updated 07:32 am EDT, Tue April 9, 2013
Total cost could hit $170 million, same for Austin
Recent research estimates the cost of Google's Kansas City fiber project is just below $100 million, so far. Carlos Kirjner and Ram Parameswaran of Bernstein Research believe that the rollout of Google Fiber in Kansas City, Kansas has cost $42 million, while Kansas City, Missouri has cost $52 million for the current fiber build-out.
The figures reported by TechCrunch are just for the initial wave of 12,000 homes, and suggests that to cover 300,000 homes would double the build-out costs to $170 million, excluding the final connection between homes and the network. The anticipated roll-out to Austin, Texas is suggested to cost around the same.
The researchers continue, stating "We remain skeptical that Google will find a scalable and economically feasible model to extend its build out to a large portion of the US, as costs would be substantial, regulatory and competitive barriers material, and in the end the effort would have limited impact on the global trajectory of the business."
In order to reach 20 million homes, it is estimated that Google would end up spending around $11 billion over a five-year period just on the fiber network itself, excluding individual customer connections. A previous estimate by Goldman Sachs suggested that covering half the US population would cost in the order of $70 billion.