The Washington Post has gotten its hands on an invitation that reveals that Google is experimenting with adding a phone service to Google Fiber. Currently, Fiber only has internet and cable, but the addition of a Google Voice-like phone service would bring it in line with packages from other providers.
The invitation emailed to members of the Fiber Trusted Tester program details a phone service very familiar to Google Voice. Those who sign-up for the program would require the installation of an additional piece of equipment in their homes. In return, they would get a number that lives in the cloud that when called would ring any phone. A voicemail transcription service and other features like spam filtering, call screening, and do-not-disturb are included. Users have the choice of getting a new number or transferring their existing cell or landline number.
Fiber is currently in three cities, with work underway in another six. Google is exploring expanding Fiber in several other cities, including large metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and Chicago. Fiber currently comes in three tiers: a free 5 Mbps internet service, a $70 gigabit internet service, and a $130 gigabit service that includes cable television. It’s unknown how much a phone service would add to the cost of Fiber.
Google Fiber is part of Alphabet’s Access and Energy division that includes projects like the OnHub router and another effort to bring internet to developing markets called Project Link. Thanks to Fiber the division has a clear business model and is expected to get a rebrand in the future.
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