It looks as if the world is envious of Kansas City for more than just good barbecue for the first time in history. Google has announced that their Google Fiber Internet connection and cable TV service will be launching in the city on both the Missouri and Kansas sides of town in the near future. Google has promised that Google Fiber will have peak speeds of 1,000mbps (1gbps), which is crazy fast. Subscribers will receive unlimited bandwidth as well, which is great as most US broadband providers cap out at 250GB per month. However, while Google’s Internet packages look awesome, their TV packages look pretty “meh” in comparison. Disney-owned channels are missing as well as premium channels like HBO, Starz and Cinemax.
So, what are the perks of getting Google Fiber besides the awesome Internet speeds? For starters, Google will give you a terabyte of free Cloud Drive storage to store whatever you’d like. Google will also throw in Nexus 7 if you pick up their Internet and TV plan as the Nexus 7 is the standard TV remote for Google’s “TV Box”. If you don’t want to use the Nexus 7, you can also use your iOS or Android device as a remote. Google’s cable box is also supposed to be pretty cool as it doubles as a wireless access point to extend your wireless reception. And while this cable box doesn’t seem to be running Google TV or Android, it will allow you to stream YouTube and Netflix videos to your TV. You will also receive a “Storage Box” and a “Network Box”. The Storage Box will house a network attached 2TB hard drive, which can record TV shows as well as house other files. The Network Box is pretty basic as it’s a simple router/modem combo. However, the Network Box only supports Wireless 802.11n, so it isn’t extremely future proof as we could begin seeing Wireless 802.11ac devices next year. Lastly, Google also offers a discounted Samsung ChromeBook to all subscribers for just $299.
So while this all sounds great, how much does the service cost? Google has said that they will be offering three different packages: “Gigabit + TV”, “Gigabit” and “Average”. Gigabit + TV will offer Google’s TV service as well as a fiber connection. Google has said that their TV packages will come with on-demand video as well as most major channels — this plan will run you $120 per month. Google’s Gigabit plan will only offer a fiber connection and will run you $70 per month. Last but not least is Google’s “Average” plan. This plan will offer relatively slow speeds of 5mbps down and 1mbps up. However, this plan has no monthly fee as long as you pay the $300 installation fee.
If you’re in Kansas City and want Google Fiber, how do you get it? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just subscribing. You’ll have to vote for your region on the Google Fiber website after paying a $10 fee. The areas of town with the most votes will get Google Fiber first. Google has not yet said when this service will expand to other parts of the world.