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Google Fiber is live and a really big deal

John Moe Jul 27, 2012

Kansas City is not generally thought of as the most cutting edge of American cities, unless you factor in barbecue arts and technology. But yesterday Google threw the switch on a pretty amazing fiber network. As discussed on our show today, the network moves data at 1Gb per second, or about 100 times the speed of the average home internet connection. It moves data at the same speed whether it’s upload or download, which is kind of amazing, and Google is offering it cheap with no caps on usage.

The internet part is great. The cable TV part of the deal, however, looks an awful lot like regular cable, says All Things D:

If you want to get stuff from the cable guys, you have to buy everything they bundle. Discovery’s TLC comes with Animal Planet and the Science Channel. NBC Universal’s CNBC comes with Bravo, Oxygen and the USA network. Etc.

Not everyone is in, yet. Time Warner (TNT, TBS, HBO), Disney (ESPN, Disney Channel), News Corp. (Fox News, FX) and AMC Networks (AMC, IFC) don’t have deals with Google. And if Google launches without all of them the service will look crippled. But the Google folks are saying positive things about getting deals done, and I’ve heard similar murmurs from some of the TV guys.

As we explained on the show today, Kansas City is able to do this as a test market with Google because the city has more control over how utilities are used in the city than other cities. So if you want fiber in your city, you’ll need to instigate a groundswell of support. Or get fiber by having a couple bran muffins. Which could lead to a different groundswell.

I’m so sorry.

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