We all want faster internet, we all want to download stuff quickly, have low latency when playing games, want to stream video without buffering and enjoy everything a technologically advanced country should offer. It’s just a shame not all of us can enjoy that.
Well, if you live in Kansas City you can. With the announcement that Google Fiber is being launched in the city, residents are understandably happy. The prospect of gigabit connections to the home for a relatively low cost certainly isn’t to be sniffed at.
Launched on July 26 this year, Kansas City can now enjoy all the benefits of super-fast fiber for a relatively low cost.
Google is currently offering three subscriber plans to residents. The Gigabit +TV will run you $120 per month with a $300 construction fee to cover connection costs. That cost is waived if you sign up for two years. That will get you Fiber TV, including Netflix a free Google Nexus 7 tablet and a TV box with 500 hour recording capacity.
If you want internet only, that’s $70 per month with a $300 construction fee to cover connection costs, again waived if you sign up for two years. There is also a free plan, limited to 5mb where the $300 will be charged.
All That Glitters
It isn’t all good news though. While the service is technically live and the core infrastructure in place, you can’t enjoy gigabit downloads just yet as the fiber to home isn’t laid. Homes have to sign up to “book” the service and Google will install the infrastructure depending on how many homes in your neighborhood sign up.
Current estimates are late 2013 for connection to homes. While the network is in place, the fiber connections aren’t. Google are announcing a connection calendar on September 9, so keep an eye out if you live in the city and have signed up for the service.
The main hurdle is apparently cost, with Time Warner wanting entirely too much money to allow the channel to be carried across the network. Google is in negotiation with this and other channels to widen the selection in time for launch.
The other main downside is that you probably won’t really notice gigabit internet until the rest of the world catches up. Unless you have friends in Japan or South Korea who already enjoy fiber to the home, you’re not really going to get the most out of the system.
However, for the services on offer, the bandwidth will certainly benefit those who want to watch TV over the internet instead of the airwaves. Keep an eye out for when Google Fiber comes to your city. If the KC experiment pays off, it is bound to be rolled out across the country.
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