Will Kansas City Neighborhoods Follow Through on Google Fiber?
Google rainbow rabbits used as signs of support for Google Fiber campaign in Kansas City.
CREDIT: Youtube: Google
Google this week announced the results of its six-week effort to convert Kansas City's neighborhoods into "fiberhoods" — the first households in the U.S. to receive Google's groundbreaking high-speed Internet and TV service. In all, 180 neighborhoods out of 202 had enough residents sign up for the service to qualify them for the pilot program.
But the commitment was relatively light for them. And it's not clear yet which service option they will choose.
Google Fiber comes in three potentially money-saving options. With a $300 "construction" deposit, a household can receive free 5-gigabit-per-second service. Alternately, customers can avoid the fee and opt for 100-mbps Internet service at $70 a month or Internet plus TV for $120 a month.
We were curious as to how many residents chose the free plan over the paid options, but a Google spokesperson told TechNewsDaily that "at this point residents are not actually choosing their packages yet, so we don't have data on that." Each participant paid a $10 fee to pre-register, and participation by 10 percent of households in a given area was required to qualify a neighborhood for the program.
Chalk-scrawled messages of support appeared on apartment buildings like "Pendleton Heights Loves Google Fiber." Google rainbow rabbits sprouted on lawns to indicate participation, and a Marriott hotel set up a 22-floor light show in support for Google Fiber. Every school in Kansas City Kansas School District qualified for free Google Fiber installation because at least 10 percent of surrounding households signed up.
The community effort had a side benefit as well.
"Convincing 10 percent to sign up alongside you for super-fast Internet ... well, you might actually start talking to the guy who lives next to you," Jonathan Bender, a reporter for local news outlet The Pitch, wrote.
Google said in a blog post that it will announce on Thursday the order in which fiberhoods will be constructed, along with more details about the next steps. The big question remains: How many households will fork over the $300 or sign a service contract?