Remember that free, super-high-speed broadband network that Google said back in 2010 that it would build for some lucky American city? Well, it's called Google Fiber and it was launched Thursday in the lucky American city of Kansas City. Google Fiber is not just a super-duper fast broadband connection, but also a cable television service provider that makes it very easy to get rid of your cable service provider.
Yes, the Google Fiber network is indeed super-high-speed, with broadband service of 1 gigabyte per second -- about 100 times faster than most Americans' broadband service. No, the Google Fiber network is not actually free. Google built the network at no charge, but Kansas City customers do not actually get it for free. The lowest-tiered service available is "free", but with a $300 construction fee. That $300 payment can be spread out over a year.
Google announced the super high-speed broadband had launched in Kasnas City in a blog post Thursday. "Google Fiber is 100 times faster than today’s average broadband," Google said in the post. "No more buffering. No more loading. No more waiting. Gigabit speeds will get rid of these pesky, archaic problems and open up new opportunities for the web. Imagine: instantaneous sharing; truly global education; medical appointments with 3D imaging; even new industries that we haven’t even dreamed of, powered by a gig."
There are no broadband caps, overage fees, or data limits on Google Fiber. Methinks Kansas Citians will soon be hitting the Pirate Bay and bit torrent sites pretty hard.
The surprising truth is that America has some of the slowest broadband of any industrialized nation. A 2010 study showed that the U.S. ranks 25th in internet speed among industrialized nations. Google Fiber is trying to change that.
The Google Fiber deal is available on three different tiers. As mentioned, the "free" internet service includes just 5 Mbps internet access with a $300 construction fee. You say that's not really free? These people won't see a monthly internet service bill for years.
The second tier costs $70 a month, includes the 1 Gbps internet speed, and 1 Tb of cloud storage. The $120 a month package includes all that plus cable television, a DVR that records up to eight shows at once, and a free Nexus 7 tablet to use as a remote control.
You think that's not a very generous deal? The best deal Comcast has to offer includes broadband only one third as fast, imposes a 250 GB monthly data cap, and costs nearly three times as much per month. And you do not a free tablet computer.