Google Fiber should branch out to a nearby city, but the company could rely on its previous tactic of allowing cities and communities to beg.
Now that Google has Kansas City under its belt, the company is now trying to determine where to lay its Google Fiber broadband internet service next. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who just shot down talk that he's taking a spot on President Obama's cabinet, said during The New York Times' Dealbook conference that Google Fiber isn't just another experiment.
"It's a real business and we're trying to decide where to expand next," he added without divulging any additional information.
It would make sense that Google use Kansas City as the central point of its Gigabit network, and branch out to Oklahoma City, Little Rock, St. Louis, or Des Moines. How much time and money it would take to connect Kansas City to one of these cities is unknown at this point, but establishing Google Fiber anywhere else in America just wouldn't make sense in a networking point of view.
Customers residing in Kansas City are just now receiving the service in their homes, as Google Fiber technicians are dropping Fiber lines from the main Google Fiber connection at the street. Rollout is in stages, allowing potential customers to choose one of three plans before their connection goes live. Basic service is free and requires a $300 connection fee, but Google is waiving this fee for the other two paid plans: a $70 monthly fee for just Gigabit internet access, and a $120 monthly fee for Gigabit Internet and TV programming.
"There are two stages to getting you connected. First, we'll pull your Fiber from the street to the side of your house; we’ve already done this for several houses in Hanover Heights. Then we'll get in touch with you to schedule the second stage, your in-home installation," the company said in a blog back in November.
Looking back, there's a good chance Google may simply allow consumers wanting Google Fiber installed in their town to cast their vote to local officials who in turn will make a request for information (RFI) to help Google identify interested communities – which should be even larger this time around. And like before, cities will likely rename themselves, people will make pleas on YouTube, and interested web surfers will conduct rallies nationwide in order to get Google's attention and free Gigabit Internet piped into their homes.
Or Google could bypass the drama and simply pick a spot. However as previously stated, Google should focus on a city near Kansas City to see how its new Gigabit network performs when connecting to another nearby town.