Friday, July 27, 2012

Google Fiber launches in Kansas City


Yesterday (further to this previous post) Google launched its Google Fiber service in Kansas City - you can see a video of the launch event here (amusingly introduced with this soundtrack).

Lots of information on the Google Fiber website and blog. This extract from the blog explains how the roll-out will work; demand is key to determining when and where this will happen:
"Tell us if you want Google Fiber in two easy steps:
  1. Pre-register: Starting today, if you live in an eligible Kansas City household, you can pre-register by visiting google.com/fiber. All you need to do for pre-registration is provide some basic information (like your name and address) and pay a $10 deposit.
  2. Rally your neighbors: Over the next six weeks, get your neighbors and friends to pre-register too.
Here’s why: Google Fiber works better when communities are connected together. So we’ve divided Kansas City into small communities we call “fiberhoods.” We’ll install only where there’s enough interest, and we’ll install sooner in fiberhoods where there’s more interest. You can check out your fiberhood’s pre-registration goal, as well as a real-time status update of all Kansas City fiberhoods on our rankings page. 
The rally lasts for six weeks and ends on September 9. When you participate, not only will you help bring Google Fiber to your home, you’ll also help bring it to your community—if your fiberhood reaches its pre-registration goal, we’ll also connect community buildings like schools, libraries and hospitals with free Gigabit Internet. 
After the rally, we’ll let you know if your fiberhood has reached its goal. If so, you can sign up for your service package. The first homes will get service shortly after the rally ends, and all qualifying neighborhoods will receive service before the end of 2013."
 This extract from the FAQs on the Google Fiber help pages explains fiberhoods in a little more detail:
"A fiberhood is a portion of Kansas City, KS or Kansas City, MO that includes about 250-1,500 households. We determined fiberhood boundaries based on a number of factors. First, we worked with the Kansas City governments and community leaders to learn about pre-existing neighborhoods or communities. Then, we looked at those communities and determined very clear boundaries at their edges like streets and parks."
Not sure what the pre-registration goals are for fiberhoods are, but according to the initiative's twitter feed this afternoon three (Hannover Heights, Roanoke and Coleman Highlands) have already achieved theirs. The plans and pricing page lists three residential service packages to choose from:
  • gigabit Internet (1 Gbps upload and download) plus TV for $120/month (+ taxes & fees) on a 2-year contract with no data caps, with a Nexus 7 tablet, TV Box, 2 TB Storage Box, Network Box and 1TB Google Drive;
  • gigabit Internet (1 Gbps upload and download) for $70/month (+ taxes & fees) on a 1-year contract with no data caps, with a Google Network Box and 1TB Google Drive included and a Chromebook as an optional add-on (starting at $299);
  • free Internet for a one-off installation fee of $300 (this is waived for the other two packages), including a Network Box and up to 5Mbps download and1Mbps upload speeds with no data caps and free service guaranteed for at least 7 years.
More on these packages here. Google has also set up the Google Fiber Space to showcase the possibilities and potential of gigabit Internet. One word: wow.

2 comments:

  1. Fantastic. What a lucky city...

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  2. Wow indeed!

    The third option could well prove to be the game changer in terms of universal affordable service as this effectively gives customers a decent current generation broadband service for $3.57 per month over seven years

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