Google has announced that its FTTH project in Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO, is open for business and accepting applications for service, with the Kansas version of Kansas City up first. However, Kansas City residents will find that getting Google to connect a fiber to their homes will take a village – or at least a “fiberhood” – to accomplish.
Most service providers target their initial FTTH service deployments at the areas where they expect to have the most success. They’re generally just not as up-front about it as Google. The company has broken up its footprint into zones, which it calls fiberhoods. Google says that it will only deploy services in fiberhoods where there is sufficient demand, and the fiberhoods with the most demand will see service first.
To determine the pecking order, Google has launched a pre-registration period through which it will compute comparative demand. The pre-registration period runs until September 9. Those interested in subscribing can register via the Google Fiber website. Meanwhile, the company has embarked on a marketing campaign, including video, to urge people to “get out the vote” in their fiberhoods. As incentive Google says that it will also connect anchor institutions in fiberhoods that meet its target threshold, which could range from 5% to 25%, depending upon the fiberhood. How easy it will be to install FTTH determines what a fiberhood's threshold will be, Google indicates.
Service should begin this fall, and all qualifying areas should be online by the end of next year, Google promises. Meanwhile, Google said it plans to have services available in Kansas City, MO, beginning early next year.
Google plans to offer three service packages:
- Gigabit + Google Fiber TV, which combines 1-Gbps Internet with TV service. Subscribers will have eight tuners and 2 TB of DVR storage, as well as a Nexus 7 tablet. that you can use as your remote control. The package will cost $120 per month, and subscribers won’t have to pay the installation fee, which Google put at $300.
- Gigabit Internet, with in-home WiFi and 1 TB of cloud storage on “Google Drive.” Internet-only will cost $70 per month, and Google will again waive the $300 connection fee.
- Free Internet, which means no monthly charge, but you do have to pay the $300 connection charge. The connection also is dialed down to 5 Mbps.
Contracts run for two years. Not surprisingly, Google promises no data caps.
"This is undoubtedly the best deal in the U.S. for this type of service in terms of both speeds and price points," wrote market analyst Teresa Mastrangelo of broadbandtrends.com in a blog post. However, Mastrangelo points out that Google may have missed a bet by not having an offering tailored to the needs of businesses -- and another one by not offering ESPN in its TV package.