Google Fiber - a super fast optical fiber Internet service for $70 a month – includes a free Nexus tablet. Google Fiber is only available in Kansas City, so far.
Michael Randolph/The Bay City Times/AP
The service is intended as a showcase for what's technically possible and as a testbed for the development of new ways to use the Internet. Bypassing the local cable and phone companies, Google has spent months and an unknown amount of money pulling its own optical fiber through the two-state Kansas City region.
After vetting many contenders, Google announced last year that the Kansas City metro area would be the first to get its "Fiber for Communities" broadband service.
Some cities had used gimmicks to get the company's attention. Topeka informally renamed itself "Google, Kansas." A group in Baltimore launched a website that used Google's mapping service to plot the location of more than 1,000 residents and give their reasons for wanting the service. Hundreds of groups on Facebook implored Google to come to their cities.
The $70 monthly fee will pay for "gigabit" Internet service, about 100 times faster than a basic cable modem. For another $50 per month, Google will provide cable-TV-like service over the fiber, too, and a Nexus 7 tablet computer that works as a remote.