Google is on stage now in Kansas for the launch of its Gigabit Google Fiber Internet and TV service. Interested users can sign up today at Google.com/fiber for a $10 pre-registration fee. Google will not actually deploy the service until the majority of people from designated “fiberhoods” in Kansas pre-register for the service. Fiberhoods are made of about 800 residents, but Google said announcements about the service for businesses would be made at a later time. The fiberhoods that show the highest level of interest by September will get the service first.
Google spent a lot of time demoing the “100 times faster” Internet service, but the majority of the demo was for the new Fiber TV service. Google will offer the Internet and TV service as a $120 per month package. It will also wave the $300 installation fee for early customers, and it will offer a number of other options, including just Gigabit Internet for $70 monthly (which also includes 1TB Google Drive, no data caps, and a one-year contract), and an interesting option for free Internet at $0 per month for only the $300 construction fee (with the option to upgrade to the gigabit service after a year).
The service provides customers with a free Nexus 7 tablet, and Google will ship a Fiber TV app for iOS and Android (pictured in the gallery above). Google noted one TV package would be offered, providing a full channel TV lineup and optional premium movie channels. The service will give access to YouTube, DVR, on-demand libraries, and Netflix. The full list of channels is available at Google Fiber’s Plans & Pricing page.
Other than demoing the user interface for the Fiber TV service, Google also showed off the hardware that will make the Fiber service possible, such as: a network box consisting of Gigabit routing, high performance Wi-Fi, a Gigabit firewall, simple network management functionality, a storage box capable of recording up to eight shows at once for 500 hours of content in HD with 2 TB of storage, and a TV box that connects the other two boxes and turns your TV into a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Nexus 7 is included as the TV service’s remote, but Google noted the Fiber apps would receive the ability to stream content in the future.
Google explained the introduction of the new service in detail on the official Google blog:
When we asked people what they value in their Internet service, the majority of them simply said, “choice.” So we listened. Kansas Citians will choose where we install and when. We’ve divided Kansas City into small communities we call “fiberhoods.” To get service, each fiberhood needs a critical mass of their residents to pre-register. The fiberhoods with the highest pre-registration percentage will get Google Fiber first. Households in Kansas City can pre-register for the next six weeks, and they can rally their neighbors to pre-register, too. Once the pre-registration period is over, residents of the qualified fiberhoods will be able to choose between three different packages (including TV).