Women walk past the logo of Google in front of its former headquarters in Beijing (Photo : Reuters)
Google's ambitious Google Fiber initiative looks to provide internet access that is fifty times faster than standard broadband, starting with a test run in Kansas City that will cost the company of $500 million of its $43 billion fortune.
Google Fiber offers 1 gigabit of internet speed at the price of $70 a month, with the addition of high-definition channels for another $50 a month.
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According to CNN, early adopters in Kansas City were waived of the $300 installation fee. The site reports that the company has 7,000 subscribers in Kansas City, 2,100 in Kansas, and 4,900 in Missouri. It's recorded that some neighborhoods have as much as 39% of their population subscribed to the service.
The service comes up against established broadband service providers Verizon, AT&T, Time-Warner, and Comcast. Verizon even has its own fiber-optic FiOS service, which it supposedly spent $23 billion building.
CNN's report states that Google Fiber allows subscribers to record eight TV programs at once, download high-definition movies in seven seconds, and use the Nexus 7 tablet as a remote. Additionally, there are no data caps and Google provides a free terabyte of storage on Google Drive.
Ben Schacter, an analyst at Macquarie Securities, reaffirmed that Google fiber is a long-term investment to kick-start internet providers into upgrading their broadband technology. He states, "This initiative is less about long-term revenue opportunity for Google and more about pushing current internet providers to increase speeds and innovate."
It is still up in the air whether Google intends to establish itself as the prominent internet service provider across the nation or this is simply a case of the company setting an example.