Google (GOOG) on Thursday lit up its highly-anticipated fiber network in Kansas City, promising to bring residents of the city world-class Internet and television service with projected maximum theoretical speeds of 1Gbps. Google vice president of access services Milo Medin made the announcement in Kansas City and said that the fiber network was necessary to help American consumers and businesses keep with with the acceleration of both computing power and storage needs.
“Even though the Internet was invented here, other countries have sped ahed and their citizens enjoy much faster speeds,” he said. Medin also promised that Google Fiber users would never experience broadband caps or overage charges, marking a key differentiator between many other wireline carriers. He also said that Fiber customers would be getting an astonishing 1 terabyte β yes, terabyte β of data storage space on Google Drive.
Google engineers ran speed tests comparing Google Fiber to standard broadband networks and showed that Google Fiber had download speeds of around 937Mbps, or just under 1Gbps.
Google also signaled its intention to compete with Verizon FiOS and Comcast Xfinity by announcing a new Google Fiber TV service that comes with the ability to record up to 500 hours of shows in HD. Google is also offering a Google TV App for tablets and smartphones that transform users’ mobile devices into TV remote controls.
“You don’t have to settle for old-style television anymore,” said Medin. “It’s not just Internet and it’s not just TV: It’s Google Fiber.”
Kansas City residents will need to let Google add a direct fiber optic connection to their homes to get access to the service. The entire package, both Internet and television, will cost $120 a month. Users who sign a two-year service agreement will have their construction fee waived. Google says that the fiber Internet service alone will cost $70 a month, with the construction fee waived if users sign a one-year service agreement.