Google Fiber is Google's fiber-to-the-premises service in the United States, providing broadband internet and television to a small and slowly growing number of locations. The service was first introduced to Kansas City, Kansas, and is being rolled out to Kansas City, Missouri, with plans for expansion to several other Kansas City area suburbs, as well as Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah. In February 2014, Google announced they had chosen another 34 cities as candidates for future expansion.
- 1 Services
- 2 Distribution
- 3 First city selection process
- 4 Locations
- 5 Future expansion
- 6 Related activities
- 7 Reactions
- 8 Technical specifications
- 9 Prohibition of servers
- 10 April Fools' hoaxes
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Google Fiber offers three options. There's a free broadband internet option, a 1 Gbit/s internet option, and an option including television service (in addition to the 1 Gbit/s internet). The internet service includes one terabyte of Google Drive service; the television service includes a two terabyte DVR recorder in addition to the Google Drive. The DVR can record up to eight live television shows simultaneously. The television options also include a Nexus 7 tablet that will act as a remote control for the system. In addition, television service will also stream live program content on iPad and Android tablet computers.
Google offers several different service plans to their customers:
|Plan||Gigabit + TV||Gigabit||Free Internet|
|Internet bandwidth (download)||1 Gbit/s||1 Gbit/s||5 Mbit/s|
|Internet bandwidth (upload)||1 Gbit/s||1 Gbit/s||1 Mbit/s|
|TV service included||Yes||No||No|
|Storage included||2 TB DVR Storage
(8 simultaneous recordings possible)
1 TB Google Drive
|1 TB Google Drive||None|
|Hardware included||Nexus 7 tablet
Remote control (TV)
Storage box (DVR)
|Network box||Network box|
In order to avoid underground cabling complexity for the last mile, Google Fiber relies on aggregators dubbed Google Fiber Huts.
From these Google Fiber Huts, the fiber cables travel along utility poles into neighborhoods and homes.
First city selection process
The initial location was chosen following a competitive selection process. Over 1,100 communities applied to be the first recipient of the service. Google originally stated that they would announce the winner or winners by the end of 2010; however, in mid-December, Google pushed back the announcement to "early 2011" due to the number of applications.
The request form was simple, and, some have argued, too straightforward. This led to various attention-getting behaviors by those hoping to have their town selected. Some examples are given below:
- Baton Rouge supporters remade the song "Give a Little Bit" by Roger Hodgson to "Give a Gigabit".
- Greenville, South Carolina utilized 1,000 of their citizens and glow sticks to create "The World's First and Largest People-Powered Google Chain." From an aerial view, the title "Google" was colorfully visible.
- Topeka, Kansas temporarily renamed itself "Google"
- A small plane bearing a banner reading “Will Google Play in Peoria, IL?” flew over the Google campus in Mountain View, California.
- The mayor of Duluth, Minnesota jokingly proclaimed that every first-born child will be named either Google Fiber or Googlette Fiber.
- The city of Rancho Cucamonga, California dubbed their city, "Rancho Googlemonga".
- One of the islands in Sarasota, Florida was temporarily renamed "Google Island".
Municipalities and citizens have also uploaded YouTube videos to support their bids. Some examples:
- A YouTube video in support of Sarasota, Florida used the Bobby McFerrin song Don't Worry, Be Happy A video for Sarasota was uploaded through Facebook’s video service.
- Comedian and United States Senator Al Franken made a YouTube video to support Duluth, Minnesota's bid.
- Ann Arbor, Michigan has its own YouTube channel featuring a David Letterman-style Top Ten list delivered by town VIPs such as Mayor John Hieftje and University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman. Ann Arbor also held a city-wide GoogleFest, kicking off with a gathering of hundreds of participants dancing and chanting "Ann Arbor Google Fiber, ain't Nothing any finer."
In 2011, Google launched a trial in a residential community of Palo Alto, California. On March 30 of the same year, Kansas City, Kansas was selected as the first city to receive Google Fiber. In 2013, Austin, TX and Provo, UT were announced as expansion cities for Google Fiber on April 9 and 17 respectively.
- In summer 2011, Google launched a free trial of its forthcoming fiber service in one residential community near Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
Kansas City metro
Google found that affluent neighborhoods in Kansas City signed up for the faster service while those in poorer neighborhoods did not have access to the Internet. In response to this digital divide, Google sent a team of 60 employees to the under-served areas to promote the Google Fiber service. Additionally, Google offered micro-grants to community organizations that want to start up digital literacy programs in Kansas City.
- Kansas City, Kansas – On March 30, 2011, KCK was selected from over 1,100 applicants to be the first Google Fiber community.
- Kansas City, Missouri – Seventeen days after the initial announcement regarding KCK, Google announced the decision to include Kansas City, Missouri, thus offering service to both sides of the state line. The network became available to residents in September 2012.
- Olathe, Kansas – On March 19, 2013 Google announced that the project would be expanded to Olathe.
- North Kansas City, Missouri – April 19, 2013 Google announced that they were to begin a 20 year lease on the existing LINKCity fiber network in North Kansas City. The system in North Kansas City will also be upgraded to Gigabit capacity. There was a conflicting report in one local paper that Google is only renting LinkCity's "dark fiber" and will not be taking over operation of the LinkCity system.
- Shawnee, Kansas – May 2, 2013
- Raytown, Missouri – May 3, 2013
- Grandview, Missouri – May 7, 2013
- Gladstone, Missouri – May 13, 2013
- Raytown, Missouri – May 22, 2013
- Lee's Summit, Missouri – June 21, 2013
- Mission, Kansas – June 27, 2013
- Prairie Village, Kansas – August 5, 2013 
- Leawood, Kansas – August 19, 2013
- Merriam, Kansas – August 26, 2013
- Roeland Park, Kansas – September 3, 2013
- Mission Hills, Kansas – September 9, 2013
- Fairway, Kansas – September 9, 2013
- Lenexa, Kansas – September 17, 2013
Google placed deployment in Overland Park, Kansas on indefinite hold in October 2013, following delays by the City Council over concerns about whether an indemnification clause that Google required might force the city to repair any damage caused by the project. As of July 2014, Overland Park's City Council had voted on a deal that would allow for Google Fiber. Soon after, the city appeared on Google Fiber's website. 
- Provo, Utah – On April 17, 2013 it was announced that Provo would become the third Google Fiber City. Expansion of Google Fiber service to Provo, Utah will be accomplished through an agreement with the City of Provo to acquire an existing municipal fiber network known as "iProvo". The agreement will allow Google to purchase the iProvo network for $1, while requiring Google to upgrade the aging network to gigabit capacity, offer free gigabit service to 25 local public institutions, and offer 5 Mbit/s service to every home in the city for free after a reduced ($30 in Provo compared to $300 in Kansas City) activation fee.
In February 2014, Google announced it had "invited cities in nine metro areas around the U.S.—34 cities altogether—to work with us to explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber."
- Arizona – Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe
- California – San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto
- Georgia – Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs, Smyrna
- North Carolina:
- Oregon – Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Tigard
- Tennessee – Nashville-Davidson
- Texas – San Antonio
- Utah – Salt Lake City
According to Google, the company will have "updates on which cities will get Fiber by the end of the year."
On 15 April, 2014, Google began polling business users on their need for gigabit service, that they would be "conducting a pilot program where we'll connect a limited number of small businesses to our network."
In 2010 the company spent $1.9 billion to acquire 111 Eighth Avenue, the third largest building in New York City which sits on top of a trunk dark fiber line and was one of the country's most important carrier hotels. Despite speculation that Google Fiber was coming to the city, Google has flatly denied it was coming and allowed the dark fiber line underneath its building to be acquired by another company.
Time Magazine has claimed that rather than wanting to actually operate as an internet service provider, the company was just hoping to shame the major cable operators into improving their service so that Google searches could be done faster. Google has neither confirmed nor denied this claim.
According to one analyst report, it is projected that the Google Fiber network could reach 8 million U.S. homes by 2022 at an estimated cost of $7 billion, assuming Google would target only select neighborhoods, as it has done with its Kansas City deployment. These estimates are similar to an earlier Goldman Sachs report that projects Google could connect approximately 830,000 homes a year at the cost of $1.25 billion a year, or a total of 7.5 million homes in nine years at a cost of slightly over $10 billion.
In January 2014 a bill was introduced in the Kansas Legislature (Senate Bill 304, referred to as the "Municipal Communications Network and Private Telecommunications Investment Safeguards Act") which would prevent Google Fiber from expanding further in Kansas using the model used in Kansas City. The bill proposes: "Except with regard to unserved areas, a municipality may not, directly or indirectly:
- Offer to provide to one or more subscribers, video, telecommunications or broadband service; or
- purchase, lease, construct, maintain or operate any facility for the purpose of enabling a private business or entity to offer, provide, carry, or deliver video, telecommunications or broadband service to one or more subscribers."
As of February 2014, Senate Bill 304 (SB304) had lost momentum in the Kansas state senate, and the bill's sponsor, Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association (KCTA), indicated that it is highly unlikely that it will continue to pursue the legislation in the current Legislative Session.
Google Fiber will provide an Internet connection speed of one gigabit per second (1,000 Mbit/s) for both download and upload which is roughly 100 times faster access than what most Americans have. Google Fiber says its service allows for the download of a full movie in less than two minutes.
Prohibition of servers
When first launched, Google Fiber's Terms of Service stated that its subscribers were not allowed to create any type of server: "Your Google Fiber account is for your use and the reasonable use of your guests. Unless you have a written agreement with Google Fiber permitting you do so, you should not host any type of server using your Google Fiber connection, use your Google Fiber account to provide a large number of people with internet access, or use your Google Fiber account to provide commercial services to third parties (including, but not limited to, selling internet access to third parties)."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation criticized the practice, noting the ambiguity of the word "server" which might (or might not) include such common application protocols as BitTorrent, Skype, and Spotify, as well as the effect of and on IPv6 adoption due its lack of NAT technical limitations on network servers, but also noted similar prohibitions from other ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon, Cox, and AT&T.
April Fools' hoaxes
On April Fools' Day 2007, Google hosted a signup for Google TiSP offering "Google TiSP (BETA) is a fully functional, end-to-end system that provides in-home wireless access by connecting your commode-based TiSP wireless router to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through your local municipal sewage lines."
On April Fools' Day 2012, Google Fiber announced that their product was an edible Google Fiber bar instead of fiber-optic internet broadband. It is stated that the Google Fiber bar delivers "what the body needs to sustain activity, energy, and productivity."
On April Fools' Day 2013, Google Fiber announced the introduction of Google Fiber to the Pole. The Description provided was "Google Fiber to the Pole provides ubiquitous gigabit connectivity to fiberhoods across Kansas City. This latest innovation in Google Fiber technology enables users to access Google Fiber's ultra fast gigabit speeds even when they are out and about." Clicking on the "Learn More" and "Find a pole near you" buttons displayed a message reading "April Fool’s! While Fiber Poles don’t exist, we are working on a bunch of cool stuff that does. Keep posted on all things Fiber by checking out our blog."
The April Fools' Day 2014 prank was an announcement of Coffee To The Home, using a spout on the fiber jack where the service enters the customer's home to deliver customized coffee drinks.
- Project Loon, Google's research project aiming to provide Internet access to rural and remote areas via high-altitude balloons
- The 802.11a/b/g/n wireless protocols cannot achieve 1 gigabit speeds. The one exception, 802.11ac theoretically supports up to 1.3 Gbit/s (162.5 megabytes per second). However, as of 2013 commercially available 802.11ac devices achieve ≤0.5 Gbit/s under optimum conditions.
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- Google Fiber for Communities[dead link]
- Van Buskirk, Eliot (March 11, 2010). "Al Franken Jokes, But Google Fiber Is No Laughing Matter". Wired Magazine.
- "Greenville Feels Lucky". Retrieved 2014-01-28.
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- Ann Arbor GoogleFest
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- Farivar, Cyrus. "North Kansas City leases network to Google Fiber". Kansas City Business Journal. Retrieved April 19, 2013. "North Kansas City will lease its LINKCity fiber-optic data network to Google Fiber. The City Council approved a 20-year agreement Tuesday worth $3.2 million"
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- "Overland Park reaches deal to bring in Google Fiber Read more: http://www.kmbc.com/news/overland-park-poised-to-make-deals-with-google-fiber/26828326#ixzz38Ob5MONn". KMBC. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
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- "Google Fiber – On the Silicon Prairie, the Silicon Hills, and now the Silicon Slopes". "Today the Google Fiber team is in Provo, Utah, where Mayor John Curtis just announced that we intend to make Provo our third Google Fiber City."
- "Asset Purchase Agreement". "THIS ASSET PURCHASE AGREEMENT... ...between Google Fiber Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Purchaser”), and Provo City Corporation, a Utah municipal corporation (“Seller”)."
- "Network Services Agreement". "...terms and conditions upon which Google Fiber will provide high speed broadband internet access services to the City and certain residents of Provo, free of charge."
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- Auerbach, Dan (12 August 2013). "Google Fiber Continues Awful ISP Tradition of Banning 'Servers'". Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- Fenley, John (15 October 2013). "Google Fiber has changed its terms of service...". GoogleProtest.com.
- Brodkin, Jon (15 October 2013). "Google Fiber now explicitly permits home servers". Ars Technica.
- Google (1 April 2007). "Welcome to Google TiSP". Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- Google (1 April 2012). "Introducing the Google Fiber Bar" (video). YouTube. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Google Fiber (31 March 2013). "Google Fiber to the Pole" (video). YouTube. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- Google Fiber (1 April 2014). "Introducing Coffee to the Home" (video). YouTube. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
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