Google's moving in a new direction, and Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. residents are going to volunteer to be their test subjects.
The California search giant announced more details this morning about a plan to bring superfast one gigabit-per-second internet and TV services to the both cities.
All plans include a $300 hook-up fee, but residents can choose between a Gigabit Internet and TV for $120 a month, just Gigabit Internet for $70 per month, or standard 5MB/s internet free for seven years.
The catch? Google will only offer the services in neighborhoods where enough residents commit to subscribing.
Google has a plan
Google revealed plans to lay down their own fiber optic network in Kansas City back in February, but details have been scarce since then.
At the time, around 1,100 communities had been vying for Google's attention, but the search company chose the Kansas and Missouri metro areas for its first foray into home internet and TV service.
City officials were eager to hop on board, providing Google with installation shortcuts, space in city facilities and PR and marketing assistance.
Google even hired Kansas City, Kan. native Rachel Hack to act as a liaison at community meetings.
There's little doubt that Kansas Citians are on board, but for a neighborhood to get hooked in, at least 40-80 residents will have to pledge an initial investment of $10 at Google.com/fiber.
In each neighborhood that signs up, though, Google will hook up public facilities like government buildings and schools at no extra charge.
And with the plans being offered, Google should have no shortage of early adopters.
Google's goal is to 'improve users' lives'
For one thing, there are no caps or overages on the Gigabit Internet service, which is reportedly 100 times faster than standard broadband.
The service also includes a terabyte of Google Drive cloud storage.
The Google fiber TV service itself boasts "hundreds" of HD channels, as well as built-in search of live TV, on-demand, Netflix, and DVR, which can record up to 500 hours and eight shows simultaneously.
Plus - get this - everyone who signs up will receive a free Google Nexus 7 tablet that, with a Google Fiber TV app, can be used as a remote control or a second screen for live TV or DVR viewing.
"It's easy to forget how revolutionary high-speed Internet access was in the 1990s," Google's VP of access services Milo Medin wrote in a blog post today. "But today the Internet is not as fast as it should be."
"Our goal is to build products that will help improve our users' lives."
Maybe it's time to start petitioning Google to bring its fiber services to your area.
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