Faster Internet at RB

This is the logo of Google Fiber, a colorful and happy bunny.

This is the logo of Google Fiber, a colorful and happy bunny.

Michael Fanta, Staff Reporter

In light of Digital Citizenship Day at RB, let’s take a close look at the possible future of technology in and around the Chicago area.

Google has announced that they are in talks to bring Google Fiber to Chicago.  What does this mean for RB?  Well, it means many things, and they’re almost all good.

“It would give us about two times the amount of bandwidth we currently have,” says Mike Connors, Technology Director for District 208.  If you’re having trouble loading a webpage, then with twice the bandwidth you would most likely not.  Even if you don’t care about faster internet, this will still help you.

This would be especially helpful once everyone in the building has Chromebooks.  Say there’s one period where every class in the school is using Chromebooks.  With the internet we have now, buffering times are much longer.  Google Fiber would be able to keep the internet going, and then some.

The most remarkable thing about Fiber is that it offers upload and download speeds of up to 1GB per second.  This is fantastic compared to normal internet providers, which offer much less.  Average speeds are anywhere from 70-160MB per second.  Upload speeds are usually about 23MB per second. Though RB has much higher internet speeds than that, it’s still not as fast as it can get.

Considering how fast the internet is, the price is very reasonable.  There are 1,024 megabytes in a gigabyte, so that’s a big difference both for RB and for everyone in general.  There’s a free option, but that only gives you 3-5MB per second, just for the $300 installation cost. The second package is $70 a month, and gives you the fast internet, and 1TB of storage across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos.  The final option, for $130 a month, gives you all of the aforementioned content and more than 150 cable channels.

“Usually Google offer services to schools f0r reduced prices, or sometimes even free,” Connors said.  There are many choices, which could be great for RB.

The change to Fiber, or something like it, seems inevitable for schools like RB.  Everything is going digital, and to keep up as a school, they need the internet to match their fantastic education system.  With the possibility of Google Fiber, that just may happen.