Kansas residents now enjoying 1 Gbps speeds from Google Fiber service

Some residents in Kansas City are now enjoying ultra high-speed internet speed of about 700 Mbps after Google started its special broadband service.

Residents of Hanover Heights are the first users of the fastest internet service for residential users in the planet.

The new product of Google is a strong wake up call for traditional internet companies which usually charge their users more money for a much slower connection speed.

For its part, Google said that it hopes its new product will encourage more customers to spend more time on the web and use more services.

The main challenge for the giant tech company is to convince its customers that having faster speeds is beneficial for them.

Google’s foray into the broadband installation was made possible by the fact that it was able to secure dark fiber from other telecoms around the United States. Google had also been investing in cheap fiber already laid out by other companies that have gone bankrupt before establishing a customer base.

The new Google product is being delivered via Fiber to the Home (FTTH) system, utilizing overhead cables that also bring power to houses in the area.

Many analysts agree that the new service has been priced aggressively at $70 every month including the installation charge. Such price also comes with a 1 TB storage space on Google Drive. Another offer for subscribers is the broadband plus TV option priced at $120 per month.

Alternatively, other customers can pay a one-time $300 installation fee in exchange for free broadband of speeds up to 5 Mbps.

Aside from offering such an impressive package, many people have also confirmed that  Google’s customer service has been excellent.

“We’ll show up when we’re supposed to… we’ll clean up any mess; each installer carries a vacuum clean. And we’ll answer your questions and teach you about your devices – don’t be afraid to ask us questions, or ask us to explain something again in simple language,” said Google Fiber’s director of service delivery Alana Karen in a company blog post.

Critics as well as some analysts  are questioning whether or not Google’s new project is a serious commitment to communication infrastructure.

“If Google Fiber has an ambition to roll out its fiber and TV services to more cities across the US then the project becomes much more than a curiosity, but with Google so far not connecting businesses it has the hallmarks of a grand experiment,” said Andrew Ferguson, the founder of news site ThinkBroadband.

Another analyst, Steven Hartley, said that Google will most likely use Kansas City as a test bed.

“This isn’t the start of Google launching fiber networks all around the world. But it can use it to test how people use these networks,” he added.

When the project was announced in 2010, the interest for it was so huge that more than 1,000 towns and cities vied to be part of the plan.

After Kansas was selected, many web and digital entrepreneur started moving to the city hoping to take advantage of the ultra fast broadband connection speeds.

“There are probably people who would sell their soul to be living in a neighborhood of Kansas City that has access to the service, as they see fiber connectivity as part of the sci-fi future,” Mr Ferguson said.

But whether such a project will become a blueprint for the future of worldwide internet connectivity still remains to be seen.

“Fiber to the Home is certainly the gold-plated standard that to the best of our current knowledge is future proof, the problem being that unless every city in the world can find another ‘Google’ sitting on mountains of cash we will have to wait a few more years,” he said further.

source: bbc