Google just released some details about its experimental, ultra-fast internet service in Kansas City: $70 a month for one gigabit per second in both directions. That’s 100 times faster than the service I currently get from Time Warner Cable, which is the dominant (and nervous) provider in Kansas City, for $50 a month. To drive home the difference, Google is offering free service “at today’s average speeds” to anyone in who wants it, essentially arguing that what Time Warner Cable can provide is worthless.
For $120 a month, customers of Google Fiber can get gigabit internet and cable TV service, but it looks like the latter is missing channels from Disney and Time Warner. I’m sure there will be plenty of hand-wringing to come over those distribution deals, but it seems beside the point. The real story here is super-fast internet and all the opportunities that follow from there. (See my previous post on this.) Google Fiber is a long way from coming to New York, but it will be fun to follow developments in the Midwest.
This will be the cheapest set-top box for Google TV yet, priced competitively with Apple TV and the various Roku devices. I don’t really need a Google TV: the only content it would really add to my current mix is YouTube. But I’m curious about its interface and haven’t played with the latest version, so the $99 price tag is tempting. I’ll wait for reviews to come out and, in the meantime, will ogle the remote on Sony’s new $199 box for Google TV.