Google Expands Its Gigabit Fiber Internet To Olathe, Kansas
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Google announced plans last July to rollout its Gigabit Fiber Internet service to residents of Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri. Like their competitors, Google’s Fiber can also be bundled with TV offerings. Unlike their competitors, Google Fiber offers Internet speeds nearing a Gigabit per second, or about 100 times faster than speeds from Comcast, Verizon and others.
Until today, this service was only available to residents of Kansas City. Google has now announced their first expansion of their Internet offerings — but they aren’t going very far. According to a new blog post, residents of the Kansas City suburb Olathe, Kansas, will be the next to join what Google calls the “Silicon Prairie.”
“A few minutes ago, the Olathe City Council approved an agreement to bring Google Fiber to their city,” said Google Fiber community manager Rachel Hack in yesterday’s blog post.
“Olathe has become one of the fastest-growing cities in Kansas and has attracted an influx of new businesses and residents. They’ve all noticed what a great community Olathe is, and so have we. We think that Fiber and widespread Internet access will help to create jobs, grow local businesses, and make Olathe even stronger as it grows,” added Hack.
Though they’ve listed Olathe, KS — County seat of Johnson County and population 127,907 — as the next location to have the Fiber service bestowed upon them, Google still has some loose ends to tie up before they can roll out the service to the Kansas City suburb.
Hack promises they’ll be making more announcements about construction, availability and registration as more details become available. This expansion also won’t slow down Google’s published construction schedule to bring Fiber to more homes in Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.
Google had to wait on approval from Olathe’s city council before they could begin laying their Gigabit fiber in the community. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Olathe City Council approved Google’s plans late Tuesday evening. As a part of the deal, Google will pay the city of Olathe 5 percent of its gross revenues as a “franchise fee.”
“We are excited to work in partnership with Google to bring this next-generation fiber optic system to Olathe homes, schools and businesses,” said Olathe mayor Michael Copeland in a statement on the city’s Website.
“Tonight’s announcement is about our future and the endless possibilities for Olathe students, businesses and entrepreneurs who will no doubt leverage this technology and connectivity to achieve things that are truly innovative and transformational,” he added.
Google’s Fiber service delivers Gigabit speeds for $70 a month. Fiber customers must also sign a one-year contract, but will also receive 1 terabyte of Google Drive storage.
For $120 a month, customers can add TV to their Internet package. They’ll receive local channels and popular cable offerings such as Discovery, ESPN, MTV and even OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s network. Customers can add channels like Starz and Showtime for an extra fee.