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Google Fiber Begins High Speed Rollout in Kansas City


Now, if you aren’t a total geek like yours truly, the terms “1 gigabit per second” and “fiber optics” are probably meaningless “tech-speak” that cause your eyes to instantly glaze over. But Google Fiber is an innovation that even the most tech-averse can appreciate. What it amounts to are internet speeds that far outpace anything available from current ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner, at much better prices.

When you stack Google Fiber up against the other ISPs’ fastest offerings, it far surpasses competition in both price and performance. For example Verizon’s 300Mbps Fios Ultimate service and Comcast’s Extreme 105Mbps service both cost around $200 per month without the inclusion of cable T.V. Google Fiber cost $120 per month, which includes 1000Mbps internet service, television, a Google Nexus 7 tablet which doubles as a remote control for the 2-terabyte DVR capable of recording 8 shows at once and storing up to 200 hrs of HD video.

In case you weren’t quite sold yet, the DVR doubles as an 802.11n router with 4 Ethernet ports. So anyone who has ever found themselves struggling to find a way to connect all of their new internet-ready devices in the living room will be pleasantly surprised.  You can also opt for 1Gbps internet without television service for only $70 per month. Oh, and did I mention that there are no bandwidth caps on Google Fiber? To top it all off, the included DVR will also allow you to stream Netflix and YouTube on the big screen, and Google Fiber has no data caps so you can stream till your heart’s content without ever worrying about your connection being throttled or shut off.

Unfortunately, all this awesomeness comes with a few caveats. First off, for now at least, Google Fiber is only available in Kansas City. In addition, running fiber optic cable to people’s homes isn’t cheap, so Google is subsidizing this cost by allowing willing residents to pony up $300 to have necessary wiring run to their neighborhood.

If you do opt to pay for the wiring, you will be guaranteed free 5Mbps internet for the next 7 years. Not exactly blazing fast speed, but plenty fast enough for the average user. And now, in what may amount to a deal breaker for many people, at this stage Google’s T.V. service has some glaring omissions in their channel lineup. Among the missing networks are heavy hitters like HBO, the Disney Channel, ESPN, TBS, TNT, AMC, and ABC. For someone like me who consumes most of their media via internet sources, this is no big deal, but for your traditional couch potato, Google’s missing channels may amount to a non- starter. Fortunately Google is in negotiations with the reluctant networks and hopes to come to come to some agreement soon after the service is launched.

The other internet service providers are not shaking in their boots quite yet, but you can believe they are taking notice. Google is poised to offer internet and T.V. service faster and cheaper than the competition, but there is no word on a timeframe for a more widespread rollout. For those lucky enough to be in the Kansas City area, this is almost a no brainer. Google plans to roll out the service to the entire KC, Kansas and KC, Missouri area one “fiberhood” at a time. Those who want the service sooner rather than later can opt to pay a $10 pre-registration fee to have their neighborhood move up on the list. The communities with the most pre- registrations will be wired first, while those with the fewest will have to wait a little longer. The rest of us will just have to endure buffering and exorbitant prices until Google says otherwise. To find out more about this much-anticipated, service visit fiber.google.com.

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