Less than a week after inaugurating its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in Kansas City, Google has confirmed that it is now preparing a second pre-registration phase for homes in North and South Kansas City (Missouri).
Writing on the company blog, Kevin Lo, General Manager of Google Access, says he has been “blown away” by local reaction to the new fibre broadband services: in total, 40 neighbourhoods have qualified for service, more than 2,000 people have visited its demo area ‘Fiber Space’, and thousands of ice cream sandwiches have been distributed from Google Fiber trucks.
While remaining focused on residential connections for the moment, Google does plan to offer business packages and will make an announcement about a small business offering soon, according to Lo.
The new FTTH network was conceived as an experimental test bed for the search giant – a way to learn even more about internet usage, perhaps with a view to rolling out similar networks in other parts of the US.
The service does not come cheap however: the cheapest monthly package costs US$70 per month on a two-year contract, offering a 1 Gbps broadband-only connection. There is also a dual-play package of broadband+IPTV for US$ 120 per month, which offers the above plus access to Google’s brand new IPTV service.
Finally, there is also the option to pay a one-off construction fee of US$ 300, which pays to have a fibre cable routed to, and built directly into, a customer’s home. They are then entitled to seven years of unlimited Internet access, but at maximum speeds of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload.
With Amazon and Google launching smart home initiatives, have the telcos missed out on their chance to cash in on this market?
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