Google announced that it will soon launch a pay TV service in addition to Google Fiber by mid-2014 in Austin, Texas. It is set out to compete with current triple-play providers AT & T U-verse and Time Warner Cable.
This goal indicates that Google has bigger plans for Google Fiber, after its small pilot launch in Kansas City last fall. Google said that their services in Austin will be offered at more or less the same price to that of Kansas City. Subscribers pay $120 for a monthly package including internet speeds as fast as 1 gigabit per second, a Nexus tablet used as a remote control and 200 high-definition cable channels.
According to data verified by Nielsen, Austin ranks 45th in demographic market area (DMA), while Kansas City comes in even higher at 31st.
According to Google, those residents of Austin who won’t opt for the full Google Fiber package will still be able to avail of a free internet service with minimum download speeds of 5 Mbps for seven years once they an installation fee. This is similar to a free internet service offered in Kansas City, where $300 will be charged to subscribers as installation fee should they choose an independent internet service.
On the other hand, Time Warner Cable provides its fastest 50 Mbps internet speed to most markets. The multi-system operator also expressed its interest in building a 1-gig network in North Carolina. Meanwhile, when it comes to the battle of internet speeds, AT & T U-verse won’t get left behind. Earlier, AT&T announced its efforts to increase AT & T U-verse internet speeds to 75 Mbps, a maximum download speed offer that would still be barely one-tenth as fast as Google’s projected 1-gig service.
These ventures all seem a response to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski’s “Gigabit City Challenge”, which aims to have at least one city out of the entire 50 states have an available 1-gig service that can be afforded by consumers in a span of two years.
Google Fiber’s vice president Milo Medin mentioned in a blog post that the new Google Fiber city would hopefully inspire more communities across America to consider the benefits and advantages of an ultrafast connectivity.
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