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Google's Gigabit Internet: Not coming to a neighborhood near you

Julie Sartain | Nov. 20, 2013
Unless you're lucky enough to live in Kansas City, Provo or Austin.

In Kansas City, subscribers can get gigabit Internet for $70 a month or the gigabit service plus TV (200 channels, HD included) bundle for $120 a month. Both of these options provide free installation plus all the equipment necessary to enable the service to function, such as the network gear, the storage device, and the TV box. Additional benefits include 1TB (terabyte) of storage across Gmail, the drive, and Google+ photos and, for the bundle, one Nexus 7 tablet.

Kansas City residents who want Internet access, but may not classify themselves as power users, can get Google's free Internet service, which runs at 5Mbps. The free service does require a one-time installation fee of $300 (or $25 a month for 12 months), then the service is free for at least seven years.

Wandres adds, "At the end of seven years, we will begin charging the market price for comparable speeds -- which should be $0, as long as Internet speeds increase as much as we hope over the next few years. In other words, we think that in seven years, Internet speeds should be ubiquitously faster in America and, by that point, nobody should have to pay for a connection speed that is 5Mbps download/1Mbps upload."  

Brittain Kova, co-leader and communications pilot at KCSV says, "With regards to speed, nobody has been able to break the gig. We've tried. Downloading tons of files while gaming and running multiple videos simultaneously and we still barely see a dent. What companies are experiencing is an extreme amount of time savings; for example, www.sportsphotos.com, a company that moved to the KCSV from Springfield, Mo., is now able to upload thousands of high resolution photos in a matter of hours; a project that in the past, took days, if not weeks to accomplish."

"In addition," says Kova, "Google fiber has been the catalyst that's brought the community together in ways that may have never happened, or certainly would have taken years to see the outcomes. It's bringing like-minded people who want to innovate and collaborate, who know we (KC) have a short window of time to do something big, and we're really leveraging this opportunity to do great things for the community as a whole. From households to startups, corporate and civic, we're all working together for the first time in years and it's exciting."

Based on the Google fiber city map, the Kansas City project is still in progress. Thirteen more cities in Kansas and six additional cities in Missouri are scheduled next for this service.

Next up, Provo, Utah
The situation in Provo is somewhat different, because Google purchased the existing iProvo city network for $1. So, Google didn't have to start from scratch, it just needed to upgrade the existing network, which was built in 2006.

 

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