This morning, Google finally unveiled details of the network’s capabilities, products and pricing for Google Fiber, a new super high-speed fiber network only available in Kansas City. The company began by offering up some interesting info about speed and access and how, despite the fact that the internet began in the US, this country has fallen behind other countries in internet access speeds (see map below). Google also demo’d the new fiber network and talked about how the speeds of the new 1-gigabit network can improve and enable education, healthcare and athletics in the area.
World Average Speeds
Google also gave details of the products and services which will include TV programming, saying that customers "don't have to settle for old style TV anymore." And, as an extra nice bonus, revealed that they will be giving free Nexus 7 tablets, the remote control for Google Fiber TV, to those who sign up for the TV service. Also, the company said at the end of the consumer-focused presentataion that businesses will not be left out and that pricing and plans for KC-area businesses are coming soon.
Here are some other details on pricing plans:
- Google Fiber 1 Gbps internet access and TV is $120 per month. $300 installation fee waived with 2-year contract. Free Nexus 7 tablet. 1 Terrabit Google Drive cloud storage. No data cap. TV programming includes network, fiber channels and premium programming for additional charges.Source: Google
- Google Fiber 1 Gbps internet access is $70 per month. $300 installation fee waived with 1-year contract. This also includes 1 TB of cloud storage on Google Drive.
- Google Fiber basic broadband high-speed access (5Mbps downlink; 1Mbps uplink) is FREE for 7 years with installation of Google Fiber (pay $300 fee or $25 per month for one year).
So what are the buildout plans? How are they rolling this out? The Google way, of course. Mimicking how the company chose Kansas City as the first market, the company is conducting a 6-week long rally to determine where they will build the network. Customers can pre-register (for $10) to request their neighborhood ("fiberhood") at google.com/fiber. Google will build in local neighborhoods where they see the most demand.
Google showed a slick video of KC locals talking about Google Fiber and using the tagline: "Let's do this for Kansas City." Google, it seems, has managed to garner customer excitement (via contests, rallies) and buy-in (interacting with local stakeholders, mayors) with the approach of being a partner and enabler in the community. It's really quite a unique marketing tactic in the industry. I can't imagine how the "old style" providers like Time Warner Cable and AT&T will respond to this "new entrant" in the market. Maybe they should Google it?
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Kate Pearce is a Research Strategist and Sr. Consultant at Compass Intelligence where she participates in custom consulting projects and develops content for the wireline and mobility subscriptions and other device-related research. Ms. Pearce lives in the Kansas City area. You can contact Kate at email@example.com