I'm getting Google Fiber - 1 gigabit up and down

I have apartments in two cities, Chicago and Kansas City, Missouri. And the one in Kansas City is getting the fastest Internet connection available in the US, fiber to the home, 1 gigabit down AND up. The last is what matters most, as I shoot concerts and right now, my cable connection limits my upload speed so much that a single song uploaded in 1080 resolution takes an hour.

I’ve been following the whole Google Fiber thing since it was announced in February of 2010. 1100 communities competed to get Google to pick them, and Kansas City, Kansas won. They didn’t explicitly state what the criteria were, but from what I know of KCK, it was a mixture of several factors:

[ol]
[li]Centrally located[/li][li]Utility owned by the city[/li][li]Utility poles everywhere, so little digging[/li][li]Loads of fiber already coming into the area[/li][li]Economically depressed[/li][/ol]

Kansas City is nearly the geographical center of the US, and is a major rail hub. And railroad right-of-ways are the ideal route for fiber - they are thin strips of land connecting every city and town in the country. Back in the boom, people laid tons of fiber that has never been lit up, and a lot of it connects here.

On #5, Kansas City Kansas is (not to dump on them too much) a shit-hole. The downtown is almost entirely empty storefronts, and the only music venue, Memorial Hall, hasn’t been used for concerts in decades. The only tourist attraction is a rather embarrassing Indian casino.

A few weeks after KCK was chosen, KCMO Mayor Sly James made the case to Google that if they were going to hook up KCK, it was silly to stop at the state line, because both cities are really one city with two governments. He was successful, and after a lot or wrangling, they worked out a deal where Google could use the KCMO utility poles as well. It it telling in that, though they hooked up homes in KCK first, the Google “Fiber Space” where you can check out the speed, is on the Missouri side of the state line.

When they launched, they did a type of “red-lining”. They divided the cities into “fiberhoods”, centered around various schools and universities with goals for each. If your area met it’s goal, the school would get a free connection. And the area that got the highest percentage of people to pre-register got connected first. Predictably, the neighborhoods with the highest per-capita income got connected first, but community activists did manage to get some depressed areas high ranked by paying some folks’ $10 registration fee.

My area is #9 on the Missouri list, and it is getting connected this month. (Sadly, St. Elizabeth’s is getting free fiber, rather than being bulldozed to the ground.)

Google just installed the support wire behind my apartment, and we signed up for the full package - gigabit Internet and 120 channels of HDTV for $120 a month. I expect to see them hang the fiber within the next two weeks, followed by them hangin the fiber, followed by the drop to the building then the final connection.

From what I understand, they have spent a huge amount of time building infrastructure and have barely more than 1000 homes hooked up so far. I can’t wait!

Let us know if it lives up to its promise. Me and mine are VERY interested in this too, although it’ll probably be quite a while before it gets to Chicago. :frowning:

I don’t expect it to ever get to Chicago. Google has not indicated that they have any intention to go national with this. The main idea was that it was intended to embarrass the existing ISPs into improving their terrible service.

One amendment to gaffa’s post, Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas were both actually negotiating with Google at the same time, before either city was announced, and even before Mayor James took office. The agreement with Kansas City, KS was somewhat easier because the city owns the public utility.

Several other suburbs of Kansas City have also since reached service agreements.

gaffa, I’d love to hear more about your commercial uses for this technology if you want to send me a PM.

That’s the first I’ve ever heard this. What’s your source for it?

It’s not explicitly a commercial use, I’ll just be using my Google Fiber connection to upload videos I’ve shot to my YouTube accounts.

Google is doing this to see what new things people will do on the Internet once they have this kind of speed. Going from dial-up to megabit enabled a whole range of services like YouTube; they want to see what people will invent when they have gigabit speed.

A friend of mine will be hooked up before I am (she’s in the #5 area of Missouri) and has volunteered to “Host a Hacker” - to let a developer live in her spare room with access to gigibit connectivity for three months to develop their new idea.

I have to confess, I’ve developed a new pet peeve about people constantly saying “when is it going to get to X?” especially when X=Rich White Suburb. One of Google’s reasons for picking Kansas City Kansas was that it was so run down. They wanted to see how much this could revive a place.

I actually work pretty closely with the initiative, but it’s not a secret by any stretch, and press pieces that covered the event well would reveal the same thing.

If you have a link, it would be useful to add to the Wikipedia article. The timeline is a bit thin at the moment. I ran into Mayor James at an event two years ago and was able to thank him personally.

I don’t think anything short of direct competition and possibly losing business/money would convince Comcast to offer better service. I don’t think embarrassment will do it.

So, I hope you’re wrong about what Google ultimately chooses to do. :frowning:

Heavens forbid people want nice things or, even worse, offer to pay for them.

Kansas City, Missouri actually has a surprising number of options. At my apartment, I can get AT&T U-Verse, Time-Warner and Surewest. All of whom have recently began offering better service - to those of us who can get Google Fiber, who has just started advertising directly to the people in my neighborhood.

The problem with Rich White Suburbs is that they all insist that everything be buried. I’m very familiar with the towns surrounding Kansas City that Google will expand to, and the one thing they have in common is that they are all older, and they all have utility poles behind the homes.

Google is changing $300 per home to connect, and the best estimates put their cost well over double that. If they were to charge the same for their service that the cable companies would, they would have to charge more than $500 a month, rather than $70 for gigabit u/d and $120 a month with all HDTV and DVR. And burying their fiber would raise their costs astronomically.

But mainly, I’m sick to death that every single time Google Fiber is mentioned, every single post about it on Google+ is followed by dozens of people demanding that Google Fiber be delivered to their location. It adds nothing of value to the discussion.

It’s an experiment. And to be part of the experiment, you have to be in the right location. And in this experiment, you and the other folks who wish they had Google Fiber will serve as the control group.

By the way, according to a friend who lives there,Crown Center, the #1 ranked “Fiberhood” in Missouri? It’s going to take far longer to hook them up because the Condo Board in the Crown Center towers are making Google jump through hoops, so Google pulled the resources from that are are speeding up everywhere else.

I’m still trying to get FiOS to come to my part of Brooklyn. :frowning:

I had FiOS at my last place less than a mile away and it was amazing.

I would consider a lack of high speed internet a deal-breaker.

There are people re-locating to Kansas City just to get access to this speed. You can buy a house in some parts of KCK for a year’s rent on a Silicon Valley apartment.

The problem is the commute to my job in Calif is a stone bitch.

I have high-speed Internet. It’s just suck-ass CableVision instead of glorious FiOS.

Yeah, but you could telecommute like a motherfucka!

But the delta on taxes would make up for it. They ALL need to pee into a bottle in Sacromento.

I just stopped by to mention that Austin will be getting Google Fiber soon. I’ll let y’all know how it works out.

I was just in Austin. I saw Hangover 3 at the Alamo Drafthouse. Pretty fun time.

Man, this ain’t even SNEAK bragging! I was pretty happy with 30 Mb down, 6 up, til the kids discovered Youtube. I don’t think they’ll EVER pay for cable or satellite.