Google basically dropped a nuclear bomb on the Cable TV industry by revealing that its Fiber Network in Kansas City (Kansas and Missouri) will include an option for subscription TV alongside 2 terabytes of storage, a free Nexus 7 tablet to use as a remote control, gigabit ethernet -- and more -- all for a mere $120 a month. (There's a $300 "construction fee" that will be waived with a 2-year commitment.)
There's a lot of great stuff here, including the fact that libraries and schools within fiber clusters (areas in which there are enough pre-registrations) will get gigabit ethernet completely free of charge. Truly, a "holy shit" announcement.
If you live in Kansas City, and you're not already pre-registered, I question your sanity. Details here.
Still, questions linger:
- Will Kansas City respond? The rollout is a bit odd in that Google will only build to locations that include enough pre-registrations. It sounds like at least 40 or so of your neighbors have to pre-register for this to be the case. How embarrassing would it be for both Google and KC if they have trouble getting people to sign up?
- No HBO? I've looked through the full lineup and I don't see HBO listed, but perhaps it's just an oversight or maybe negotiations are ongoing? HBO definitely hates it when people try to watch their content so it's not hard to imagine execs holding out. UPDATE: Apparently some other mainstays like ESPN, Disney and a few others are also not on the list.
- Can Google be trusted? Google made huge promises when they announced Google TV, only to see most networks bail out before it was released which ultimately meant Google TV was pretty much dead on arrival.
- Sounds like this will roll out within a couple months for those who pre-register. (Reports which say it is live aren't accurate.) That's great…if you live in Kansas City, Kansas or some parts of Kansas City, Missouri. It's less great if you live anywhere else in the country, including, like me, 15 miles outside the city proper. Suck it, suburbs! How long until Google can expand to a larger market?