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July 24, 2012

Google Fiber is Coming to Kansas City on Thursday...Maybe



By Tracey E. Schelmetic
TMCnet Contributor



Google (News - Alert) has been secretly up to something interesting in Kansas City for the last few years. It's using the city as a guinea pig for a new fiber optic network, and has been laying cable in that city for some time now, with the ultimate plan to offer lucky residents Internet speeds that could be up to 100 times faster than national broadband averages.

But the secret may be out.

As a teaser, the search giant recent posted a video a 30-second video entitled “Google Fiber is coming,” accompanied by a little bit of text that read, “Kansas City: Google Fiber is almost here. Look out for more information on July 26th.”

The video makes nods to local history with pictures of Harry S. Truman, baseball great Satchel Paige and jazz legend Charlie Parker. It includes pictures of pioneers and modern-day Kansas City clichés such as barbecue, according to the Kansas City Star.

But we're not certain exactly what's coming on July 26. A Google spokeswoman told the Star, “We’re excited to announce more information on Google Fiber next week,” said Jenna Wandres. “We haven’t elaborated on what 'arriving' means.”

Well that clears it up. So far, there have been no reports of any test runs with the new fiber network, what sort of services it might bring – broadband, entertainment, phone service – and no indications of any price points. There have also been strong indications – through license and patent applications – that Google will bundle Internet hook-ups with a cable-like television service.

Analysts have said that Google will need a TV package to lure customers from their existing cable subscriptions, reported the Star.

In which case, if the public thinks it's eager to hear what Google has to say, local telecom and cable company executives must be knocking back drinks by now.


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Edited by Braden Becker
 
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