After months of anticipation, on July 26 Google announced the launch of its own ultra-fast Internet and TV service, Google Fiber. Google said that the Internet would be one hundred times faster than what most Americans have today, promising a lightning-fast 1 GB access speed. Want to download a movie? Download it in one second, flat. Google Fiber TV lets users instantaneously download, record, and store television programs as well as stream shows online with no wait time.
The service is currently only offered in Kansas City as the company tests its development. Kansas City competed with hundreds of other cities vying for the bid from Google for this distinction. Only neighborhoods where enough people pre-register for the service will be hooked up to Google’s own fiber cables that they have spent months running through the city, bypassing local Internet and cable providers. Google hopes to expand its service to other cities if Kansas City’s service goes well. In its first week of signing up customers, seven thousand households had registered.
For only an Internet connection, Google will charge $70 a month, and for Internet and TV service the cost is $120 a month. Both charge $300 construction fees that are waived if you sign a two-year contract. There is also an option to get a slower Internet service with no monthly fee, just a one-time $300 charge. This option will be targeted to neighborhoods with low incomes.
Google hardly has to advertise to get people to sign up for their service because if someone in the neighborhood wants Google Fiber, they will want to get their neighbors to sign up also. If they don’t, Google won’t include their area on the network. In essence, individuals in Kansas City are doing Google’s marketing for them.
So what does this mean for the future of Internet and TV? For one, it should spur other companies to offer higher speeds and lower prices. Although Google will most likely not turn a profit with this venture for some time, the implications of a high-speed, low-cost Internet and TV service are substantial to modern technology. Colleges and workplaces, for one, will benefit with faster connectivity and better productivity without having to wait around for things to download. With this leap in technology, Google envisions the development of applications that need much greater storage space and faster connections. As the Internet evolves, Google is asking other companies and their network access speeds to keep up.