Here’s a simple question: would you rather pay $75 a month for 1GB uploads/downloads (about 100 times faster than the average U.S. broadband connection) with no data caps, or would you rather pay $300 a month for 300 MB download speeds?
That’s what Google’s offering in Kansas City versus the fastest cable internet you can get. Still not sold? OK, fork over $120 and you get TV. It doesn’t have all the channels of cable, but hey, it’s TV. Oh, and you get a free cable box and one terabyte of cloud storage. And a Nexus 7 to control it.
Still not sold? I’m touched cable employees read my work so closely!
Google has officially announced their Google Fiber initiative and instead of the usual blockquote, have a video of what they intend to do and how it’ll work…
OK, that’s an hour long, so here’s the gist: Essentially, you have to pay a hookup fee of $300, but this can be mitigated the same way cell service is — you buy a two year contract, they waive the fee. Consider that you’ll pay $250 for the Nexus 7 they give you and it’s already a freaking deal right there.
The catch is that forty to eighty people in your neighborhood will also have to be interested before Google will wire you up. They’re calling it Fiberhoods. Frankly, at the prices they’re offering, they’re not going to have much of a problem.
Analysts are wondering what Google is going to make off all this and how they can possibly expand it across the nation. Well, let’s do the math. Let’s say all customers getting high-speed internet, about 48 million worth, defect to Google Fiber, and it’s hard to see why, precisely, they wouldn’t. 48 million times seventy five bucks, carry the two, let’s see, that seems to be about oh, $3.6 billion dollars. A month. This is before Google takes its bite out of, say, streaming video ads, or movie sales, or music sales, or book sales.
Oh, and it also offers Google a neat end-run around the crappy policies and behaviors of the cable companies. They can do whatever they want on their networks. Google couldn’t care less. And this is assuming cable customers don’t ditch their cable provider in droves for a cheaper service that offers about the same deal. Yeah, HBO isn’t on Google Fiber, yet, but once they, say, show up in the suburbs that’s going to change in a hurry.
In short, unless Google Fiber tanks in Kansas City, cable companies were just put on notice: get with the times and start coughing up serious infrastructure upgrades… or just crawl into the tar pit now.
image courtesy Google