Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Answering your questions about Google Fiber

It’s been five days since we kicked off the Google Fiber Rally in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, and we’ve been blown away by the community’s reaction. So far, 40 fiberhoods have qualified for service, more than 2,000 people have visited our Fiber Space, we’ve talked to thousands of people via online and phone customer service, and we’ve distributed upwards of 2,000 ice cream sandwiches from our Fiber trucks.

Through our many conversations, we’ve noticed that some details about Google Fiber may still be a little unclear. So today we’re going to share and answer some of the top questions we’ve been getting about Google Fiber, so that we can keep everyone up-to-date in Kansas City.

1. When are you building to North and South Kansas City, Mo.?
Our first pre-registration phase includes homes in Kansas City, Kan. and homes in Central Kansas City, Mo. But we are definitely committed to serving homes in North and South Kansas City, Mo. in our second pre-registration phase. Residents should stay tuned to google.com/fiber and this blog for more information.

2. I have a business and I can’t pre-register. Why?
We’re focused on making residential connections right now, but we’ll have an announcement about a small business offering soon.

3. How did Google determine fiberhood pre-registration goals?
Like many of our projects at Google, we relied on data. All fiberhoods are different. They range in size and density as well as speed and ease of Fiber construction. For example, houses that are spread out (like in the suburbs) require more time, fiber and labor, and therefore are more difficult to connect than homes in a dense urban environment. So, in those fiberhoods that are more complicated to build, we want to make sure that enough residents will want Fiber service. We don’t want Fiber to be out of reach for anyone—it’s our hope that the pre-registration goals will be practical and attainable.

4. Help! I’m in a fiberhood but I keep getting a pre-registration error.
There are two possible issues here that we're working hard to fix. Some addresses (mostly apartments) with unit numbers are causing errors during pre-registration. Also, the "submit address review" form doesn't always work. In either case, please give us a call, chat with us or email us and we'll help you out.

5. What if I don’t have access to the Internet to learn about Fiber or pre-register?
We know that 25% of Kansas Citians don’t have access to broadband at home. So, to help spread the word about Google Fiber, we have a dedicated street team that visits fiberhoods throughout Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. Our teams pass out flyers (and ice cream!), answer questions about Google Fiber and help pre-register anyone who is interested. Look out for our Google Fiber trucks in a fiberhood near you. We also have a local building, or Fiber Space, that Kansas Citians can visit. Google Fiber team members are there every day of the week to answer questions and help with pre-registration.

Google Fiber Space and a Google Fiber ice cream truck

6. Why is the construction fee for the Free Internet service so expensive? What do I do if I can’t afford it?
As a Google Fiber customer, you will have a gigabit-ready Fiber cable routed to, and built directly into, your home. Studies show that simply having this connection will add value to your home and will put you on the cutting edge of broadband technology. We’re charging $300 for this construction.

To make the construction fee more manageable, subscribers can break it into payments of $25 per month during the first year, and free for at least the next six years. Over time, this Free Internet service is very affordable—it works out to an average of $3.57 per month over seven years’ time.

7. Why do I have to pay $10 just to pre-register?
Your $10 pre-registration fee will be applied to your Google Fiber service. If your fiberhood qualifies for service, your $10 will go directly to either your first month of service fees (for our Gigabit +TV or Gigabit Internet plans), or to your $300 construction fee (for the Free Internet plan). If your fiberhood does not qualify for service, your $10 will be refunded.

8. How did you choose which public buildings you would connect for free in each fiberhood?
When we announced that we’d bring Google Fiber to Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. we also committed to building free, 1 Gigabit per second connections to the cities’ choice of public buildings. Both cities collaborated on a list of the public buildings that they wanted to connect, and then they gave the list to us. We will bring Fiber to these buildings that are located in qualified fiberhoods.

We’ll try and update this blog as we get more questions in. And in the meantime, if you have your own burning questions, there are a lot of resources you can turn to:

• Read our online FAQ, which has a lot of common questions and answers.
• Follow Google Fiber on Twitter to find out where our street teams will be visiting
Chat live with a Fiber team member online
Email Google Fiber support
Call Google Fiber support
Visit our Fiber Space and learn about Fiber in-person with our team members (RSVP if you want to avoid a long wait time)

We’re here to help, so get in touch!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Super fast fiber for Kansas City

Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog.

Our goal is to build products that will help improve our users’ lives. And when it comes to Internet access, it's clear what provides a better user experience:

Fast is better than slow. On the web, nobody wants to wait for a video to buffer or a website to load.
Abundance is better than scarcity. There’s a plethora of rich content available online—and it’s increasingly only available to people who have the speeds and means to access it.
Choice is better than no choice. Competition and choice help make products better for users.

With that in mind, we embarked on a journey to bring ultra-high speeds to Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. And today, we’re excited to announce Google Fiber. Google Fiber is 100 times faster than today’s average broadband. No more buffering. No more loading. No more waiting. Gigabit speeds will get rid of these pesky, archaic problems and open up new opportunities for the web. Imagine: instantaneous sharing; truly global education; medical appointments with 3D imaging; even new industries that we haven’t even dreamed of, powered by a gig.

When we asked people what they value in their Internet service, the majority of them simply said, “choice.” So we listened. Kansas Citians will choose where we install and when. We’ve divided Kansas City into small communities we call “fiberhoods.” To get service, each fiberhood needs a critical mass of their residents to pre-register. The fiberhoods with the highest pre-registration percentage will get Google Fiber first. Households in Kansas City can pre-register for the next six weeks, and they can rally their neighbors to pre-register, too. Once the pre-registration period is over, residents of the qualified fiberhoods will be able to choose between three different packages (including TV).

It’s easy to forget how revolutionary high-speed Internet access was in the 1990s. Not only did broadband kill the screeching sound of dial-up, it also spurred innovation, helping to create amazing new services as well as new job opportunities for many thousands of Americans. But today the Internet is not as fast as it should be. While high speed technology exists, the average Internet speed in the U.S. is still only 5.8 megabits per second (Mbps)—slightly faster than the maximum speed available 16 years ago when residential broadband was first introduced. Access speeds have simply not kept pace with the phenomenal increases in computing power and storage capacity that’s spurred innovation over the last decade, and that’s a challenge we’re excited to work on.

To find out more about the different service packages and the pre-registration process see our Google Fiber Blog, which we’ll regularly update with new information over the coming weeks. This is an exciting new project for Google and we can’t wait to get homes connected to Google Fiber in Kansas City—because we’re pretty certain that what people do with a gig will be awesome.

How do you want your Internet? You choose

For over a year we’ve been talking to a lot of people in Kansas City who’ve helped shape Google Fiber. It turns out you want speed, choice, great content and simplicity.

So we’ve put together three service packages that will be available if your fiberhood gets installed:

Gigabit + Google Fiber TV: What’s better than a gig of Internet? A gig plus TV, designed for how you watch today and how you’ll watch tomorrow. Google Fiber TV carries hundreds of channels (including your local favorites) and tens of thousands of shows on demand in crystal clear HD. With eight tuners and 2TB of DVR storage, you’ll never have to miss a show again. You’ll also get a brand new Nexus 7 tablet that you can use as your remote control. Gigabit + Google Fiber TV will cost $120 per month, and we’ll waive the $300 construction fee.

Gigabit Internet: With a gig, you can do everything you love on the web at speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans enjoy today. This package will include a gigabit-enabled network box with advanced WiFi and 1TB of cloud storage on Google Drive. Gigabit Internet will cost $70 per month, and we’ll waive the $300 construction fee.

Free Internet: We know that not everyone is ready to commit to a gig just yet. But we want to make sure you have the opportunity to upgrade when you’re ready. So if you pre-register and your fiberhood gets installed, you’ll have the option to get a 5 megabit per second (Mbps) connection for zero monthly charge, and your home will be wired and ready for the switch. The Free Internet option will cost $0 per month, although you will have to pay a $300 construction fee (which can either be paid at once, or in $25 monthly installments).

You can read more details about the different packages on the Google Fiber site and in the FAQ. Whether you want the full Google Fiber experience including TV, the simple excitement of a gig, or today’s speeds with tomorrow’s options—we’re excited to share the possibilities of a faster Internet.

How to get Google Fiber

When we announced that we wanted to provide a community with Internet access more than 100 times faster than what most Americans enjoy today, we asked who was interested in working with us. More than 1,100 cities raised their hands, and those of you in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri won us over with your enthusiasm for better, faster web connections.

Today as we launch Google Fiber in Kansas City, we’re continuing with the same approach. Instead of us deciding where and when we install, we’re asking you.

Tell us if you want Google Fiber in two easy steps:

1. Pre-register: Starting today, if you live in an eligible Kansas City household, you can pre-register by visiting google.com/fiber. All you need to do for pre-registration is provide some basic information (like your name and address) and pay a $10 deposit.

2. Rally your neighbors: Over the next six weeks, get your neighbors and friends to pre-register too.

Here’s why: Google Fiber works better when communities are connected together. So we’ve divided Kansas City into small communities we call “fiberhoods.” We’ll install only where there’s enough interest, and we’ll install sooner in fiberhoods where there’s more interest. You can check out your fiberhood’s pre-registration goal, as well as a real-time status update of all Kansas City fiberhoods on our rankings page.

The rally lasts for six weeks and ends on September 9. When you participate, not only will you help bring Google Fiber to your home, you’ll also help bring it to your community—if your fiberhood reaches its pre-registration goal, we’ll also connect community buildings like schools, libraries and hospitals with free Gigabit Internet.

After the rally, we’ll let you know if your fiberhood has reached its goal. If so, you can sign up for your service package. The first homes will get service shortly after the rally ends, and all qualifying neighborhoods will receive service before the end of 2013.

In the meantime, you can come visit Kansas City’s Google Fiber Space, where you can experience a gigabit first-hand and check out TV in crystal clear high definition. The Fiber Space will be open daily starting this Saturday, July 28. We’ll also be holding events throughout the community during the rally. Stay tuned for more on the Google Fiber KC Blog.

And remember, if you want Google Fiber, you need to pre-register your home by September 9 and tell your neighbors to pre-register too. Let’s do this for Kansas City!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Join us tomorrow for a special announcement

In less than 24 hours, we'll make a special announcement about Google Fiber. Tune in on YouTube tomorrow at 11AM CDT to watch a livestream of the event. If you want to stay up-to-date on Fiber in Kansas City, you can also follow us on Google+ and on Twitter.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Google Fiber is coming

Kansas City: Google Fiber is almost here. Look out for more information on July 26th at google.com/fiber.