A lot of us who want faster Internet at better prices are putting all of our chips in with Google Fiber. If the program is a success in Kansas City, they’ll bring the service to other cities around the country. Such an expansion is more likely now thanks to Kansas City exceeding all expectations.
For a bit of background, Google was rolling out Fiber to areas of Kansas City called “Fiberhoods.” If enough people in the area signed up for Fiber, Google would bring Fiber to that block. It was looking bad for a while as 50 percent of neighborhoods weren’t signing up for Fiber. That all changed at the last minute as Google reports that 180 out of 202 fiberhoods have now qualified for the service.
The exciting part about this number is that it’s not even the final tally. Google is still processing all of the apartment complexes and condos that signed up for the service. They’ll share the final tally on Thursday and it should be higher than the current count.
Google Fiber is a sure thing for over 80 percent of Kansas City, but the whole process has brought up some interesting information on how the regular populace views the Internet. It was mentioned above that Google was actually having trouble signing people up for Fiber. Why did people not want faster Internet? They found that some residents of Kansas City just didn’t think the Internet was relevant to their lives. Google’s findings coincide with the findings from the FCC that found rural communities didn’t care about getting faster Internet because they didn’t feel it was important.
To remedy that, Google partnered with local organizations to spread the word on the importance of the Internet. They also probably told them about that sweet deal where all schools and public facilities inside fiberhoods would get free Fiber Internet. People on the other side of the digital divide may not understand the importance of the Internet for themselves, but most realize that it’s a good thing for schools and hospitals. Even if they don’t get Fiber, Google will give them free Internet for a $300 construction fee.
We’ll continue to follow the interesting tale of Google Fiber as it makes its way into homes later this year. It has the potential to change the ISP market on a grand scale if it takes off. The response in Kansas City seems to indicate that we just might start seeing Google Fiber pop up all over the place.