Sep. 10, 2012 at 2:12 PM ET
Kansas City residents have more to celebrate than its world-famousbarbecue Monday: Google’s blazing-fast Fiber Internet service will soon rollout in neighborhoods across the city.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based tech giant will gradually unleashits gigabit-speed fiber service based on consumer demand, after pre-registrationamong Kansas City neighborhoods ended Sunday. At least 180 of the 200“fiberhoods” have qualified for the service, by having a certain percentage ofneighborhood residents sign up and pay a $10 deposit. Google will announce the exactlocations on Thursday.
The fiber service, which Google claims is “100 times fasterthan today’s average broadband,” will cost residents $70 a month, or $120 forbundled TV service.
Interestingly, Google is also offering a “Free Internet”option (kind of). If residents fork over either a $300 one-time constructionfee or 12 monthly payments of $25, Google guarantees free service for at leastseven years. The catch is that this free Internet tier is only at “today’saverage speeds,” clocking in at up to 5Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds.
Google's ultimate aim with Fiber is to increase Internet access by connecting libraries, schools and community buildings in qualified fiberhoods.
Out of 1,000 communities that had applied, Kansas City, Kansas waschosen in March 2011 as Google’s first test market. The Midwestern city was picked for itsgood infrastructure, good business environment and entrepreneurial people,Google Fiber spokesperson Jenna Wandres told NBC News.
“We have a lot of work to do in Kansas City first, but wehope to be able to talk to other communities about Fiber in the future,” shesaid.