Thursday, July 26, 2012

Google Fiber Rolls Out

Kansas City was selected from over 1,100 community submissions to Google for the fiber network back in 2010. Google invested in 1 community as a test pilot to say that 1 GB service is possible. It was supposed to goose the Duopoly into building out something comparable.
Both Comcast and VZ FiOS now offer 300MB broadband - but for $200-300 per month and that doesn't include TV. Google has 3 plans - free Internet (with a $300 construction fee); 1Gb Internet for $70/mo; and $120 for Gigabit Internet and TV.
The free service:
  • Up to 5Mbps download, 1Mbps upload speed;
  • No data caps;
  • Free service guaranteed for at least 7 years;
  • Includes Network Box (Gigabit switch with wireless access point).
  • $300 construction fee (one time or 12 monthly payments of $25)
  • + taxes and fees.
The paid services include:
  • Up to one gigabit upload X download speed;
  • Full channel TV lineup;
  • 2 year contract;
  • No data caps;
  • Nexus 7 tablet as remote;
  • TV Box (Google TV similar to Nexus Q);
  • Storage Box (media storage for DVR capacity);
  • Network Box (Gigabit switch with wireless access point);
  • 1TB Google Drive (online);
  • for $120/mo + taxes and fees.
You know how I am always picking on telecom because they are all me-too? Well, look at this package - not just the price - the actual bundle of hardware and software.
Some glaring omissions:
  1. Support: no mention of it at all.
  2. HBO and ESPN in the channel lineup.
  3. Voice. No voice service. Not even Google Voice as an auto attendant for cell service.

Who is getting this? Only neighborhoods in Kansas City (MO and KS) who have a high fiberhood ranking. In other words, you must get all your neighbors registered so that you can get lit by Google fiber.
GOOG even went brick-and-mortar for this: "Located at 1814 Westport Road, Kansas City, Missouri, the Fiber Space is our physical space in Kansas City where Kansas Citians can experience 100 times faster Internet first-hand and attend Fiber events."
Many communities will be envious, but what can they do? Many states have laws against muni networks and who is going to over-build on cable, FiOS or U-Verse? Cable franchise authorities COULD put pressure on for upgrades, but I don't see that happening. I see Kansas City gaining residents soon!

Note: "Some channels will require an additional fee. This channel lineup is
only a representative lineup and is subject to change. Actual lineup will be published when customers register for service." And it is about a year before anyone actually receives service.

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