Back in March of 2011, Google announced that it was going to provide fiber Internet connectivity to Kansas City, KS after it had been chosen from over 1,100 areas who vied for the chance to let Google connect its town to the Internet speeds of tomorrow. Soon after the ambitious project was expanded to include the more well-known Kansas City (the one across the border in Missouri) as well.
Fast forward to January of this year and the project was experiencing technical difficulties. Well, Google announced yesterday that the project is set to truly move forward as Google Fiber is now ready to reach those who want it in the Kansas Citys.
Here is fun little video that Google put together showing where Google Fiber fits on the evolutionary scale of Internet connectivity. Oh and their use of a rock classic is pretty clever as well.
So what are the specs of this new service?
From the Official Google blog.
Google Fiber is 100 times faster than today’s average broadband. No more buffering. No more loading. No more waiting. Gigabit speeds will get rid of these pesky, archaic problems and open up new opportunities for the web. Imagine: instantaneous sharing; truly global education; medical appointments with 3D imaging; even new industries that we haven’t even dreamed of, powered by a gig.
The Verge outlines the costs and services. No business pricing has been offered yet. While there is a free offering one wonders if the “construction cost” may make this a prohibitive offering for many.
The costs starts with a $300 construction fee to get the fiber installed at your house. After that, there will be two kinds of packages for Google Fiber.
For $120 per month, the first package is the “Gigabit + TV” package with 1TB of storage, internet, and a single lump of all channels in a single bundle. It will include major broadcast networks, “hundreds” of “fiber channels,” and on-demand movies and shows. Premium movie channels will still be an additional monthly fee. Google will waive the construction fee for new customers for a limited time.
A $70 per month Gigabit-only package will provide internet and the 1TB of cloud storage on Google Drive. For a limited time, Google is also offering a third package with “average” broadband speeds for *free*. It will be 5Mbps down and 1Mbps up, assuming they are willing to chip in on the construction fee for the fiber line.
Honestly, I was a little surprised by the pricing. I know Google can’t provide free service to the masses (although there is the free option once the fiber is brought to your home) but the way this was all pitched it felt like it would be a bit more ubiquitous.
Now, in order to get the service Google has created a competition of sorts amongst what they call ‘fiberhoods’. Simply put, the fiberhoods with the most $10 pre-registrations by September 9th get the fiber first. Gee, I wonder which neighborhoods will do that more easily.
Here is another video explaining that process.
So, as with most things Internet related, it’s never as easy as it seems is it?