Published July 27, 2012
Google Inc. has decided to try and bypass the local cable and phone companies by creating their own fiber line. Google announced this yesterday in midtown Kansas City Yoga Studio. They have spent months building what they are calling “Google Fiber” in Kansas City. This will be the testing ground to show what the connection can do. Users that will be testing the system in Kansas City will be charged $70 per month. The $70 monthly fee will pay for "gigabit" Internet service, about 100 times faster than a basic cable modem. For another $50 per month, Google will provide cable-TV-like service over the fiber, too, and a Nexus 7 tablet computer that works as a remote.
Google Inc. will only provide this service to neighborhoods that show the most amount of interest. They are giving a six-week period for users to sign up and then they will decide where to install.
Channels will include Nickelodeon, Discovery, Bravo, Starz and Showtime (which may require additional fees) but is missing AMC, HBO, CNN, Fox News and ESPN. Google stated that there will be more of an expansion with channels and did not comment on why these were not offered.
Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James, was clearly pleased with the announcement.
"We now have an opportunity to take a giant step and if we don't it's all on us," James said. "It's going to be a great educational tool ... that's going to create innovators and entrepreneurs, and that's exactly what we want."
Google is hoping that the network could help the development of other advanced applications that can take advantage of the high speeds. It's also hoping to spur phone and cable companies into upgrading their own networks.
"Access speeds have simply not kept pace with the phenomenal increases in computing power and storage capacity that's spurred innovation over the last decade," Milo Medin, Google's vice president of Access Services, said in a blog post.
The cost of this project is unknown. Verizon is the only other company that has tried this kind of broadband connection upgrade. Verizon FIOS has not seen a profit yet. They are charging the same amount $70 per month for a weaker signal then what Google is offering. They have also currently stop adding locations to their service.