So 1Gb to the home today is like 1Gb of memory back when 640k was considered a lot of RAM.
Networking speeds tend to jump on 10x increments. 10mbs ethernet became 100mbs, which became 1gbps, and now 10gbps is the "high speed".
google's 1gbps to the home is just the next logical speed jump. Sure, the rest of the internet has not caught up yet, but it is a chicken and egg thing.
Perhaps Netflix will provide higher quality streaming because it can now provide a higher bitrate to those customers who can handle it? maybe the whole movie could be downloaded quickly to a local device and viewed from that device so that you can actually see the movie when you fast forward?
Perhaps there will be whole new applications that we don't know of yet?
I look at google's fiber project as an in the field research project. In the back of my mind I wonder what service google will be providing in the future that takes advantage of that 1gbps of bandwidth....
The only problem I see right now is the "Gotta have it right now this very second no matter what it costs someone else" mentality. We are going to certainly need these speeds in the future but the build it and they will come mentality is the setup for another dotbomb type failure. -- I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.
I think you're thinking of Ethernet standards - not consumer broadband options.
The thing is, there is really no technical reason for this to be the case. Google is showing just that with their fine example.
And since we're talking powers of 10, this is a great example from 1977, just so people who for some reason defend things like caps see why it's so stupid to do so for technologies that advance exponentially like Ethernet does: