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Cable Technology Feature Article

November 26, 2012

Google Fiber Takes on Cable TV

By Rachel Ramsey, TMCnet Web Editor

Google (News - Alert) has drastically changed how we search, explore and communicate. It’s even created its own verb, as it is more than common every day to hear, “I don’t know, let me Google it.” Now, Google is changing the way we watch TV. Google Fiber is a project to build an experimental broadband Internet network infrastructure using fiber-optic communication in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. It starts with a connection speed 100 times faster than today’s broadband and offers instant downloads and crystal-clear, high-definition TV. 

The first phase of this project is residential. Google will start talking to businesses about making the ultra-high-speed connections available to them only after the fiberhood construction. The need to close the technological gap in poor neighborhoods has become a primary focus. Moreover, new opportunities in education and medicine are also in the pipeline. For $120 a month, Google Fiber offers normal cable TV, a massive digital video recorder and super-fast broadband Internet access. For $70 a month, users can get just the Internet access.

With Google Fiber you have access to a wide range of channels plus unique content. Watch all your favorite channels and discover new ones. Users also receive a Nexus 7 tablet free with this package to use as a new remote. With the Nexus 7 remote, users can go beyond the standard remote’s search and discovery experience. All users have to do is download the Fiber app on select Android and Apple (News - Alert) iOS devices and they can search for favorite shows, share what they are watching and watch from anywhere in the house.


Image via Google

With two terabytes of storage, you can record all your favorite TV shows without ever worrying about having enough space. Add your own photos, videos and music, and access them from any device in your home. With the Google Fiber storage box, users can record up to eight shows at the same time and get high-speed networking on your home’s existing wiring with built-in Ethernet over coaxial cable.

Google is promising that its installer will arrive when he or she says he will arrive – not force you stay home for an appointment window.

“We’ve found that the difference between dreading an installation and feeling like you had a good experience comes down to us caring about the details that matter the most to you,” explained Alana Karen, director, service delivery, Google Fiber, in a company blog post. “For example, we’ll show up when we’re supposed to—at the start of your appointment, not somewhere in the middle. We’ll clean up any mess; each installer carries a vacuum cleaner. And we’ll answer your questions and teach you about your devices—don’t be afraid to ask us questions, or to ask us to explain something again in simpler language.”

The Google Fiber project is an innovative project that has been compared to the launch of Gmail back in 2004. So, why compare Google Fiber with Gmail? Because, on many levels, Google Fiber exposes how slow the incumbents have been to innovate, it uses its hardware expertise and paves the way for new business areas. Google promises speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps downstream and upstream for only $70 per month. This speed is theoretically fast enough to downloading a high-def move in under a minute. Google’s aim of offering high speed Internet is so that people can spend more time online and likely use a Google product in the process. In addition, the company intends to make money on it by opening a whole new business as an ISP and TV provider.

“But if nothing else, here’s hoping that Google Fiber scares the bejeezus out of the cable industry, forcing cable companies to upgrade their own broadband services and finally put a bigger premium on customer service,” said a Business Insider article about Google Fiber.

Want to learn more about how video is helping to transform the industry? Don’t miss Video World Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Video World Conference & Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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