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Google has launched a sparkling new product called Google Fiber, a high-speed broadband service that delivers transfer rates of a near-instantaneous one gigabyte per second. Simultaneously, the company announced Google Fiber TV looking to position Google into this cable business and compete the current behemoths?
Google Fiber TV is a "real" TV service with channels and an EPG that mixes DVR results with Netflix and YouTube. According to Endgadget, as many as 500 shows can be stored in full 1080p HD, and several TVs within the home can tune in at the same time.
Not surprisingly, there's also a major mobile component taking advantage of that 1Gbps fiber link, as users will have the option of browsing, sharing and eventually watching live TV directly from tablet apps. The company is also promising an ever-evolving service that includes Google+ video hangouts. For hardware, Google has its own dedicated Network Box with a four-port gigabit Ethernet router and 802.11n WiFi, a TV Box with live viewing and a WiFi access point as well as a Storage Box DVR with 2TB of data and the ability to record eight shows at once. Your remote control? A free, bundled Nexus 7 tablet, naturally.
The overall service will come with 1TB of Google Drive space, although it's expensive to get started: there's a $300 "construction fee" (currently being waived) to wire a home for the fiber optics. Three packages will be on offer, starting with a Gigabit + TV package that includes the essentials, all major channels and "hundreds" of fiber channels (plus on-demand content) for $120 a month. Skip traditional TV and it costs $70 a month -- and if you're a local resident willing to pony up the construction free, you can get 5Mbps internet access for free for "at least" seven years. Key institutions are getting the full gigabit access for free, as well. Only small slices of Kansas City in both Missouri and Kansas state should have access at first, but Google is conducting a six-week "rally" where the most people paying a $10 pre-registration fee dictate where Google Fiber goes next. Now if only other cities would go the same route.
From the official Google Blog:
Our goal is to build products that will help improve our users’ lives. And when it comes to Internet access, it's clear what provides a better user experience:
- Fast is better than slow. On the web, nobody wants to wait for a video to buffer or a website to load.
- Abundance is better than scarcity. There’s a plethora of rich content available online—and it’s increasingly only available to people who have the speeds and means to access it.
- Choice is better than no choice. Competition and choice help make products better for users.
With that in mind, we embarked on a journey to bring ultra-high speeds to Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. And today, we’re excited to announce Google Fiber. Google Fiber is 100 times faster than today’s average broadband. 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.