Google has officially announced it is bringing a high-speed fibre-optic network to Kansas City, Missouri, as a pilot of its Google Fiber project.
Google Fiber is Google's first foray into the world of Internet providers. It will offer a fibre-optic broadband network service, providing 'gigabit' speeds, or 1000 mbps. The Associated Press reports that it would be about 100 times faster than a basic cable modem.
Local news stations were on hand to catch all the details at Google's big announcement:
In order to take full advantage of the incredibly fast speeds, users will need to get wired networks, NewScientist reports. Even top-end WiFi networks can only reach about 300 megabits, far from the full speed being offered by Google.
That will only be a problem for people who want to go with one of the top two options offered by Google. There are three versions of Google Fiber to choose from (all prices in USD) broken down by PC World:
- The standalone Gigabit Internet service will cost $70 a month and will give you the high-speed Internet service as well as the Google Fiber network box with four 1Gb Ethernet ports. Subscribers need to pay a $300 installation fee, unless they sign up for a 2-year contract.
- Gigabit + TV service is $120 a month, and includes the Gigabit Internet service, the network box plus the Fiber TV service. Subscribers will get a selection of network and cable channels, including some HD channels like Showtime and Starz. This high-end package also includes Google's new Nexus 7 tablet and a two terabyte TV box that can record up to eight shows at once. The installation fee is also waived with this plan if subscribers sign up for two years.
- For those who don't want to subscribe to the Gigabit service, there's an optional low-end plan that is free, if subscribers pay for the $300 installation. Those without a monthly fee will only have access to 5 Mbps upload speed and 1 Mbps downloads.
While this project is the first of its kind in the United States, it isn't the first to happen globally. South Korea sought to beat its already fast Internet speeds by installing a fibre-optic cable network which also boasts 1 Gb/second speeds. The New York Times reported last year about a pilot project run by the government in South Korea, which aims to bring the speedy connection to every household in the country by the end of 2012.