Kansas City Residents Eager to Try Out Google Fiber
"The fact is that Google has been so innovative and has taken over as the search engine [to use]," said Andrews. "And there's not only Coca-Cola-like brand recognition but the fact that they seem very smart about what they're doing. The way they have been really communicating their plans here with everyone, it leads me to believe that they're going to provide better service." One key to her pending switch, she said, is that the new Google Internet service will include 1-terabyte of cloud storage in her $70-per-month service fee. That's a bonus, she said, because she is presently paying extra money each month for cloud storage, in addition to her $60 monthly cable Internet bill with Time Warner.Of course, there are no guarantees that it will all work as planned, and she's ready for that, said Andrews. "For me, maybe I won't like it, but it's something different and exciting and innovative. I'm all about being a guinea pig for that." One nearby resident who's left out of the first Google Fiber hook-up area is Michelle Dover, who lives five miles just outside of Kansas City, Mo. "I can't get it yet," said Dover, "but I can't wait until it expands to my neighborhood." Dover said she sees several keys to the Google service for her family, including big savings compared to her current $204 monthly Time Warner bill for television and Internet service, much faster performance and what she expects will be superior support and customer service. "Time Warner is horrible," she said. "The signal goes out all the time, and their customer service is ridiculous. Google would be a great thing for me." But not everyone is waiting in line for Google Fiber. Beck Ireland, a resident of the South Plaza neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., said she's not remotely interested in paying a $10 deposit to preregister under the initial sign-up program. "I guess I'm the opposite of a 'Google evangelist,'" said Ireland, a magazine journalist who is satisfied with the existing DSL Internet connection and landline phone from AT&T in her home. Even with two computers and a Roku streaming box using the same DSL connection, Ireland said she hasn't had any reason to seek faster service. "I really dont use them at the same time, so what we have is just fine," she said. If service through Google were cheaper than her existing service, that would be great, she said, but that's not the case. "I would like to pay less money, and having Google here, that could happen" through increased competition. "But just to pay them money to show interest in their product just seems ridiculous to me." After much local fanfare, Google announced July 26 that it will begin installation and hook-ups for Google Fiber in both Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Mo. To determine which neighborhoods will get the first service, Google is asking residents to gather their neighbors together to "lobby" for the first hook-ups through a sign-up competition that will last through Sept. 9. The neighborhoods with higher numbers of preregistrations will be the first ones to get the services.
"I think there are a lot of other young professionals in our neighborhood who are experiencing similar issues," said Andrews. "To not have to pay another service fee is a big deal."