Google Fiber TV has finally launched, and sure, it’s only in Kansas City for now. But don’t expect that to last: Google is coming for your cable provider.
At its most basic, the premise is simple: TV and Internet access from the same provider. It’s the same idea cable companies have been using for years, except the provider here is Google, and they’re promising insanely fast Internet speeds. Specifically, 1000 Mb per second, or 100 times faster than today’s average broadband, with no cap in the amount of data subscribers can use.
Google as an ISP seems like a logical leap. But what does a Google as a TV intermediary look like? Right now, Kansas City residents will receive an HD-compatible set-top box capable of receiving 160 channels (though no ESPN, HBO or Time Warner channels). As part of the monthly TV package, users will also receive a two terabyte drive capable of recording up to 500 hours of HD content, plus a bonus Nexus 7 tablet to serve as a remote.
The complete package (fiber + TV) will run KS residents $120 a month, while Internet-only service will be $70. That may be more than a typical Comcast, Time Warner or even Verizon ViOS bill, but for unlimited streaming and the opportunity to escape the entrenched cable providers, we’ll be surprised if there aren’t a lot of KS residents who think it’s worth it.