Google has announced superfast internet in Kanas City, but that's not all: it's also unveiling Fiber TV, which includes DVR, apps, and voice search. It constitutes a complete rethinking of how we watch TV, and, if successful, could change the living room forever. We've got everything you need to know about Google's Fiber announcements right here.
Jan 27, 2015
Right on schedule, Google has confirmed the next cities to receive its high-speed Google Fiber gigabit internet and TV service. According to a blog post from the company, 18 cities across four major metropolitan areas — Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham — will be the next to receive Google Fiber. This matches up with recent reports indicating that these cities, which were already on Google's roadmap as potential future fiber cities, would be officially announced this week. Google also noted that it is continuing to explore options for bringing fiber to Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and San Jose and would have more updates on those cities this year.Read Article >
Launching across all four of these metropolitan areas makes this probably the biggest rollout of Google Fiber yet — most recently, signups opened in Austin, but Google has thus far typically announced only a single city at a time. Of course, these four new cities are a long way from actually being able to have customers sign up for the service and get it installed. Google says that its next step is to work with the cities in question to design a plan and map for exactly how and where it'll be able to install the network. That planning process should be done in the next few months, at which time construction will begin.
Jan 27, 2015
Google is set to announce the expansion of its Google Fiber internet service to four new cities, The Wall Street Journal reports, with the details of the new rollout coming in the next few days. According to the publication's sources, the company will start to offer the one-gigabit broadband network in Atlanta, Nashville, and in two cities in North Carolina — Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte.Read Article >
Dec 3, 2014
Google Fiber signups in Austin are now underway, and when installations begin, Austinites will be the first to try Google's new, improved hardware for its gigabit internet service. "We’re super excited to get the gig into creative Austinite hands," said Adam Smith, head of product management for Fiber, during a press event at Google's public showroom in Austin today. There, the company unveiled a pair of updated devices that are central to powering the Fiber experience.Read Article >
The Network+ Box is the centerpiece of Google Fiber in the home, offering four gigabit ethernet ports and full support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi. It also includes 2TB of storage for your DVR recordings. Some Fiber customers in Kansas City and other existing Fiber markets have had to deal with a separate box for that disk space (which should store about 500 hours of HD content), but Google says the updated hardware will find its way to those cities in the coming weeks and months.
Dec 1, 2014
Starting today, select Austin residents can sign up to receive Google Fiber TV and internet service. Google has announced that signups are open for southern and southeastern sections of the city, and Fiber will gradually roll out to other Austin neighborhoods "on an ongoing basis." Small businesses can sign up for Fiber on day one, as well. Austin joins a small list of existing Fiber markets that includes Provo and Kansas City.Read Article >
For consumers, there are three pricing options: a $130-per-month package that bundles gigabit broadband with TV service and 1TB of cloud storage, which can be used across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. If all you're after is speedy web access, you can subscribe to the internet-only plan (which also includes the cloud storage) for $70 each month. And just as it does in other Fiber cities, Google is offering a "basic internet" tier that includes 5Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speeds for nothing — after you pay the $300 construction fee to get Fiber up and running, that is. The construction fee is waived with the other plans so long as you commit to keeping service for a year. Small businesses can get gigabit speeds by paying $100 each month.
Oct 16, 2014
Google Fiber is finally about to expand into a third city, according to The Wall Street Journal. A Google spokesperson said that the company would begin the signup process for Fiber in Austin this December, about half a year later than originally projected. Fiber for Austin was originally announced in April of 2013, with the goal of connecting homes by mid-2014. At that point, the superfast TV and internet service — which can provide gigabit-quality speeds — existed only in Kansas City, where it launched in November of 2012. Last year, Google has expanded it to Provo, Utah. But Austin has been longer in coming. Last month, a blog post said that Google had "a detailed network plan in place" and that crews were building core fiber infrastructure. Signups are currently set for "late 2014" on its site.Read Article >
According to the Journal, Google will be focusing specifically on the south and southeastern parts of Austin. Its signup process, as in other areas, involves gathering $10 pre-registrations in potential neighborhoods and connecting Fiber first in those that pass a certain goal. Provo and Kansas City residents in connected neighborhoods can pay $120 a month for gigabit internet and HDTV, $70 a month for internet alone, or basic 5Mbps broadband for a flat, one-time fee (listed as $30 in Provo and $300 in Kansas City.) Google has said that pricing in Austin will be similar, and residents can get "free" basic service with a $300 construction fee.
Jun 16, 2014
Google's high-speed fiber project is now cleared to do business in Portland, thanks to a franchise agreement approved last week by the Portland City Council. Under the arrangement, Google would pay a five percent franchise fee on any video revenue, but avoid the extra three percent fee charged to more conventional fiber purveyors like Comcast. Portland is one of 34 cities that Google has named as a possible site for Fiber. The company is expected to make a final decision about whether to expand into Portland by the end of the year.Read Article >
Even with the franchise agreement in place, there are still a number of obstacles that could keep Google Fiber out of Portland. Google is still testing the demand for Fiber within Portland, which will be weighed against local regulations and the expected cost of access to the city's utility poles. Google Fiber is currently committed to service in only three cities: the service launched in Kansas City and is currently expanding to Austin and Provo, Utah.
Apr 3, 2014
Google is reportedly considering running its own wireless network. Sources tell The Information that company executives have been discussing a plan to offer wireless service in areas where it's already installed Google Fiber high-speed internet. Details are vague, but there are hints that it's interested in becoming a mobile virtual network operator or MVNO, buying access to a larger network at wholesale rates and reselling it to customers. Sources say that Google spoke to Verizon about the possibility in early 2014, and that it talked to Sprint about a similar possibility in early 2013, before the company was officially acquired by Softbank.Read Article >
Currently, Fiber networks have been built in Kansas City, Missouri and Provo, Utah; a network is planned in Austin, Texas in the near future. Google also hopes to expand into Atlanta, Georgia; Portland, Oregon; San Jose, California; and six other metro areas further down the line. Fiber has already put pressure on other broadband carriers: in the wake of Google's Austin announcement, AT&T quickly began installing its own high-speed fiber network, which it launched in late 2013. A move into wireless would take aim at the Verizon and AT&T duopoly and would almost certainly further complicate Google's relationship with carriers, turning it from a producer of phones like the Moto X to a direct competitor. Google already competes indirectly with phone companies through video and voice services, which it's been operating in some capacity for several years.
Feb 19, 2014
Google just announced that it's invited nine metro areas across the US to explore "what it would take" to bring its Google Fiber gigabit internet service to more locations. "People are hungrier than ever for faster internet, and as a result, cities across America are making speed a priority," Google says. "We've long believed that the internet’s next chapter will be built on gigabit speeds, so it’s fantastic to see this momentum." Google says up to 34 cities in all could potentially receive Fiber service. The nine metro areas where those cities are located include:Read Article >
Nov 12, 2013
Back in April, Provo, Utah officials promised to bring Google Fiber to their city by the end of 2013. Today they're making good on that pledge. A new tweet from the Google Fiber Twitter account confirms that installations of the company's internet / cable service have begun in Provo. Google's deal with the city centered around the purchase of iProvo, an existing fiber-optic network that Mountain View gradually upgraded so that it could reach gigabit speeds. Google says its Fiber internet is up to 100 times faster than the high-speed connections offered by many cable providers.Read Article >
Aside from a full-blown Fiber subscription, local residents on the Provo network can also opt for "free" service, which offers data speeds up to 5 Mbps after a one-time $30 activation fee. Google has committed to making this option available for at least seven years. The company is also providing gigabit internet to 25 "local public institutions" like schools, hospitals and libraries at no charge. Google Fiber first launched in Kansas City to much fanfare, but the company hasn't exactly been aggressive in expanding availability since then. Other cities where Fiber is (or will be) available include Austin, Texas, and Shawnee, Kansas.
May 3, 2013
Google has just announced that it will be deploying its Fiber internet service to Shawnee, Kansas, after a city council vote there. Shawnee is just outside Kansas City, so it's a natural extension for Google — more so perhaps than Austin, TX or Provo, UT, the other two cities outside of the original launch that will be getting Google Fiber. Unfortunately, Google is not providing an estimated date for the rollout, saying only that "We still have a lot of planning and engineering work to do before we’re ready to bring Fiber to Shawnee."Read Article >
Since Fiber launched in Kansas City, Google has managed to fill out its television offerings with some of the important channels it originally lacked, including HBO and ESPN. The company also expanded more rapidly within Kansas City than originally planned. The rollout, along with a few competing companies in some other areas, isn't on pace for the FCC's call for gigabit internet in all 50 states by 2015 — but it nevertheless appears to be happening faster than many would have guessed given the difficulties of launching competitive services in US markets.
Apr 17, 2013
Following its April announcement that Google Fiber will land in Austin, Texas, Provo officials revealed today that its super-fast Gigabit internet service will arrive next in Provo, Utah by late 2013. The Utah city will become the third to receive Google Fiber, following Austin and Kansas City. Google's new broadband networks will provide customers with "gigabit" internet: a service which offers download and upload speeds of 1,000 Mbps, which Google touts is as much as "100 times faster" than its competitors. Like service in Austin and Kansas City, Google will offer gigabit internet in Provo, Google Fiber TV service, free 5 Mbps internet service with a $30 activation fee and no monthly charge for seven years, and free gigabit service to local public institutions.Read Article >
As part of the partnership between Google and the city of Provo, Google will purchase iProvo, an existing fiber-optic network owned by the city. Google will upgrade the network to reach gigabit speeds and says it will complete construction of the network so that all homes along the existing network will be able to connect. Because Google is using and upgrading an existing network, the rollout could happen more quickly in Provo than in Austin, and Google says it hopes to activate the service in the first homes by the end of the year. The agreement is not final, but will be voted on by the Provo City Council on April 23rd.
Apr 16, 2013Read Article >
It's hard to call yourself a cable provider if HBO isn't in your lineup, and today Google has addressed that glaring hole in Google Fiber's channel listing. Subscribers in Kansas City (and eventually Austin) can now add a $20 HBO package to their monthly bill to fill their thirst for Game of Thrones and Girls. Aside from the core HBO channel, the bundle also includes HBO2, HBO Signature, HBO Family, HBO Latino, HBO Comedy, and HBO Zone. Cinemax is also arriving on Google Fiber today, with a similar package demanding a $10 premium on top of Google's cable bill. A $40 premium option nets you all the premium TV a human could want, with Starz and Showtime thrown in alongside the above channels.
Apr 9, 2013
Google Fiber is still barely a blip on the internet landscape, but it's shaken up the largely stagnant world of wired broadband. Not long after Google announced that its gigabit internet service would be coming to Austin, Texas, AT&T has followed up with its own announcement: it intends to build a competing high-speed fiber optic network that could also reach gigabit speeds. AT&T says the expansion is part of a larger operation called Project VIP, a long-term upgrade program from 2012 that largely involves building out LTE and expanding the reach of its current broadband offerings.Read Article >
This isn't the first time AT&T has tried to follow in Google's footsteps. When the first Fiber markets launched in Kansas City, AT&T and Time Warner started talks with city officials, trying to reach a "parity agreement" that would give them the same incentives Google got for building ultra-fast internet. The Austin expansion is no different. "AT&T's expanded fiber plans in Austin anticipate it will be granted the same terms and conditions as Google," it says in a statement, "on issues such as geographic scope of offerings, rights of way, permitting, state licenses, and any investment incentives." There's certainly a consumer competition aspect at play here, but this announcement is likely also spurred by the simple desire not to lose out on any perks now that Google has paved the way.
Apr 9, 2013
Google has officially announced the next city that will get its super-fast Fiber internet: Austin, Texas. "We are very glad that Google has been convinced to bring Fiber to Austin," said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell in today's announcement. "Google Fiber will change how we live and how we work in ways we don't even know about yet." Austin will become the second US city, following Kansas City, to receive Google's groundbreaking internet service. The service will provide Austin residents with "gigabit" internet, which means download and upload speeds of 1,000 Mbps — something Google has said is "100 times faster" than competing broadband services. "It's a resource that can help make our city even more innovative, and make our economy even stronger," Leffingwell said.Read Article >
In a blog post announcing the expansion, Google says that it aims to "start connecting homes" by mid-2014, and that Austin residents will be offered similar service packages to those available in Kansas City: including gigabit internet, Google Fiber TV, and free 5 Mbps service for seven years with a one-time construction fee. Google says it will also provide public institutions like schools and hospitals with gigabit internet for no charge. "The internet is still in its early days and has so much more potential to improve our lives," writes Google Fiber VP Milo Medin. "We believe the internet's next chapter will be built on gigabit speeds, and we hope this new Google Fiber city will inspire communities across America to think about what ultrafast connectivity could mean for them." Medin said at today's announcement that Google will opt for the same rollout process it used in Kansas City, organizing Austin into a set of smaller neighborhoods ("fiberhoods") that must meet signup goals to receive service.
Apr 8, 2013
Austin will be getting Google Fiber. There's no word on when the service will be rolled out, or how long it will take, but we do know that some Austinites will be getting the gigabit internet, television, and telephone service in the future. To-date, Kansas City and Olathe, KS are the only cities that have plans to receive Google Fiber, but now the service is moving across the country.Read Article >
It's important to note that neither Google nor the City of Austin have announced the news. Instead, Gig.U, which is described as a coalition of universities promoting the expansion of next-generation broadband technologies, released word of the Fiber expansion in a press release that was obtained by Engadget before being pulled down. The release is dated for release tomorrow, April 9th, when Google and Austin had planned an event to announce something "very important," but it appears that someone accidentally posted the release early. There's a possibility that Gig.U's press release is based on earlier rumors, but we're following up to confirm. We've also reached out to Google for a statement.
Apr 5, 2013
Google and the City of Austin, Texas have sent out invites to a press conference for "a very important announcement" next week, according to VentureBeat, and it is expected that the two will reveal that the city will be the next to receive Google Fiber. VentureBeat cites "multiple sources" that tell the website that the announcement will revolve around Google's gigabit internet service, but it's possible that the event will reveal some other partnership, like a new Google campus.Read Article >
The evidence, however, suggests otherwise. Beyond the rumors, Austin is a logical place for Google to expand its highly sought-after gigabit internet service. Not only did the city wage a campaign to be Google's test city for the service (Kansas City ultimately won that competition), but it's a tech-centric city. Companies like Dell, Texas Instruments, Samsung, IBM, AMD, Intel, and others have offices there, and multiple startups are based in the city as well (and that's not to mention South by Southwest). Additionally, Google has been clear that Fiber "is a real business," as Eric Schmidt put it, and that it plans to expand the service to cities beyond Kansas City. Last month, Google announced plans to bring the service to Olathe, Kansas, about 25 miles away from Kansas City. We've reached out to Google for comment, and we'll give you more information as we get it.
Mar 20, 2013
Google isn’t going far for the first major expansion of its Kansas City 1Gbps internet pilot project. Olathe, Kansas is only about 25 miles away, with a modest population of about 128,000. But while it will only be the third city to get the Google Fiber treatment (the first not named Kansas City), it sets an important precedent: Google is serious about expanding its service.Read Article >
The Olathe city council approved Google’s proposal to provide internet and TV service in the area on Tuesday, but details about the actual timeframe for rolling it out are still up in the air. According to a post on the Google Fiber blog, this is hopefully the first of several announcements that the company will make about bringing the service to other cities "in the KC metro area."
Dec 12, 2012
Google chairman Eric Schmidt is on stage now at The New York Times Dealbook Conference and just had a few details to share about the Google Fiber broadband initiative. Despite the fact that the service is only available in Kansas City right now, Schmidt said that it wasn't "just an experiment, it's a real business and we're trying to decide where to expand next." Unfortunately no more details were forthcoming, but for those of us looking at the speeds Google Fiber users get with extreme envy, there's some hope that we may some day get to share in the extreme speed.Read Article >
Schmidt also took advantage of a question from the audience to spell out Google's stance on the ITU proposals that could give the UN greater power in regulating the internet. "If the current proposals in the ITU go through, we're in big trouble globally," Schmidt said. Of course, Google has made its stance on the ITU very clear — Google's chairman appears to just be keeping up with the party line here.
Nov 21, 2012
When we first had the opportunity to see Google Fiber in person, we didn't get too much time with the interface itself. However, BTIG Research has just posted a video offering a brief preview of how the Google Fiber television service will work. The video (which is just a collection of stills) walks through both the Nexus 7 tablet remote control, as well as a bit of the interface on the television. Both heavily mirror each other, and the search feature pulls up results from over-the-top services (though only Netflix appears to be available for now) as well as upcoming showings on TV. Once you find a video to watch you can display it on either the TV or the Nexus 7 remote, whether it is from Netflix or broadcast.Read Article >
The integration looks to be very seamless, and the interface is certainly very plain. That's not a bad thing at all, however, and the remote interface looks pleasing as well — far better than the decades of terrible remotes we've had to deal with. Oh, and in case you're wondering, the internet speeds are still there: the BTIG got 905.28 mbps down and 794.59 mbps up — not so far off from the promised gigabit speeds, and not bad for $70 per month.
Nov 14, 2012
Four months after it announced an ultra high speed fiber optic network experiment in Kansas City , Google is beginning to connect homes to the 1,000 Mbps service. In a recent blog post, the company breaks down the installation process, saying that it wants to nail the small details — arriving at the beginning of the appointment window, installing everything cleanly and efficiently, and getting everything sorted out in a single visit. Ars Technica spoke with a resident of the Hanover Heights neighborhood where Google is starting its installations, who quoted actual speeds of 600-700Mbps for the $70 monthly service.Read Article >
Google released a short video describing the installation process (below), showing the delightful experience we’re used to from other internet service ads, only with stacks of Google-colored boxes and a Nexus 7 remote control for the accompanying TV service. Now that things are underway in Hanover Heights, the other 179 or so neighborhoods that signed on for Google Fiber can't be that far behind.
Oct 2, 2012
Google didn't pick Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS as the locations to build out its Google Fiber service by chance — the company was given a number of incentives by both cities — and The Wall Street Journal reports that Time Warner Cable and AT&T want in on the deal too. In order to create the infrastructure for the cable and gigabit internet service, Google was given everything from free fiber, government employees, buildings, and discounted services; an agreement that a Time Warner Cable spokesman feels puts them "at a competitive advantage compared with not just us but also the other competitors in the field." He continued by stating, "We're happy to compete with Google, but we'd just like an even playing field."Read Article >
Local internet and cable providers Time Warner Cable and AT&T have been in talks with both Kansas cities to obtain a "parity agreement." In exchange for the incentives, the cities are requesting that the companies improve their community services to be on par with Google's efforts, which have resulted in free internet connections in hundreds of locations chosen by the government. While AT&T has not announced its progress in the matter, Time Warner Cable has already made a deal with Kansas City, MO. The WSJ cites an unnamed source that claims Time Warner Cable has improved its service's speed and performance in the area in return for discounts that mirror Google's, as well as a partial refund of city fees that the company paid earlier this year. Time Warner Cable has been keeping a close eye on Fiber's progress, even to the point of paying city employees to spy on the service's development.
Sep 15, 2012Read Article >
After introducing a somewhat lackluster channel lineup for Fiber TV, Google has quickly added many of the missing stations to the new service. Just days after taking in a number of major Disney channels, the company has announced that Turner stations are now included as well. The agreement brings notable entries to the lineup, such as Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, and TNT. A few major channels like HBO and AMC are still nowhere to be found, but the lineup as a whole is shaping up nicely. Overall, Google Fiber is a truly competitive offering at $120 a month, which includes gigabit internet and now almost 200 television channels.
Sep 12, 2012Read Article >
Google Fiber is quite a deal at $120 per month for gigabit internet and HDTV service, but the original channel selection left a bit to be desired. That situation is being rectified a bit today as Google has announced that it has gotten Disney's family of channels — including big hitters like ESPN, ESPN 2, Disney Channel, ABC Family, and more — to hop on board. Engadget also reports that ESPN 3 will be available, as will WatchESPN some time in the future. While the main appeal of Google Fiber is certainly in its internet speeds, we're fairly certain that the loss of all ESPN properties would have been a major letdown — so it's good to see that Google could make a deal. Time Warner channels like HBO are still missing, however, as is AMC. Google is set to publish its final list of "fiberhoods" in Kansas City that will be eligible to sign up for service tomorrow. Here's to hoping you're on that list.
Sep 10, 2012
At least 180 Kansas City neighborhoods on both sides of the Kansas / Missouri state line have pre-registered for Google's superfast fiber optic internet service since its announcement back in July. According to a post on the official Google Fiber blog, the signups account for more than 89 percent of eligible neighborhoods — referred to by Google as "fiberhoods" — with the service set to be rolled out on a priority basis in order of registration.Read Article >
The company emphasizes that it is still processing pre-registrations from certain apartment buildings, which may help even more neighborhoods qualify for the scheme — the final list is set to be published on Thursday. Google will be offering a variety of packages to eligible households, including 1,000 Mbps internet access for $70 per month, the same service with a TV package for $120 per month, or completely free internet access at regular speeds, requiring only a one-off $300 construction fee.
Aug 1, 2012
GigaOm reporter Dave Greenbaum recently visited Mud Pie, a vegan cafe in Kansas City that has secretly had Google Fiber running for several months. Greenbaum performed a few speed tests and found that, as expected, speeds were affected by the limitations of the 802.11n Wi-Fi specification, which struggles to reach over 160Mbps. Even over ethernet the reporter couldn't download at anything like the advertised 1Gbps speed. He also mentions that HD video playback became "glitchy" when another cafe user started streaming a movie. The report theorizes that if you were to record the maximum eight shows at once using Google's Fiber TV service then your internet would slow down. While it's not impossible that the Fiber TV service and internet connection share bandwidth, it's unlikely that streaming eight channels would take up much more than 20 percent of your 1Gbps allowance.Read Article >
It's worth noting that Greenbaum's tests as a whole were anything but scientific. The reporter shared the connection in a public cafe and downloaded files from notoriously slow sources such as apple.com, which struggles to keep up with our current 50Mbps home broadband connections. Although third-parties aren't ready to deliver anything close the speeds that Google Fiber can offer in a straight http download, it doesn't appear as though there's too much room for complaint.