Google Fiber rocks the Kansas City broadband market

July 31, 2012
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    TechCrunch

    A few days ago we reported on Google Fiber Gigabit Internet and it’s expected value on the market. But we never expected anything quite like this: Kansas City, MO is now hovering at the 25th percentage mark for having all Google thresholds met. If you’ll recall, Google is requesting that fiberhoods meet certain quota before they rollout their network in a specific area. It’s being reported that eligible fiberhoods are surpassing demand and the numbers just keep rising.

    Keep in mind, this statistic is only for the Missouri side where apparently people can buy into such ideas. Things are not so bright for the folks over in Kansas City, Kansas, where it’s being reported many of the fiberhoods are still lacking signups or have no signups whatsoever. This is due, in part, to a lower income structure and also Time Warners’ death grip on the area; they are currently working on changing their TOS/contract agreements to make it difficult to switch over to another ISP.

    Some potential customers have taken to being pro-active and actually hiring salesmen for their fiberhoods, so as to meet Google thresholds. It should be noted, however, a signup does incur a $10 fee. Last but not least, this is only the preregistration phase, so if fiberhoods meet their goals, only then will they get priority rollout status from Google. Basically, Google has pitted citizens of different areas against each other, but in a friendly way, so as to compete and see who can get this wonderful new service first.

    Comments

    • BobbieDean

      Many of the fiberhoods in KCMO are also homes associations with strong neighborhoods and established communications through block captains so it was easy to quickly spread the word about Google Fiber. These areas are also served by ATT Uverse, Time-Warner and SureWest so it will be interesting to see how the incumbents respond to the new competition.

    • symbolset

      If you’re in the eligible area and you don’t move heaven and earth to get this you’re crazy. At the bare minimum the “free” 5mbps tier is worth it just to have the fiber in case you want it later. If you’re a landlord it’s a no-brainer, as you can ask more rent. As a homeowner it improves the value of your home by more than the price.

      But more importantly if you miss this chance it may be gone forever. Google hasn’t promised to ever deliver fiber to people who don’t sign up during the rally phase – and that makes sense since by doing neighborhoods all at once they save a lot of money. Stragglers might just not be cost effective – especially since there are so many whole neighborhoods clamoring to be next. It seems now they might never run out of those and double back for the more expensive stragglers.

      The other thing is that if your neighborhood doesn’t hit its rally goal your fee will be refunded and you will not get your fiber – again, maybe not ever. Google’s competitors are no doubt scrambling for a way to make this be illegal, but won’t be hustling to offer this service to the people who declined it at Google’s price. It would behove you then to ensure that your neighborhood makes that goal even if you have to go door to door, or pay your neighbor’s registration fee.

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