Google Fiber, the company’s long-time-coming attempt at becoming an ISP has finally been fully explained. We already knew that Google would be rolling out extremely speedy, fiber-based internet to the people of Kansas City, but little else had been confirmed. Today Google livestreamed a press conference in which all the details of Fiber were laid out. If you were excited about the project, or have been dying to see some disruption in the ISP market, then you are in for a treat. Starting off
Google Fiber is going to kick off in Kansas City. They company has been vague about where and when it will actually start, but now we know that the city be being broken down into “fiberhoods”. Residents of each of these areas can preregister for Google Fiber, for $10, and once they hit a critical mass (about 40-80 homes) they will be approved for installation. The more people that sign up in a given area, the faster they will get their installation. And once the installation happens residents can pay for fiber internet, but government buildings, libraries, and schools will get gigabit internet for free.
Google Fiber being in your fiberhood doesn’t mean you automatically get it. You’ll have to pay for a plan (more on that later) and you’ll also have to pay for a last-mile fiber installation. This will run the fiber from the street to your home and get the fiber box installed. The one-time fee for this will be $300.
The devices and plans
Google is entirely focus on Fiber being 1Gbps internet, but they will have a tiered plan system. One reason for this is because Google will also offer Fiber TV, a television service just like that offered by Verizon or any other ISP. Not everyone needs TV, so Google has a plan without it.
Google announced three devices today as well, all of which will be necessary to run Google Fiber and Fiber TV in your home. They are…
- TV Box – A set-top box needed for each television - Storage Box – Local storage and DVR, can record up to 8 shows at once, access as a wireless access point - Network Box – The modem/router with built-in firewall and WiFi
Gigabit internet and TV – $120/month
For $120 a month subscribers will get Google’s premier plan. This will include the gigabit internet (up and down), 1TB of cloud storage on Google Drive, all three devices above, and a full television plan. The plan includes all major networks, hundreds of fiber (cable) channels, on-demands shows, and optional premium channels. Users will get a free Nexus 7 tablet as well!
Right now Google is waiving the $300 installation fee is buyers sign a two-year agreement.
Gigabit internet – $70/month
For the very reasonable price of $70 a month Google is offering up 1Gbps internet, along with the network box and 1TB of cloud storage. Basically this is the no-TV option.
The $300 installation fee will be waived with a one-year agreement.
Broadband internet – Free (for up to 7 years) Not everyone can afford gigabit internet, but Google thinks everyone should have broadband. In order to get people up to speed they are offering a free 5Mbps down/1Mbps up internet for up to 7 years. Subscribers will just need to pay for installation, or $25 a month for the first year ($300).
And that’s Fiber…
That’s the basics of Google Fiber. It’s a hugely ambitious project, even if it is restricted to Kansas City, MO for now. Google is offering up the country’s fastest internet speeds (by a factor of 3) and doing it for cheap, while making a commitment to increasing internet speeds for everyone in the area, including government and other community services. We’ll see how it all plays out, but it’s quite exciting so far.
There will be a public demonstration space for Fiber opening Saturday. Geek.com will have a full report of our visit.
So, this sounds kind of awesome. I have the same privacy concerns that should be a given with anything Google does to increase its stranglehold on our online lives, but besides that, what's not to like? (That's a serious question directed at anyone who has a more educated opinion than me, which is a low bar to clear.)
Wow...the chances of this arriving in Canada are a definite zero, considering how the Cableco's and Telco's HATE competition, especially better value competition. Lord knows how long it took us to get Wind Mobile or Mobilicity.
Originally posted by OliverWow...the chances of this arriving in Canada are a definite zero, considering how the Cableco's and Telco's HATE competition, especially better value competition.
The telcos and (especially) cable companies in the US are possibly even worse than in Canada for this. This has a chance of working simply because Google is big enough and have enough money that the incumbents can't drum them out of business by undercutting them.
Lord knows how long it took us to get Wind Mobile or Mobilicity.
Wind Mobile was blocked by the CRTC, not the competition. Something about a foreign company having majority ownership. The federal government actually overruled this (score one for the Harper government on that one).
Mobilicity is a Canadian company. They have acknowledged that they've been slow to expand, but I've never heard them or anyone else claim the competition is blocking them.
I say bring it on.
This I totally agree with. If they come to Canada, though, Google will have to get past the CRTC first and then pick a market that makes sense to them. And most of the major ISPs here are already doing fibre in at least some places. Here in Halifax we're fairly lucky because we've got a major Telco (Bell Aliant) and a major Cable Co (Eastlink) in direct competition. So I'm getting a fairly good price on 30Mbps/30Mbps fibre optic service with TV and I didn't have to pay installation fees, etc. It's a similar price to what Google is talking about for 1Gbps/1Gbps, but I have trouble using all the bandwidth I have now (and I doubt those rates are going to be effectively achievable 99% of the time).
It will be extremely interesting to see what Google's TV service looks like. That's one place where I think incumbent cable companies would tend to have a distinct advantage due to existing agreements and familiarity with upstream content providers. If they could finally be the ones to introduce a "build your own plan on a per-channel basis" they could change the world.
The only way this would work really would be if Google was running their own fiber. But, its google, so they probably would. The price for the internet plus TV is great, depending on the channel line ups. I am would get this IF they have the technology to allow you to purchase TV stations ala carte.
But, I'm in nowheresville Missouri, so it'd be years before it would be able to get to me.
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