Google Fiber, the search giant's new high-speed Internet and cable television service, will soon begin rolling out to more than 180 Kansas City neighborhoods that preregistered for the fledgling new service.
Back in July, Google Fiber unveiled the preregistration program for eligible residents to sign up for the service, with the idea that the neighborhoods with the highest number of preregistrants would get hooked up first. The registration program for the first round of registrants ended Sept. 9, but residents and neighborhoods left out of the first hook-ups will be able to again seek service in the future, according to a Google Fiber blog post.
"On July 26, we kicked off a six-week rally to find out where you wanted us to build Google Fiber," wrote Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Access, in a Sept. 10 blog post. "Since then, we've been amazed and humbled by your excitement and commitment to the future of the Internet."
When Google announced the preregistration program in July, it announced 202 neighborhoods where residents could sign up for the initial rollout of the service. The number of registrants had to reach minimum levels in each neighborhood for inclusion in the first installation. At least 180 out of the first 202 eligible neighborhoods-or what Google calls "fiberhoods"-met the eligibility requirements.
"This number has blown us away-and it's not even the final tally," wrote Lo. "We're still processing some final address verification requests and preregistrations from apartment buildings and condos. On Thursday, we'll share the final list of fiberhoods that have qualified for Google Fiber and the order in which they'll be constructed, along with more details about the next steps."
Residents in the neighborhoods that missed being included in the first round needn't worry because they'll be eligible to sign up again in the future starting sometime next year, said a Google spokesman. Additional preregistration efforts were always planned so that more people will be able to apply for and receive Google Fiber service in the future, the spokesman said.
No date has yet been set for when the installation of Google Fiber will begin to homes throughout Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, according to the spokesman.
The Kansas City area was chosen more than two years ago by Google as the place to start their Google Fiber efforts after the company publicly asked communities across the nation whether they'd want to be the test site for the project. "More than 1,100 cities raised their hands, and those of you in Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, won us over with your enthusiasm for better, faster Web connections," Lo wrote at that time in a blog post.
The neighborhood sign-up rally was conducted because Google Fiber works better when communities are connected together, according to the company. As part of the program, Google says it will also connect community buildings like schools, libraries and hospitals with free Gigabit Internet if the "fiberhoods" reach their preregistration goals. Google said in July that the first homes will get service shortly after the Sept. 9 registration deadline and that all qualifying neighborhoods will receive service before the end of 2013.
Installation of the fiber network in the area began in February, when the laying of fiber cable got under way.
Pricing for Google Fiber in Kansas City starts at $70 per month for 1 gigabit Internet access alone, up to $120 per month for 1 gigabit Internet access as well as Google Fiber TV. The Google TV package also includes a Nexus 7 tablet that can be used as a remote control. One terabyte of cloud storage is included with the Internet-only package, while 2TB of DVR storage is included with the TV/Internet package. Residents will also be eligible for free Internet access at a lower speed under the sign-up program, according to Google.