Google today finally took the wraps off of their 1 Gbps Google Fiber deployment in Kansas City, holding a press conference this morning at one of their new regional NOCs to finally give us some hard details. In the presentation, Google took more than a few potshots at the nation's sluggish average downstream speeds of 5 Mbps before demonstrating just how fast a 1 Gbps connection is. The company also gave users their first look at Google's new Google Fiber TV service, which pulls content from traditional and Internet channels using new custom Google gateways, DVRs and set tops.
According to Google, the service will deliver 1 Gbps downstream and upstream speeds to users, with cloud storage included and no caps or overages. Google Fiber Television supports many of the technology you'd expect, including multi-room DVR functionality and tablets/smartphones as remote controls. Google has designed new DVR, Set top and Wi-Fi gateways that all look roughly the same (black, rectangular, with one blue LED).
The company is offering Google Fiber in three flavors to local residents. One is the Google TV and Fiber package, which includes a symmetrical 1 Gbps connection, and one bundle of television channels (all major broadcast networks, hundreds of fiber channels, on demand, all in HD), and a free Google Nexus 7 tablet to be used as a remote control -- all for $120 a month. Google says if users sign a two-year contract, they'll waive the install/construction fee.
The other option is just Google "Gigabit package," which costs $70 a month and includes a terabyte of included cloud storage. For the gigabit package, Google's waiving the construction fee if users sign a one-year contract.
I assume that monitoring and selling your entire home's connectivity and usage data to interested parties comes free of charge.
Google's also offering a third package of 5 Mbps, 1 Mbps up for free for users who aren't quite ready to jump into the 1 Gbps pool. Users simply have to pay the $300 installation fee, which they can pay in one lump sum, or pay in $25 a month increments for the first year. They then get 5 Mbps for seven years with no monthly fee. If symmetrical 1 Gbps connectivity didn't make incumbent executives cry, the free 5 Mbps product certainly will.
As for future deployments, Google says they're going to continue building out the service in Kansas City wherever the company sees the most interest. The company announced what they're calling a "six week rally," which involves local residents going to the Google website to pre-register and pay a $10 fee. Communities that rally the most locals will get new deployments earlier, while Google gets free press. As additional motivation, Google says that local municipal operations within neighborhoods are slated to get free gigabit connectivity. The rally ends September 9, at which time involved communities will know who'll get service next.