Google has been very quiet about sign up totals for Google Fiber so far, so Bernstein Research recently conducted a door to door survey across five Kansas City neighborhoods
(via Multichannel News
). Bertstein says the firm is seeing significantly higher adoption in those neighborhoods than they previously suspected, suggesting that in the admittedly-limited areas that Google Fiber is deployed, the ultra-fast service is delivering a bit of a beating to incumbent ISPs.
"[T]he penetration measured by our survey was much higher than we had expected,” Berstein Research analyst Carlos Kirjner wrote in research note note to clients. "We think the incumbent cable and telephone have not said anything actually useful (because) they are losing large share in the very early Google Fiber neighborhoods," the firm states. "This is at least what our survey of Kansas City fiberhoods suggests."
The Bernstein study saw penetration rates of up to 83% in more affluent neighborhoods, and take rates of 27% in lower-income areas. Bernstein believes Google will grab 50% or more of potential homes passed with their $70 offering in three to four years, and at least 10% of the homes passed with the company's "free" 5 Mbps offering (which requires a $300 install fee).
Impacted companies like Time Warner Cable have tried to argue that demand simply isn't there
for what Google's offering (symmetrical 1 Gbps lines for $70 a month).
ISP execs comfort themselves with the fact that Google Fiber won't be coming to most of their territories anytime soon. While Google recently announced they were considering delivering Google Fiber to 34 new cities in nine regions
, only one or two of those cities are likely to see service anytime soon. Google Fiber's purpose is primarily to light a fire under the stagnant, uncomeptitive U.S. broadband duopoly
. Still, Google has said they don't intend to lose money on the venture, and these early-uptake numbers suggest the company won't need to.