The first U.S. cities to get Google Fiber were Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., back in the fall of 2012, and now one of those communities is getting expanded service areas to bring the super-high-speed Internet and cable television services to even more households and businesses.
The expanded service areas were unveiled March 11 in a post by Carlos Casas, the Google Fiber Kansas City field team manager, on the Google Fiber Blog.
“We’ve already pulled nearly 6,000 miles of our fiber-optic cables throughout Kansas City—that’s about the distance across the Pacific Ocean from the U.S. to China—and now we’re ready to lay down even more,” wrote Casas. “Starting later this afternoon, residents in south Kansas City, Kansas City north, Grandview, Raytown and Gladstone can start signing up to bring Google Fiber to their communities.”
To tell Google they want the service, new applicants in those neighborhoods have to go to the sign-up Website, pay a $10 registration fee and then choose from one of three Fiber plans, wrote Casas. The plans include Gigabit Internet and cable TV access for $120 a month with a two-year contract; $70 a month for Gigabit Internet access with a one-year contract; or a free Internet-only account for 5-megabit service (plus a $25-a-month construction fee or $300 one-time payment), according to Google.
The sign-up deadlines for the additional new service areas, which are called “fiberhoods” by Google, are coming up quickly, starting on April 10 for residents in 73 fiberhoods in south Kansas City, Mo., Grandview and Raytown, wrote Casas. A May 15 deadline looms for residents in 33 fiberhoods in northwest Kansas City, Mo., and a June 19 deadline is in place for residents in 52 fiberhoods in northeast Kansas City, Mo., and Gladstone.
Google Fiber hook-ups will begin a few weeks after those deadlines, with all qualified fiberhoods connected by the end of this year, wrote Casas.
Service offers are also being extended to 21 fiberhoods in central Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., that didn’t qualify for Google Fiber back in 2012, he wrote. Residents in those communities will have until June 19 to tell Google that they want Fiber services.
Google Fiber’s ultra-high-speed Internet and cable television services debuted in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., in the fall of 2012, according to an earlier eWEEK report.
Google Fiber Expanding Its Kansas City Services
Since then, the service has been slowly expanding around the nation. In April 2013, Google announced that it would bring the service to Provo, Utah, just eight days after it unveiled plans to bring Google Fiber to Austin, Texas. The Provo project was the third U.S. community to be slated for Fiber service so far. Other cities, including Prairie Village, Kan., Mission Hills, Kan., and Roeland Park, Kan., have also approved service plans for Google Fiber.
In February 2014, Google unveiled plans to potentially bring its services to another 34 communities across nine metro areas of the nation, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The 34 additional communities—which are clustered around the Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; San Antonio; Salt Lake City; and San Jose, Calif., metro areas—will be invited to work with Google Fiber to see if they are interested in having the Gigabit-speed cable TV and Internet services brought to their communities for new subscribers. The communities and their potential participation will be reviewed over the next year. Not all of the 34 communities that will now be in discussions with Google for Fiber service will ultimately get it in this round.
Earlier in February, Joanne Hovis, a communications policy expert and president of CTC Technology & Energy, an independent communications and IT engineering consulting firm that works with public sector and nonprofit clients throughout the U.S., wrote a guest post on the Google Fiber Blog that laid out how local communities can help their own causes in attracting a fiber project in their own backyards.
Her post detailed hints such as making sure that street right-of-ways are built to make it as easy and as inexpensive as possible to add new utilities either underground or overhead, while also adopting “dig once” policies that provide for the installation of fiber lines underground whenever the city does road maintenance or needs to dig up streets to reach water or sewer pipes.
In January 2014, residents in Provo began to get the chance to sign up for their Google Fiber services.
Elsewhere around the nation, Google Fiber deployments continue to be in the news. In Overland Park, Kan., Google Fiber service was put on hold indefinitely by Google in October 2013, a month after city leaders on Sept. 16 delayed an imminent contract agreement and raised last-minute liability concerns. The development appeared to be the first time that a community had delayed a decision on Fiber after their discussions with the company, and the first time that Google has then put its original plans on hold just before a decision was scheduled for a final vote.
In Austin, Google says it plans to start connecting homes by mid-2014. Customers there will have a similar choice of products as those being offered in Kansas City, including Gigabit Internet or Gigabit Internet plus Google Fiber TV service with nearly 200 HDTV channels.