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After months of dormancy, Google Fiber was officially launched today in Kansas City. It boasts blazing fast internet speeds of 1,000 Megabits per second (both upload and download). That’s roughly 100 times as fast as the average U.S. broadband connection! In addition to the Gigabit service, Google plans to offer free 5 Megabit per second internet to anyone willing to pay a $300 construction fee. In addition, they announced Fiber TV, a television network that will use the new fiber cables.
During the 100 minute presentation, Google described how storage capacity and computer processing power have been increasing exponentially over the past couple of years, while internet speeds are increasing at a very slow and steady rate. The technology for a faster internet has been evolving quickly, but the U.S has failed to adopt such technology and has an overall slower internet speed than other countries. Google says that their goal and inspiration for the project is to have network speeds that increase exponentially with other technology in the near future.
The fiber cables take a lot of time and money to install, so Google wants to start rolling them out where demand is high. They have selected Kansas City as the initial installation area. However, most residents there will not have access to the service for quite some time, as Google is prioritizing neighborhoods based on how many households apply with a $10 pre-registration fee by September.
In what is an excellent public relations move, Google will offer free 1 Gigabit connectivity to all schools, libraries, and hospitals in “fiberhoods”. Not only is this great for cities, but it also provides an initiative for people to sign up.
Once the fiber cables are eventually installed in your neighborhood, you will have the option to subscribe to one of three packages. All packages require that you pay an initial $300 to get the fiber installed at your house.
The first option will provide you with a free 5Mbps down and 1Mbps up internet connection for at least seven years. This crushes the competition, as they offer slightly faster speeds at a much more expensive price.
The second plan offers the amazing 1 Gigabit download and upload internet connection for a reasonable $70 a month. The package also comes with 1 TB of Google Drive cloud storage, a $50 service on its own.
The third package is a whopping $120 per month, and it consists of both a 1 Gigabit connection and Fiber TV. Like the basic 1 Gigabit plan, it too will provide you with 1 TB of Google Drive cloud storage. The Fiber TV service sports several major broadcast networks (notably excluding CNN, ESPN, and AMC), along with hundreds of fiber channels. Internet content from YouTube and Netflix can be viewed as well. For an additional cost, you can get on-demand movies and shows. Also, premium movie channels will be provided for an additional monthly fee.
Subscribers of the Fiber TV plan will receive a complimentary Nexus 7 (which has a Google Fiber app), a 2 TB DVR service, and a Wi-Fi access point for TVs.