Lucky folks from Kansas are first ones to enjoy Google’s fiber link to Kansas City and the company’s latest interactive television service called Google Fiber TV. The move is a pioneering act by Google to show TV and broadband industries that a speedier network can be deployed at a lower cost.
Earlier this summer, Google managed to get the Federal Communications Commission’s approval to issue set-top boxes for customers, marking a positive trend to the project. The set-top box will allow customers to access Google Fiber TV, an interactive service for TV that can search a DVR and Netflix for contents. Google Fiber TV includes a DVR that will store up to 500 hours of 1080p High Definition movies and shows . The device will also allow customers to record up to 8 TV shows at the same time.
Fiber optics technology is still expensive for even a giant company like Google so their Kansas project will charge every household that will get the service $300 for the construction of the fiber connection. However, Google will give an exemption for those people who initially sign up for the service.
There are three packages in this service. For people with deep pockets, Gigabit and Fiber TV service will charge $120 per month to access 1 gigabit-per-second connection on both downstream and upstream. Customers who avail of this package will also be given 1 terabyte Google Drive cloud storage access. Google Fiber TV will include the normal channels, thousands of TV shows on demand, Google’s own Google Fiber channels, and premium movie channels. Also, there is no data cap for the Gigabit service so users can enjoy without worrying so much about their bandwidth limit.
Google announced that homes signing up for this service will get giveaway Google Android Nexus 7 tablets. There is no mention whether or not traditional home channels like ESPN or Discovery will be included in the TV service.
The medium package is designed for people who wants to avail of the high speed broadband connection. At $70 a month, customers will have a guaranteed 1 Gbps download and upload speeds. This service will also include a terabyte of cloud storage.
Google said that for a limited period, people who sign up for either of the two services won’t have to pay for the $300 construction fee.
The third package is designed to cater to about a quarter of the people of Kansas City who do not have broadband yet. This package will be offered for a limited time too. The service will be free for people who sign up to pay for the $300 construction fee. This offer will include 5 Gbps download speed and 1 Gbps upload for up to seven years. Customers will have an option to upgrade throughout the duration and will only be paying $25 a month to pay for the construction fee for a year.
The tech giant company started the construction of the network backbone last February. Google hopes to launch the network this summer.