Google Fiber Launches in Kansas City

Google Fiber has launched its 1-gigabit-per-second broadband service in Kansas City today. It also unveiled a new interactive television service called Google Fiber TV. It provides interactive search on a DVR as well as content you have on services like Netflix. Google will include a DVR with up to 500 hours of storage of shows and movies all in 1,080p High Definition. You can also record up to eight TV shows at once.

Google is offering three different packages:

  • The Gigabit and Fiber TV service will cost $120 a month and will include 1Gbps connectivity on the upstream as well as downstream. There is no data cap. It also comes with 1 terabyte of Google Drive cloud storage. You’ll also get a brand new Nexus 7 tablet that you can use as your remote control.
  • Broadband, internet-only. It will cost $70 a month and offer 1Gbps downloads and uploads. It will also provide the 1 terabyte of data storage, as well as a network box for offering the service.
  • Free Internet. It is geared toward the 25 percent of the Kansas City area people who may not have broadband. It will be offered for a limited time for those who pay for the $300 fiber installation and and will include 5 Gbps download speeds and 1 Gpbs upload speeds for seven years.

Google is charging $300 to every home that gets the fiber service for the construction of the fiber link. But the company is waiving that fee for people who sign up initially for the service, reports C/Net.

Google has divided parts of Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., into various “fiberhoods,” and asked people in each of those areas where the service will be available to register, for $10, if they are interested in acquiring it, explains the NY Times. The areas that draw the most registrants over the next six weeks will be the first to have access to the service in the fall. The hope is to create grass-roots excitement, with residents encouraging their neighbors to register for the service so that they can be among the first to get it.

GigaOm says its deployment and customer acquisition model will put it in the black, claiming that the upfront fees will cover the bases. Google Fiber is shaving costs with bulk deployments in Fiberhoods, and the use of home-grown network gear.

Verizon’s FiOS FTTH technology is a substantial percentage of homes with fiber in the United States.

Verizon’s FiOS TV does not offer IPTV (Internet Protocol television), unlike AT&T’s U-verse. The majority of content is provided over a standard coax inside the home. However, video on demand content and interactive features, such as widgets and programing guide data, are delivered using IPTV-based technology.

Verizon charges $70/month for 15 Mbps internet access and $90 for 75 Mbps. Verizon’s top internet tier is 300Mbps, but it will cost you $210 per month ($205 if you agree to a two-year contract). The 150Mbps FiOS Quantum service costs $100 a month (or $95 on a two-year contract).

In the second quarter of 2012, Verizon reported 5.1 million total FiOS Internet and 4.5 million total FiOS Video customers, with some 134,000 FiOS Internet and 120,000 FiOS Video net additions. Verizon has stopped expanding FiOS, which has cost some $23 billion. In June 2010, Verizon sold landline operations scattered throughout 13 states to Frontier Communications, which also included some FiOS installations.

AT&T’s competing Uverse product had some 6.8 million total U-verse subscribers AT&T reported in the 2nd quarter U-verse subscribers (both TV and high speed Internet) are reportedly growing 22 percent year over year. AT&T’s U-verse uses twisted pair and VDSL to the home.

AT&T’s U-Verse internet service runs from $38/month (3 Mbps) to $63/mont (24 Mbps).

Comcast is rolling out 305Mbps cable broadband, which they have called “Xfinity Platinum“, and will be available in “many major markets”, according to the company. Verizon currently offers its 300Mbps FiOS service for about $210, but Comcast will charge $300/month.

Xfinity Blast! customers will now get download speeds of up to 50 Mbps (formerly 25 Mbps), and Extreme 50 customers will now receive speeds of up to 105 Mbps (formerly 50 Mbps). Blast! is $58.95/month multi-product or $72.95/month standalone. Extreme is $99.95/mo multi-product or $114.95/month standalone.

Time Warner Cable, the second-biggest cable company, offers a top rate of 50 megabits for $99.95.

Both the NTIA and RUS awarded broadband stimulus grants to many communities who planned regional fiber networks.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is pushing to bring high-speed fiber-optic connections to businesses in the city, starting in Pioneer Square. Portland’s Strategic Broadband Plan aimed to lay fiber to schools, hospitals and community centers, first, then build out from there.

South Korea has launched a nationwide broadband upgrade to rid themselves of 100Mbps service for $38 a month. By the end of 2012, South Korea intends to connect every home in the country to the Internet at one gigabit per second and slash the monthly price to just $27 a month.

President Obama signed an executive order in June to create a national 1 gigabit per second broadband network (pdf fact sheet), under a newly created non-profit partnership called US Ignite.

The network would serve as a test bed for next-generation applications in areas such as education, health care and clean energy.

The National Science Foundation is the lead Federal agency for US Ignite, and will expand its initial 4-year, ~$40 million investment in the Global Environment for Networking Innovations (GENI) project, which currently connects more than a dozen universities with ultra-high-speed, programmable networks. About 100 partners (pdf) are helping US Ignite, with some providing in-kind backing, including Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, NEC and Hewlett-Packard.

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration says that six of the companies building or upgrading plant with Recovery Act broadband grant money — Merit Network, UTOPIA, Utah Education Network, Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband, and Internet2 — are joining US Ignite.

Related Fiber Optic articles on Dailywireless include; RUS Awards $1.2B for Broadband, City Fiber Strategies, US Broadband Sub Count, Hawaii Plans Broadband Initiative, Unlicensed Muni Broadband: Take Two?, Ten Largest Data Centers, The Fiber Utility, 1 Gbps Fiber Comes Home, HomeGrid: Closer to Home, Seattle Kills Municipal Broadband Plan, Facebook Invests in Asian Oceanic Fiber, US Ignite: 1 Gbps Nationwide Fiber Network Singularity University, Kickstarter Grows Up, Streaming Education , Bill Gates & Steven Chu at ARPA-E, Ocean Observatory Network Lands in Oregon, Apps Enter the Twilight Zone,

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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