There are a number of hurdles around a neighborhood obtaining Google Fiber in their area. The first is finding out who will cover cost, the second has to do with getting your neighborhood approved by Google to get the fiber installed. Among apartment dwellers in a neighborhood they also have to get approval from their landlords to get the fiber installed as well. These hurdles are surprisingly not too difficult for the majority of apartment dwellers though, with the hardest being the neighborhood approval that Google does. Most Landlords are behind the idea of having faster internet for everyone permanently as well.
There is just one problem for it all. Many poor neighborhoods or apartment dwellers are being approved for the Google Fiber, but then they can’t afford it as an internet service. When it comes to Google Fiber you have two main options for internet through the fiber. You can pay a 300 dollar installation fee and then have a 5mbps internet connection for free, or you can pay 70 dollars a month and have the 1 Gbps internet connection. While the installation fee is effective for having a free connection, many people just can’t afford the up-front cost without saving and even more people can’t afford the 70 dollars for just an internet connection.
This brings to fruition something that has been called the digital divide. As people who need the internet in their world and people who don’t see the relevance of the internet collide in same neighborhoods we see unusual situations where some people in the neighborhood don’t see the relevance of Google Fiber, because the internet isn’t important to them and they would rather pay for a cable bundle with internet for when they need it. So it’s not just that people can’t afford it, but that some people don’t even want to pay for the installation because they don’t see the relevance.
Overall it’s more hurdles for Google Fiber to deal with, which means hurdles for anyone handling fiber. Maybe the true solution is to get more information out there for people to understand just what they can do with the internet.