Google Fiber Gigabit Internet and TV Officially Launched


On Thursday Google finally launched Google Fiber, the company's Gigabit broadband service currently installed in Kansas City (Kansas, Missouri). The company is actually leaving it up to local residents in determining how the new network will spread across town. Even more, one of three offered packages will be free, requiring no monthly access fee for at least 7 years.

"Google Fiber works better when communities are connected together," the company said. "So we’ve divided Kansas City into small communities we call fiberhoods. We’ll install only where there’s enough interest, and we’ll install sooner in fiberhoods where there’s more interest. You can check out your fiberhood’s pre-registration goal, as well as a real-time status update of all Kansas City fiberhoods on our rankings page."

Starting Thursday, eligible Kansas City residents can pre-register for Google Fiber using basic information and supplying a $10 fee. Then over the next six weeks, the object is to rally neighbors and friends to register as well before the September 9 deadline.

"When you participate, not only will you help bring Google Fiber to your home, you’ll also help bring it to your community—if your fiberhood reaches its pre-registration goal, we’ll also connect community buildings like schools, libraries and hospitals with free Gigabit Internet," Google added.

Once the rally is completed, Google will inform each registrant if their fiberhood reached its goal. If so, they'll be able to choose one of three service packages. The first homes will get service shortly after the rally ends, and all qualifying neighborhoods will receive service before the end of 2013.

Here's where it gets interesting, and possibly a little scary for other broadband and cable providers. The first package combines both Gigabit internet and TV programming into one $120/month package. This includes the Nexus 7 tablet, a TV box, a Storage Box (aka DVR), a Network Box (aka Router), and a 1 TB Google Drive account. Naturally taxes and fees are tacked onto the monthly subscription.

The TV service consists of around 160 channels and includes what cable subscribers would find in their Digital TV service as well as local channels (see below). The Nexus 7 tablet is promoted as the customer's "new remote," offered free of charge with this package. There's also an optional Chromebook starting at $299.

Is there a catch? Not really. Google only requires a 2-year contract, and there's no up-front "construction fee." In fact, customers won't even see bandwidth caps as seen with other competing broadband services.

As for the second package, Google is offering Gigabit Internet only for $70/month. This package includes the Network Box and the 1 GB Google Drive account. As with the first package, the $300 "construction fee" is waived, and there is no bandwidth cap. The contract is also only for one year, and customers are offered the Chromebook option with this plan as well.

Finally there's the third package: free Internet. While this sounds great, it actually does come with a price: either $300 up front (the "construction fee"), or $25/mo for 12 months. This plan allows up to 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds, but will remain free for at least 7 years. In addition to no data caps, it comes with the Network Box and the optional Chromebook.

Both the $120 and $70 plan offer up to 1 GB upload and download speeds.

So what's next? Will Google Fiber move beyond Kansas City? Eventually, but for now Google is focused on local feedback. With the three plans exposed and Google's interesting "fiberhood" method of deployment, cities are likely already eager to sign up for the new Fiber Gigabit and TV service.

Here's the full list of Google Fiber TV channels now offered to Kansas City residents:

3Net
A&E
Action Weather
Animal Planet
Antenna TV
Bandamax
BET
BET Gospel
Biography Channel
BlueHighways TV
Bounce TV
Bravo
C-SPAN
C-SPAN 2
C-SPAN 3
CBS Sports Network
Centric
Chiller
cloo
CMT
CMT Pure Country
CNBC
CNBC World
Comedy Central
Cooking Channel
Create
Crime & Investigation Network
Current TV
De Pelicula
De Pelicula Clasico
Destination America
Discovery
Discovery en Espanol
Discovery Familia
Discovery Fit & Health
DIY
E! Entertainment
Encore
Encore Action
Encore Drama
Encore Espanol
Encore Family
Encore Love
Encore Suspense
Encore Westerns
Flix
Food Network
FOROTv
G4
GAC
Galavision
Game Show Network
Golf Channel
H2
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Movie Channel
Halogen
HGTV
History
IndiePlex
INSP
Investigation Discovery
ION Life
KCPT (PBS)
KCTV 5 (CBS)
KCWE 29 (CW)
KMBC 9 (ABC)
KMCI 38
KPXE 50 (ION)
KSHB 41 (NBC)
KSMO 62
KUKC 48 (Univision)
La Familia Cosmovision
Lifetime
Lifetime Move Network
Lifetime Real Women
Live Well
LOGO
MeTV
MGM
Military Channel
Military History
MLB Network
MoviePlex
MSNBC
MTV
MTV Hits
MTV Jams
MTV tr3s
MTV2
MTVU
mun2
NASA
NBC Sports Network
NFL
NFL Redzone
NHL
Nick 2
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Nicktoons
Olympics Channel 1
Olympics Channel 2
Outdoor Channel
OWN
Oxygen
Palladia
PBS Encore
PBS Kids Sprout
qubo
QVC
REELZChannel
RetroPlex
Ritmoson Latino
Science channel
Sho2
Showtime
Showtime Beyond
Showtime Extreme
Showtime Family Zone
Showtime Next
Showtime Showcase
Showtime Women
Smithsonian
Spike TV
Sportsman Channel
Starz
Starz Cinema
Starz Comedy
Starz Edge
Starz in Black
Starz Kids and Family
Style!
SyFy
TBN Enlace
Teen Nick
Telefutura
Telehit
Telemundo
Tennis Channel
The History en Espanol
The Hub
This TV
TLC
TMC Extra
TMC: The Movie Channel
Travel Channel
TV Land
TVG
Universal
Univision Deportes
Univision tlnovelas
USA Network
VH1
VH1 Classic
VH1 Soul
WDAF 4 (FOX)
WealthTV
Weather channel
WGN
Youtoo TV

 

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
61 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • mokaonly87
    I am so Excited! I have been waiting 25 years for this!
    21
  • Hellbound
    Yes, please come to California and kick Comcast in the balls.....
    19
  • Nesto1000
    I thought that it was going to be completely free, but still... $70 a month for a gigabit connection!? That is a steal! I'm currently paying $65 for 12mbps down and 6mbps up....

    The free internet isn't so bad either considering that it's free for the most part, but I still wouldn't get it.
    16
  • Other Comments
  • mokaonly87
    I am so Excited! I have been waiting 25 years for this!
    21
  • Nesto1000
    I thought that it was going to be completely free, but still... $70 a month for a gigabit connection!? That is a steal! I'm currently paying $65 for 12mbps down and 6mbps up....

    The free internet isn't so bad either considering that it's free for the most part, but I still wouldn't get it.
    16
  • LeetSpeak
    Need this NOW! After you're done there, can you head over here at LA, CA?
    7