Google Fiber Kansas City: What It Costs, How It Works and Should You Get It?

Well, there are a lot of unanswered questions. Is the Internet service symmetric? How many fiberhoods will Kansas City be divided into? What will the uptake and response to the fiberhood rollout plan be?

How will cable and telephone companies in Kansas City respond?
Google at last has announced the pricing plans for its long-awaited Google Fiber gigabit networking, debuting first in Kansas City. There are three options:

Gigabit+, $120/month: You get Gbps Internet access plus TV (local channels are included, but which others?). You also get a 2TB cloud DVR with 8 virtual tuners and a Nexus 7 tablet that you can use as your remote control.

Gigabit Internet, $70 per month: You get Gbps Internet access plus what it’sadvanced” WiFi and 1TB of cloud storage on Google Drive.

Free Internet, $0/month: You get 5 Mbps Internet access, but there is a $300 construction fee that can be paid in $25 installments.

Note that Google is not even bothering with a telephone/TV/Internet “triple play” — it assumes you will use IP telephony and/or have a cell phone.

Image credit: Google blog

The rollout scheduling is innovative. Instead of doing purely speculative installation in various parts of the city, Google is asking people to pay $10 to pre-register. Those pre-registrations will determine the scheduling of installation in various “fiberhoods.” The fiberhoods with the highest pre-registration percentage during the next six weeks will get Google Fiber first. So Google is urging people to encourage their neighbors to preregister. It is even sweetening the pot by promising to give public community buildings like schools, libraries and hospitals in the fiberhood free Gigabit Internet.

I’ll stay tuned and keep you up to date. For, I’m Larry Press.