Selected last year as the lucky city to host Google's experimental foray into the world of broadband providers, an initial round of 170,000 homes in the Kansas City area will have the option of purchasing the gigabit Internet service, known as Google Fiber, for $70 a month, reports John Eligon.
Viewed by skeptics as "a publicity stunt that will do little to advance the country's broadband agenda," the project, which was delayed by a dispute about how and where to run fiber optic lines earlier in the year, is being viewed by analysts as an attempt by the company to "flex its muscle in Washington, where policy makers have been criticized for being slow to deliver national broadband."
According to Eligon, "Google executives said they were hoping to bring Internet speeds up to date with existing technology, noting that the current average household broadband speed was only slightly faster than it was 16 years ago when it was first introduced in homes."
"The next phase of the Internet, the next chapter of the Internet is written here today," Patrick Pichette, Google's chief financial officer, said in an interview after a presentation that included video demonstrations.
A competition to register interested homeowners in various "fiberhoods," will determine who will get first access to the service in the fall.