What is gigabit broadband good for?

When it comes to broadband, gigabit per second speeds are all the rage. Large broadband providers in the U.S. have started showing off their gigabit efforts. Many communities in the U.S. and some countries have already rolled out their own gigabit networks, but it is still not clear what that speed is good for.

Kevin Lo, Head of Google’s(s goog) fiber access program speaking at the Broadband World Forum in Paris was pretty candid when he said:

“If you put a gigabit in people’s homes they will be inspired to find new ways to use it. We have no idea why you need a gigabit today, but when we all had dial up you could not possibly imagine watching video over them. It’s not about doing email faster, it’s about doing those new things that you don’t do today.”

Lo singled out HD video conferencing and telemedicine but those are relatively obvious uses. We have discussed this question in the past and will surely be talking more about this topic going forward.