Google Fiber Compared To Broadband By Putting A Middle Age Guy In A Bath Robe And Soaking Him With A Firehose

Provo, Utah is getting Google Fiber in the next few months. So how do you explain to the people of this small city north of Salt Lake what that will mean for their Interent service?

You get a guy to wear a bath robe and stand next to a raised swimming pool with a garden hose, symbolic of broadband service. Then you drench him with a fire truck deluge gun and two firemen who come to fill the pool with their blasting hoses to show the comparative power of Google Fiber.

The piece is funny enough but not exactly accurate as pointed out by the Consumerist. There might be an outlier case for what the video portrays. That is if you use the FCC’s definition of broadband and then compare it to someone who is going from dial-up to fiber. But that’s hardly the reality for Provo. The Consumerist points out that according to a recent town-by-town survey of download speeds, the average Internet user in Provo is getting download speeds of around 21.5 Mbps, which is above the national average. Kansas City, on the other hand, the first major deployment of Google Fiber, averages nearly 50 Mbps.

If Provo were to reach those speeds, that would be a huge improvement, but that’s still just about two and half trickling garden hoses, and certainly not three fire hoses on full blast. Even if Provo residents could achieve the 85 Mbps that top-ranked Ephrata, WA, residents see (thanks to their own dedicated fiber network), it’s still not even close to the comparison made in the video.

The video did draw a belly laugh from me. Maybe its’s the suburban setting with the muddy grass and the tract housing or the Charlie Chaplin sad face of this fellow in his boxers getting doused.

Regardless, the video still works. It avoids the technical nitty-gritty. Instead it uses humor to explain differences that for most people are too technical in nature. All people want is better and faster Internet service.

Technology often gets explained by how it works, and that can put people to sleep. Get the suburban dude to wear a bathrobe with his belly sticking out by the backyard pool — now that’s how to explain tech.