Photo: Google fibre
Google just became a cable company – or at least, announced its intention to become one.That’s the news out of Kansas City.
This is part of the Google fibre project, where Google built a ~$500 million fibre optic network in Kansas City to provide those folks with an Internet that is 100 times faster than what the rest of the world uses. Google fibre launched today.
The news about the TV service was part of that launch.
Updated: Google posted a pretty amazing list of TV networks that will participate. The kind you can only get from your cable or satellite providers.” Google fibre TV service will be HD quality and include a DVR that lets you record up to 500 hours of shows in full HDTV. It will also offer apps for the iPad and for Android tablets.
This high speed Internet service plus TV will cost $120 a month.
But there’s a hitch. Google isn’t going to build it first and offer it to everyone. Neighborhoods are going to have to get together and petition for the new service, so that Google knows it will have enough customers in the area to make it a profitable investment.
The ramifications of this announcement are obviously huge. Google already controls the way people navigate the Internet. If the company gains control of how people physically get onto the Internet – the hard to control “last mile” – Google will possess incredible power in negotiations with Hollywood and Madison Avenue. It will also spook some in Cupertino, where Apple is said to be working on a TV.
Google posted an hour-long video of the announcement on YouTube. The Google TV demo comes at 28:54.