Google Fiber is Google's fiber-to-the-premise service in the United States, providing broadband internet and television to a small but growing number of locations. The initial location was chosen following a competitive selection process. Over 1,100 communities applied to be the first recipient of the service. On March 30, 2011, Google announced that Kansas City, Kansas, would be the first community where the new network would be deployed. The network is being rolled out to Kansas City, Missouri, with plans underway for expansion to several other Kansas City area suburbs, as well as Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah.
In July 2012, pricing for Google Fiber was announced. The service offers three options. These include a free broadband internet option, a 1 Gbit/s internet option for $70 per month and a version that includes television service for $120 per month. The internet service includes one terabyte of Google Drive service and the television service includes a two terabyte DVR recorder in addition to the Google Drive service. The DVR will 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. Neighborhoods that receive the service will be selected based on demand.
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.
- 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, which Warner Music Group does not allow to appear in user-uploaded videos. A video for Sarasota was uploaded through Facebook’s video service. Duluth's mayor 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".
- 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.
Kansas City metro
The following are chronological announcements of service in the Kansas City metropolitan area:
- 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
- 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 summer 2011, Google launched a free trial of its forthcoming fiber service in one residential community near Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
Google has not aggressively expanded the Google Fiber program. 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 on September 14, 2012, said 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.
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 Kansas City, those in affluent neighborhoods signed up for the faster service while those in poorer neighborhoods did not sign up for Google Fiber (or any other internet provider).
Google Fiber will provide an internet connection speed of one gigabit per second for both download and upload. This is 1,000 megabits per second, or 128 megabytes per second (there are 8 bits in a byte), or roughly 100 times faster access than what most Americans have.
Google offers several different service plans to their customers:
|Plan||Gigabit + TV||Gigabit||Free Internet|
($300 construction fee waived)
($300 construction fee waived)
or $25 a month for 12 months
|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
Storage box (DVR)
|Network box||Network box|
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 to lack of IPv4 network address translation technical limitations on home 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 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."
- Google's Project Loon, a 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.
- Helft, Miguel (2010-03-21). "Hoping for Gift From Google? Go Jump in the Lake". The New York Times.
- Malik, Om (February 11, 2010). "How Much Will Google’s Fiber Network Cost?". gigaOm.com.
- "More than 1,100 communities seek Google network". Associated Press. 2010-03-27. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
- "Ultra high-speed broadband is coming to Kansas City, Kansas". Google.com.
- Google Gets Into the Cable TV Business, for Real, All Things Digital, July 26, 2012.
- "Google Fiber for Communities". Google.
- Medin, Milo (2010-12-15). "An update on Google Fiber". Google.
- Anderson, Nate (2010-12-15). "Google delays its 1Gbps fiber announcement". Arstechnica.
- Google Fiber for Communities
- Van Buskirk, Eliot (March 11, 2010). "Al Franken Jokes, But Google Fiber Is No Laughing Matter". Wired Magazine.
- HELFT, MIGUEL (March 26, 2010). "Cities Rush to Woo Google Broadband Before Friday Deadline". New York Times blog.
- Silver, Curtis (March 10, 2010). "I, Google". Wired Magazine.
- Murphy, David (March 7, 2010). "The 5 Strangest City Pitches for Google's New Fiber-Optic Service". PC Magazine.
- Al Franken YouTube video
- Ann Arbor YouTube channel
- Ann Arbor GoogleFest
- Reed, Tina (March 26, 2010). "Ann Arbor 'mob' makes another case to attract Google Fiber". AnnArbor.com.
- "Google Fiber Goes Live Near Stanford". anandtech.com. August 22, 2011.
- Google Fiber is coming to Olathe, Kansas
- 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"
- Vockrodt, Steve (May 7, 2013). "Google Fiber bails out North Kansas City's fiber-optic misfire". The Pitch. Retrieved May 14, 2013. "This doesn't mean we're delivering Google Fiber service to the city of North Kansas City," Google spokeswoman Jenna Wandres says. "It just means we're using their fiber as a pass-through to get to surrounding areas."
- "Google Fiber Blog". Googlefiberblog.blogspot.com. May 2, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Canon, Scott (May 3, 2013). "Raytown latest city promised Google Fiber". Kansas City Star. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
- "Google Fiber Blog". Googlefiberblog.blogspot.com. May 7, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- "Google Fiber Blog". Googlefiberblog.blogspot.com. May 13, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- "Google Fiber Blog". Googlefiberblog.blogspot.com. May 22, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- "Google Fiber Blog". Googlefiberblog.blogspot.com. June 20, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 20132013-06-20.
- "Google Fiber Blog". Googlefiberblog.blogspot.com. June 27, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- "Prairie Village approves deal for Google Fiber", Jonathan Bender, Kansas City Star, August 5, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "Leawood, Kansas Approves Fiber". Google Fiber Blog. Google. 19 August 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "Fiber for Merriam, Kansas". Google Fiber Blog. Google. August 26, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "Rolling into Roeland Park, Kan.". Google Fiber Blog. Google. September 3, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "Fiber’s coming to Mission Hills and Fairway". Google Fiber Blog. Google. September 9, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "Bringing Fiber to Lenexa, Kan.". Google Fiber Blog. Google. September 17, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- Google Fiber's next stop Austin Texas
- "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."
- Gustin, Sam (2012-09-14). "Google Fiber Issues Public Challenge: Get Up To Speed!". TIME.com. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
- "Google Fiber Could Reach 8 Million Homes By 2022", Elise Ackerman, Forbes, June 14, 2013. Retrieved September 2013.
- Google. "Plans & Pricing". Google. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- "Router Charts - 5 GHz Downlink". SmallNetBuilder. 2013-10-01. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
- Singel, Ryan (30 July 2013). "Now That It’s in the Broadband Game, Google Flip-Flops on Network Neutrality". WIRED.
- 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.
- "Introducing the Google Fiber Bar". YouTube. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- "Google Fiber to the Pole". Google.com. April 1, 2013.
- Official website
- Google Fiber on Blogger
- Google Fiber on Google+
- GoogleFiber on Facebook
- Google Fiber on Twitter
- Google Fiber's channel on YouTube