Google high-speed Web access to debut for $70 per month
Kansas city will test fiber-optic cable TV, internet network
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Google Inc. revealed Thursday what it will charge for its long-awaited, ultra-fast Internet service in Kansas City: $70 per month.
The service is intended as a showcase for what's technically possible and as a testbed for the development of new ways to use the Internet. Bypassing the local cable and phone companies, Google has spent months and an unknown amount of money pulling its own optical fiber through the two-state Kansas City region.
After vetting many contenders, Google announced last year that the Kansas City metro area would be the first to get its "Fiber for Communities" broadband service.
The $70 monthly fee will pay for gigabit Internet service, about 100 times faster than a basic cable modem. For another $50 per month, Google will provide cable-TV-like service over the fiber, too, and a tablet computer that works as a remote.
The channel lineup includes Nickelodeon, Discovery, Bravo, Starz and Showtime (which may require additional fees) but is missing AMC, HBO, CNN, Fox News and ESPN. Google spokeswoman Jenna Wandres wouldn't say why the channels were missing, but said the lineup would expand.
Google said it will only start hooking up households in neighborhoods where a sufficient number of people want service. Kansas City residents have six weeks to pre-register for service, after which Google will decide which areas have enough interest.
The $70 fee is more than what cable or phone companies charge for basic Internet service, but the service is also much faster. Gigabit speeds, or 1,000 megabits per second, are generally unavailable from other companies.