Google has officially flipped the switch on its first self-built, high-speed citywide network today. Lucky residents of Kansas City on both sides of the Kansas - Missouri state line are now able to get 1,000 Mbps download and upload speeds with no monthly bandwidth caps and no overages. The service also includes 1TB of cloud storage, access to a new Google Fiber Television service, and a few other goodies.
Google’s TV service includes traditional channels from major broadcast networks, "hundreds of fiber channels”, on-demand content from services such as Netflix and YouTube, and optional premium movie channels for an additional fee. It offers a fully searchable interface and DVR functionality for up to 500 hours of HD content.
Several TVs within the home can tune in at the same time by hooking each of them up to a small set-top box that also acts as a wireless hotspot. Additionally each home installation requires a Network Box, which offers gigabit routing, Wi-Fi, four ethernet ports, and "simple network management,” and an identical looking Storage Box with 2TB of space to serve as the DVR for all devices in the house.
Google is also making a remote app for iOS and Android tablets that will support video streaming in an upcoming version, and they’re even throwing in a Nexus 7 at no extra charge with every TV package.
There’s an initial $300 construction fee to get the fiber installed at your house but Google is currently waiving it and offering three different packages: Gigabit Internet + TV for $120 a month, an Internet-only plan for $70 a month, and the option to pay the $300 construction fee and get 5Mbps internet access for free for "at least" seven years. Key institutions are getting the full gigabit access for free as well.
Google will deploy the fiber network in areas where there is most interest first. Kansas City residents can vote on where the next rollout should be by paying a $10 fee to preregister.