading games and non-streaming content. Well, let's look at XCOM Enemy Unknown, one of the larger popular iPhone games out there. A whopping 1.6Gb which will download in about four minutes, if you can't wait four minutes, go watch an eight minute Youtube video and the download will be done about the same time (even with the shared bandwidth). This is about the size of many of the smaller indie titles on Steam as well.

Want to download your new favorite album (let's be real you're probably streaming it)? Even a lossless version of the album tops out at about 400Mb. One minute. Go listen to the last verse of the last song on the last album and you'll probably have your first track done in time to start up.

The big culprits are movie downloads and game downloads. Movies come in around 400Mb to 1.5Gb in their widely distributed formats so look up at similar times from iPhone games. Games however are usually 10+Gb monoliths of data that just kill you to wait. Well, looking at my Steam account the last big AAA game I downloaded was Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition. At 18Gb it did take a while to download, it was somewhere around an hour. But I went and did something else while I waited.

Do You Really Need To Wait

Look at the media you consume. For me, I am starting to download more games and this usually would demand more bandwidth. However, Steam and both Next-Gen consoles give developers the ability to make their game playable while it is still downloading. Adoption is still kind of slow, but I was amazed to start downloading Outlast on my PS4, see that it was a pretty large game that would take a while to download. But, within a minute or two, my PS4 told me it was ready for me to start playing while the download continued! This isn't just for games as services like Amazon Video and Flixter allow similar progressive downloading for their video content (if you choose to download instead of stream).

Can the Internet Keep Up?

A lot of people have been complaining about services such as Google, Youtube, and Netflix being throttled by ISPs. While some of this is true (especially since the ruling on net neutrality), there is more to the story. Go and try to watch something like House of Cards at 9PM on a Friday. I have 50Mb/s speeds and still have trouble getting a good connection to maintain 480P with Dobly Digital surround sound.

Some of this is on the ISPs' shoulders, they are guaranteeing so much bandwidth from you to their data centers. Once at their data centers, they get a bottle neck of traffic to the outside web. But, this issue has been addressed even by Netflix that says that they hit their own bandwidth capacities. If Netflix has a set amount of bandwidth which will only carry ten HD connections, when viewer number eleven jumps on, Netflix could either deny that user content altogether, or they can start bumping down people's resolution.

A new ISP with fibre won't change either of these facts. If Google's data center doesn't have a greater bandwidth capacity than existing ISP, it will suffer the exact same issues. If Netflix doesn't localize their data centers or increase their bandwidth and processing, things won't change on their end either. But, all parties: existing ISPs, new ISPs, and service providers, are increasing their bandwidth to serve more users.

Google Fibre is Free!

A lot of people are a bit confused that Google Fibre is free. There is some truth to this, but it is only in the existing markets with no guarantee that it will be available in the new cities. Even so, there is a $300+ hookup fee if you are eligible, plus hardware costs. All of this gets you a awesome 3Mb/s connection speed. For $240 you could get the same service for a year from your existing ISP if this speed is enough for you.

The only other pricing option is to get 1Gb for $70 or 1Gb with TV for $120. For the TV package don't be expecting HBO or Showtime. From the current lineup, it seems like pretty standard extended cable from other providers with a heavy emphasis on sports and second language programming.

Will You Pay For It?

A lot of people I talk to complain about their existing $50-80 Comcast bill. What will they think of $70-120? Will the name of Google, a self managing support policy, and bandwidth the user will never even touch be enough to make it ok? Will most people be switching just because it is Fibre and its not Comcast?

Are You Paying Too Much For Your Current Service?

Most complaints I hear are from people who jump from ISP to ISP or that let their ISP take advantage of them. When I talk to these people, I usually ask the same thing: "When was the last time you tried to negotiate your rate?" This often shocks people. ISPs are service providers their rates fluctuate based on the current deals and they want to keep you as a customer. More competition (from Google or otherwise) will help you being able to pressure your existing ISP.

Most people know that ISPs run deals and usually run really great introductory rates for new customers. But, after their introductory rate expires, most customers just accept that their rate has changed and call to either get their old rate or just cancel to switch to a new provider. There's another option though, just ask what you can get. Tell them you will leave, tell them you will leave bad consumer report reviews.

Negotiating Your Rate

** Disclaimer, I go into some conjecture from 10 years of experience talking and negotiating with various ISPs ** When you call your customer service rep, be ready to downgrade your service. A year ago, for me this meant going from my 15Mb connection down to 3Mb with a $2 price drop. This can actually unlocks a new tier for you to get new deals and rates. Often, after recording that you were a dissatisfied customer who threatened to leave, and now is paying less, you may even get a call from your ISP extending you a new rate. The problem is that ISPs rarely allow you to do a lateral transfer, so you probably can't get your same service for the promotional rate, but you can get something slightly different and be fine.

Let's take the example of my own ISP from 2012. I had 15Mb that I was paying $28 including free equipment with a student move rate for an existing account. The student discount got me about a $20 discount so it really was a $48 service. This skyrocketed up to $90 a month when the promotions expired. I called and said that I was going to cancel if I could not get the bill below $40. I left the call downgrading my service to 3Mb for $26.

A few weeks later, my ISP called me and offered me 25Mb for $50. It was more speed for slightly more than I had at my previous year's rate. After accepting this offer and looking to see what I could get once my promotion expired, I saw that the 15Mb that used to be $80 out of contract was now only $50 out of contract… Tricky business if you ask me.

Similarly, when moving to my new apartment in October, I signed up for a 6 month promotion for 25Mb for $30 (cheaper than my promotional rate 9 months earlier). Earlier this month, I was called by my ISP to note that my offer was soon to expire and that they wanted to extend me a new offer (one that is close to valid for all existing customers that I've found) for 50Mb for $39 for three months and $49 for nine months after that with HBO.

BTW: I just helped a friend reduce his bill from $80 for 25Mb to $44 for 50Mb with just one 15 minute call.

Rates Are Going Down

When you look at the higher speed connections, rates continue to go down quite a bit every few months. What was the going rate for 20Mb a year and a half ago is now the going rate 50Mb or more. And what is great is that this speed increase and price drop is occurring more frequently.

Right now, it looks like construction on new Fibre networks will not be starting until early 2014, but more likely later. By then, it is likely that 100Mb or faster speeds will be available for what we are currently paying for 50Mb.

I am excited for what this does to existing ISPs, but I'm not so sure that I will be signing up for Google Fibre.