Friday, September 14, 2012

(BN) Google to Start on Kansas City Fiber Network in Weeks

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., moving forward on a project to outfit Kansas City neighborhoods with an ultrafast broadband network, announced plans to begin installing fiber lines in the next few weeks, starting with the city's Hanover Heights area.

Of 202 eligible neighborhoods targeted by Google, 89 percent will be wired to the fiber-optic network, the company said in a blog posting yesterday. Google spent six weeks signing up residents for the project, which requires neighborhoods to express interest in the service if they want to be connected. The coverage area straddles the state border -- a region that includes Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.

Google Fiber offers three plans. Residents can pay $70 a month for an Internet connection alone or $120 for a package that includes TV service, a digital video recorder and a set-top box with a tablet-computer remote control. With the third option, customers pay a $300 installation fee and get at least seven years of free Internet access, though at slower speeds.

The network will provide online speeds of 1 gigabit per second, about a hundred times faster than the average U.S. connection, along with television programming. Google, based in Mountain View, California, will run the program as a for-profit business and hasn't said if it will expand beyond the Kansas City area.

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