Kansas City residents have more to celebrate than its world-famous barbecue Monday: Google’s blazing-fast Fiber Internet service will soon roll out in neighborhoods across the city.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based tech giant will gradually unleash its gigabit-speed fiber service based on consumer demand, after pre-registration among Kansas City neighborhoods ended Sunday. At least 180 of the 200 “fiberhoods” have qualified for the service, by having a certain percentage of neighborhood residents sign up and pay a $10 deposit. Google will announce the exact locations on Thursday.
The fiber service, which Google claims is “100 times faster than today’s average broadband,” will cost residents $70 a month, or $120 for bundled TV service.
Interestingly, Google is also offering a “Free Internet” option (kind of). If residents fork over either a $300 one-time construction fee or 12 monthly payments of $25, Google guarantees free service for at least seven years. The catch is that this free Internet tier is only at “today’s average 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 was chosen in March 2011 as Google’s first test market. The Midwestern city was picked for its good 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 we hope to be able to talk to other communities about Fiber in the future,” she said.