The company is showing the broadband and paid TV industry how services should be delivered as it introduces its Google Fiber 1-gigabit-per-second service and a new Google Fiber television service.
Google launched its 1-gigabit-per-second broadband service in Kansas City today and also unveiled a new interactive television service called Google Fiber TV, in a move it hopes will push the broadband and paid TV industries to deploy speedier networks at a lower cost.
Google Fiber TV is a service that provides interactive search for TV that allows you to search your DVR as well as content you have on services like Netflix. It will include a DVR with up to 500 hours of storage of shows and movies all in 1080p High Definition. You can also record up to eight TV shows at once.
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.
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. The TV service will include all the regular broadcast TV channels as well as hundreds of Google Fiber TV channels as well as thousands of TV shows on demand as well as premium movie channels.
Google didn’t say whether traditional cable channels such as Discovery or ESPN will be included in the package. The company will also be giving away free Google Android Nexus 7 tablets to everyone who signs up for this service.
The second package is for broadband only customers. It will cost $70 a month and offer 1 Gbps downloads and uploads. It will also provide the 1 Terabyte of data storage, as well as a network box for offering the service.
People who sign up for these two services will not have to pay the $300 construction fees for an introductory period.
The last package is geared toward the 25 percent of the Kansas City area people who may not have broadband already. Google will offer this service for a limited time only. It will be free to customer who pay for the $300 fiber installation. And it will include 5 Gbps download speeds and 1 Gpbs upload speeds for seven years. Customers will have the option to upgrade the service to one of the 1Gbps packages. Google will allow customers for this plan to pay for the $300 construction plan on a monthly plan, paying $25 each month for the first year.
Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Access, said during the presentation that Google will make the service available to folks in Kansas City, Kansas as well as people in Kansas City, Missouri. The company will deploy the network first in “fiberhoods” where there is the most interest from consumers.
Starting today, Google is launching virtual “rallies” in which it is encouraging people throughout these cities to sign up on the Website expressing interest. If a neighborhood can get 40 to 80 households to preregister for the service, Google will begin deployments. From there, the company will hook up schools, libraries, government buildings and other publicly accessed buildings to the fiber network.
Google has also established a “fiber space” demonstration center where local residents can make appointments to learn more about the benefits of having a fiber network to their home as well as for the community.
Google, which announced the project in February 2010, began construction of the network backbone in February. The company had said it expected to launch the network this summer. The idea behind Google Fiber is for the company to build a commercial fiber-based high-speed broadband network that Google and others can use to test new business models and applications that need very fast connections — upward of 1Gbps. Thousands of cities competed to be the home of the future network. And Kansas City won.
Google is now ready to put the network into action. Earlier this summer a set-top box displaying the company’s logo made it through the Federal Communications Commission’s approval process.