Google Introduces Google Fiber, Internet & Cable Services
Derek Walter for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Google is seeking to obliterate Internet and TV service as we know it.
The company unveiled its plans yesterday to offer Internet service to Kansas City residents at speeds of one gigabyte per second, about 100 times faster than what is available from current Internet service providers.
The Internet can also be bundled with a TV service, providing a direct competitor to companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T.
Google Fiber is currently only available in the Kansas City region, which was the winner of a contest to serve as the lucky community for Google’s project. In order for someone to get hooked up to the service, there must be a sufficient number of households in the same neighborhood who want it. Prospective users can sign up at the official Google Fiber site.
There are three different packages being offered. Gigabit+TV includes both Internet and television service for $120 per month. It also includes 1 TB of storage in Google Drive and a free Nexus 7 tablet. Subscribers must sign a one-year contract.
While there are a large number of popular channels on the list, such as HGTV, Discovery, and Showtime, there are also some holes. Channels such as ESPN, CNN, HBO, AMC, and Fox News are not available.
There is also a $70 per month plan for those who just want the Internet service, which Google has dubbed “Gigabit Internet.”
There is a free alternative, which provides mere mortal Internet speeds of five megabytes per second. There is, however, a one-time “construction fee” of $300 for Google to build out the network to that neighborhood.
As often accompanying its product launches, Google showed off some of the features in a new web video.
Google is hoping this project will push the development of high-speed Internet networks and demonstrate the further capabilities of connected computing with a high-speed network. While several communities sought to be chosen, the two-state Kansas City region was chosen as the showcase.
Google vice president of access services Milo Medin said today’s Internet is still too slow for most consumers.
“…Today the Internet is not as fast as it should be. While high speed technology exists, the average Internet speed in the U.S. is still only 5.8 megabits per second (Mbps)—slightly faster than the maximum speed available 16 years ago when residential broadband was first introduced,” he said in a company blog post. “Access speeds have simply not kept pace with the phenomenal increases in computing power and storage capacity that’s spurred innovation over the last decade, and that’s a challenge we’re excited to work on.”
There is no indication if the service will be expanded to other communities in the near future. Those who are interested in receiving Google Fiber in the future can register at the site’s interest form. A clock on the site details a limited number of days to do so.