Google has launched its Google Fiber service in Kansas City today. The highly anticipated service is aimed at consumers only, and offers gigabit-speed Internet connectivity and cable TV. Google has divided the service into three packages. There is a common construction fee of $300 for connecting the home to the fiber infrastructure, irrespective of the package opted for. Internet access alone will cost $70 for Internet. Internet and cable TV service will cost $120 a month.
The reason Kansas was picked as the launch city is explained by, Kevin Lo, General Manager of Google Access, in a blog post on the Google Fiber Blog. Kevin wrote, “When we announced that we wanted to provide a community with Internet access more than 100 times faster than what most Americans enjoy today, we asked who was interested in working with us. More than 1,100 cities raised their hands, and those of you in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri won us over with your enthusiasm for better, faster web connections.”
The registration process for this service in Kansas has already started will end on September 9, 2012. However, you will need to do something more than just register to avail the services. First, you need to pre-register by visiting the Google Fiber website. Next you have to rally neighbors to register for the services. The neighborhood with the most number of registrations will get the service first.
The different packages are:
Google Fiber + TV: This is the ultimate package which offers symmetrical gigabit-speed connection plus Google TV, which offers local channels, YouTube, Netflix and Google’s “fiber channels.” Consumers opting for this package will also get a brand Nexus 7 tablet, which they can use as a remote control for the TV. There is also a regular Bluetooth remote control in the package, in case you find the tablet a bit too big to pass as a remote control. Plus, Google is also planning to release an iOS app for controlling the Google Fiber TV product with iPhones or iPads. A Wi-Fi router and a 2-terabyte storage box are part of this package. Consumers will also get a free terabyte of storage in Google’s cloud locker, G Drive. The total cost for this package is $120 per month and if customers sign a two-year contract Google will waive the $300 connection fee.
Google Fiber: This package offers the same thing except the TV package. This will suit consumers who just want high-speed Internet connection and are not much interested in the TV service. This package costs $70 a month and for users who sign a 1-year contract Google will waive the $300 connection fee.
Free Internet: This is exactly what it says – free Internet connection with no monthly charge. However, consumers will have to pay the construction fee of $300 either lumpsum or $25 a month if they sign up for one year. This plan covers any household which falls in the fiber footprint.