Google Fiber unveils first city to receive gigabit connections

Google Inc. has announced its plan to roll out a 1 gigabit-per-second fibre optic network in Kansas City, to the neighbourhoods where the most people pre-register for the broadband service.

The broadband pipe will be used to deliver high-speed Internet and HD television to homes that subscribe to it. Google is encouraging residents of Kansas City to pre-register for the service. The neighbourhoods with the highest density of pre-registrations will get the fibre network rolled out first. Google will unveil the first locations after Sept. 9.

Kansas City is split across two states – Missouri and Kansas – and both are eligible to get the broadband upgrade.

Kansas City will be the first location for Google Fiber.

“The Internet is amazing, but most Americans don’t have Internet connections fast enough to showcase everything it has to offer,” a Google promotional video says. “Internet speeds shouldn’t be a bottleneck keeping you from accessing the best of the Web.”

The plans unveiled by the search giant include a free Internet package at 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload, equivalent to what many DSL providers offer to residential customers today. There’s also a $70 per month plan to access 1,000 Mbps download and upload speeds with no data caps, on a one year contract. That plan comes with 1 TB of space on Google Drive, Google’s cloud storage offering. For $120 per month, customer will receive the high-speed Internet and an HD TV subscription. Google will also throw in a Nexus 7 tablet to that package.

Google announced its plans to provide gigabit fibre-optic networks in February 2010. It plans to operate open access networks, sharing them with other service providers.

There’s no mention of any plans to come to Canada with Google Fiber.

Shaw Communications is offering 1 Gbps fibre-optic connections in Canada in locations including Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

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