July 26, 2012
Amanda Schnieders, Kauffman Foundation
Google Unveils Fiber TV, Lays Out High-Speed Installment Strategy
Google executives and engineers gathered in Westport today to unveil designs for Google Fiber TV and plans and pricing for their gigabit fiber, the fastest in the nation, to the Kansas City community. To keep the focus on community efforts, Google also initiated a six-week rally in which Kansas City neighborhoods must verify their interest in the services with a pre-registration, including a $10 fee, of 40 to 80 households per neighborhood. Neighborhoods that show the most interest and enough interest will receive the fiber services first.
These soon-to-be “fiberhoods” will host an Internet that is 100 times faster than what most Americans have. Furthermore, if residents choose to purchase Google Fiber TV, they will gain access to a television provider that will use a Nexus 7 tablet for a remote control, record up to eight shows at once, and allow viewers access to fully integrated videos from Netflix and Youtube. Google has not included businesses in these initial packages but said there is still more to come.
Google CFO Patrick Pitchette said it is time the Internet speed caught up with the data and storage capabilities of technology.
“There is no need for limit. No need for caps. No need for slow,” Pitchette said. “It’s time for a change, and we couldn’t be happier to be in Kansas City. Kansas City is the perfect choice.”
Google went through each of their three packages on their fiber blog:
Between July 26-Sept. 9, Google is calling eligible Kansas City residents to pre-register for Google Fiber at fiber.google.com in order to decide where to begin installing the fiber first.
Google also revealed their new Fiber Space, a proof space that demonstrates all the capabilities of Google’s fiber network. The space at 1814 Westport Road is open for viewing by reservation only.
With the release of all of this information, some questions still linger:
Once “fiberhoods” have been selected, how quickly will the subscribing homes be connected and the service be turned on?
If a neighborhood doesn’t meet the require minimum interest, will schools, public service and government buildings in that area lose out as well?
Will Google’s exclusion of landline phones provide any relief for traditional service providers, or is this a sign that home phones will be going away faster than we thought?
With Disney and Time Warner channels currently missing from Fiber TV’s list of channels (including Disney-owned TNT, CNN and Cartoon Network, and Time Warner-owned HBO), will this limit the number of residents willing to switch over to Google’s service?
What other questions or surprises did you find in today’s announcement?
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