Google finally launched their 1 Gbps Google Fiber deployment in Kansas City with a press conference at one of their new regional operations centers with all the details. Kansas City was chosen first in competition with other cities in kind of a neat contest. KC did a good job of pitching Google for the opportunity. Google landed several punches at the nation’s sluggish average download speeds of 5 Mbps before demonstrating just how fast a 1 Gbps connection is. Part of the presentation included a first look at the new Google Fiber TV service, which pulls content from traditional and Internet channels using new custom Google gateways, DVRs and set tops.
The new service will deliver 1 Gbps both down and up to users, with cloud storage included and no caps or overages. Google Fiber Television supports many of the technologies you would expect, including multi-room DVR functionality and tablets/smartphones as remote controls. Google has designed a new DVR, set top box and Wi-Fi gateways that all look roughly the same (black, rectangular, with one blue LED).
The company is offering Google Fiber with three choices to local residents. Option one is the Google TV and Fiber package, which includes a symmetrical 1 Gbps connection, and one bundle of television channels (all major broadcast networks, hundreds of fiber channels, on demand, all in HD), and a free Google Nexus 7 tablet to be used as a remote control — all for $120/month. If users sign a two-year agreement, Google will waive the installation fees.
Option two is just the Google gigabit package which costs $70/month and includes a terabyte of included cloud storage. For the gigabit package, Google’s waiving the construction fee if users sign a one-year contract.
Option three is a free 5 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up for users who aren’t quite ready to jump into the 1 Gbps pool. Customers simply pay the $300 installation fee as a lump sum or monthly payments over the first year of service. Customers get 5 Mbps for seven years with no monthly fee. This should have all the major telcos crying I would think.
Google says they’re going to continue building out the service in Kansas City wherever the company sees the most interest. G announced what they call a “six week rally,” which involves local residents going to the Google website to register and pay a $10 fee. Communities that rally the most locals will get new deployments earlier. As additional motivation, Google says that local municipal operations within neighborhoods are slated to get free gigabit connectivity. The rally ends September 9, at which time communities will know whos next.