Google Fibre, the search giant’s insanely fast (and surprisingly affordable) internet service, is finally coming to San Francisco later this year.
Not everybody will get the service, at least at first — “We’re bringing Fibre to some apartments and condos in San Francisco,” says the Google Fibre website for the city. Some public and low-cost housing developments will get Google Fibre, too.
Since its public announcement in 2010, Google Fibre has come to Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; and Provo, Texas.
But apart from a brief 2011 trial in a residential community in Stanford, California, Google Fibre has never come anywhere close to Google’s home base in Silicon Valley. That changes now, with the addition of San Francisco to the roadmap.
You can register on the Google Fibre site as an owner or property manager if you want to work on getting the service into your building. Otherwise, you can sign up to get notified when the service is available in your area.
(It sounds like San Francisco homeowners like myself are out of luck, at least for now.)
Broadband battle looming
Google Fibre offers a free service tier for those who just need a basic internet connection. After that, its plans go up to around $70 a month for a blazing-fast, 1000 megabit/second connection (also called “gigabit internet”). For $130/month, it includes TV service with the ability to record up to eight shows at once.
For Google, it’s all part of a master plan to get as many people reliably connected to the internet as it possibly can — a plan that can also be seen in its OnHub router and Project Loon internet-delivering drone balloons. After all, more internet users means more potential customers for Google’s products and services.
Google is also testing equipment to deliver its Fibre service to consumers’ homes wirelessly, using the broadband 3.5Ghz frequency, as Business Insider reported last week.
Meanwhile, competitors like the established Comcast and Boston-based startup Starry are working hard on their own gigabit internet services. And so, Google Fibre is going to have to grow fast to outpace the competition.
Other recently-announced cities on the horizon for Google Fibre include Huntsville, Alabama.
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