As Google Fiber got rolled out in Kansas City July 26, residents were invited to sign up for gigabit-speed Internet and cable television service till September 9.
The search giant's entry into the cable television market is expected to ring in competition through price cuts from the traditional cable service providers that were initially deaf to such requests as Google definitely comes with a superior offering. Consumers need lower prices to combat doubling of cable TV prices every 10 years, eWeek has reported.
With assurance to be 100 times faster than the average American broadband speed, Google Fiber offers three plans that come with adequate attractions:
The Gigabit + TV service is available for $120 a month, with a $300 construction fee waived on signing a two-year contract. The Fiber TV service offers a large selection of network and some cable channels in HD, including Showtime and Starz, the PCWorld reported.
The pure Internet service costs $70 a month, where the $300 construction fee is waived for two-year user contract. A free plan is also offered, but comes with limitations of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds, and requires the $300 construction fee, PCWorld added.
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But one question that really assumes significance is how will Google Fiber + TV compete with other traditional television broadcasters in offering popular content? Kevin Lo, General manager of Google Access, said in a phone interview to CNET that the company would offer programs from all major TV broadcasters, as well as hundreds of "fiber" channels, which include the same channels as programmers on cable systems.
However, Google admits it is yet to sign up every traditional cable programmer. For instance, Discovery Channel, CNBC, Comedy Central and some other big cable names are included in the service. But ESPN, CNN, and HBO are missing in the bouquet of offering, CNET added.
"It's not a full program line-up yet," Lo admitted. "There is still a small number of programmers not on board yet. But that is coming. Programmers are excited about finding new ways to deliver their content in more compelling and innovative ways."
In the competition against cable operators, the biggest factor that stands in favor of Google is the service with 1 gigabit per second broadband service that is too good to resist.
What Hardware Comes with Google Fiber + TV
The Verge published a report that gave a hands-on experience of the new service. The hardware that comes with the service includes a set of three small boxes comprising Network Box, Storage Box and TV Box, with a distinctive angular look. And the freebie with the Google Fiber + TV bouquet is the Nexus 7 Android tablet that can double up as a remote as there is no QWERTY keyboard on the remote.
The initial release is not integrated with Google Play for movies or music, The Verge noted, stating how it is different from the Google TV launched earlier. What is being promoted heavily with Google Fiber + TV though is the hi-tech DVR that allows recording of up to eight shows simultaneously and comes with a storage capacity of 500 hours of video.