updated 12:46 pm EST, Tue November 13, 2012
1GBps fiber broadband luring startups to Kansas City
Google Fiber, the gigabit Internet service from the world's largest search engine, is going live today in Kansas City after months of building out the fiber infrastructure. A number of customers today will see their homes linked up to Google's Internet and IPTV service, with the Hanover Heights and Spring Valley neighborhoods of Kansas City first in line. The ultra-fast Internet connection appears to be yielding positive benefits for the municipality already, as a number of startups are said to have been moving to the area and renting or purchasing houses in order to take advantage of Google Fiber's speeds.
Google announced the launch of installations today in a post on the Google Fiber Blog. The company is aiming for a "one and done" installation process, with everything working as it should once the equipment is installed.
Google announced the Fiber project in July of this year in a joint event with municipal officials from both Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. Google Fiber provides gigabit Internet access, and it comes through the Google Fiber Network Box, which puts out 802.11n Wi-Fi at up to 360Mbps. Users also have the option to add Google TV to their service, giving them a Fiber TV box and an array of channels which Google is continually working to expand.
Customers also have the option to get "Free Internet," which requires a $300 construction fee for Google to build out the infrastructure to a customer's house, but requires no fee thereafter for at least seven years.
Google set about planning the build out of its Fiber network by encouraging neighborhoods to organize to demonstrate interest in Fiber. Shortly after neighborhoods were able to express interest, Google saw 180 "fiberhoods" reach the target for resident interest.
The faster Internet connection appears to be having ripple effects on the community. DSLReports notes that at least a dozen startups have purchased or rented homes in the neighborhoods that will be the first to receive Google Fiber. One organization, KC Startup Village, will be hosting a livestream of their Google Fiber installation, set to kick off at about 2:00 pm EST.