If you were to ask me what the most important project Google is currently working on, I would say Google Fiber. Not those silly computer glasses, or the Nexus Q, or even the Nexus 7.
Kansas City (both sides of the state divide) is the first city to get Google Fiber, which offers a 1Gb fiber connection for $70 a month. They’ll sell an Internet + TV bundle for $120 per month and perhaps more interesting is that Google will offer a 5Mb connection to homes for free.
The plans also come with 1TB of storage space on Google Drive, no data caps, and the ability to add on a Chromebox laptop for $299. The Internet + TV bundle includes a free Nexus 7 tablet and a 2TB storage box for recording up 8 shows at the same time.
I don’t have cable. I just have a computer with a 1TB hard drive on it for streaming Netflix, Hulu and downloading movies, etc. I have a TON of movies, music, photos and TV shows on that drive and it’s not even close to filling up yet. Google is giving people essentially 3TB for Internet and TV. That’s absurd. I have no desire to subscribe to cable, but I would give Google’s TV service a shot.
As another comparison point, I have Verizon Fios. It is fast. Very, very, very fast. The lowest package Verizon offers gives me a 15Mb per second connection for $55 per month. Doing a few speed tests, my actual connection speed is closer to 5Mb per second.
If Google’s free Fiber connection could deliver an actual 5 Mb per second connection, I wouldn’t hesitate to not pay $55 per month to Verizon ever again. At the same time, I would be tempted to pay $15 more per month to get a 1Gb connection, which would be an orgasm of Internet speed. The fastest Verizon Fios plan is currently 75Mb per second for $90.
Imagine how many people would switch just for fast, free Internet? If nothing else, perhaps it will force the likes of Verizon, Time Warner, and Comcast to bring down their prices.
This is what disruption looks like. And this is why Google Fiber is the most important project Google has in development. This is also why they can’t over-promise and under-deliver or half-ass this out of the gate like so many of their other endeavors. Perfect the service in Kansas City, develop a great word of mouth, create strong desire for this in other parts of the country, and spread out accordingly.
The real boon for Google Fiber will be if they can deliver this to the areas of America — and there are many — that don’t have broadband and are still using dial-up Internet. When you talk about owning the entire Internet stack, it doesn’t get more important than undermining the likes of Verizon and Time Warner and Comcast by delivering fat Internet pipes to people’s homes so they can take advantage of all the web has to offer.