Google Inc. announced Monday it is now asking residents in a few Kansas City neighborhoods to sign contracts for its Internet and TV services.
By SCOTT CANON
The Kansas City Star
Google Fiber began hooking up homes in Kansas City, Kan., in mid-November to a novel service that installs fiberoptic cables directly to houses to offer Internet speeds that are generally unavailable to American consumers. Monday’s announcement means some Kansas City customers could have Google Internet and TV service early this spring.
Google announced Monday that customers in eight small neighborhoods — the search giant calls the areas “fiberhoods” — scattered through central Kansas City now face deadlines to choose their services and sign contracts.
Installation and signup is under way in several Kansas City, Kan., neighborhoods. Depending the areas they live in, KCK customers have deadlines ranging Feb. 14 to March 7 to settle on terms with Google Fiber.
On the Missouri side, the first deadline for would-be customers in the Crown Center area is March 21. The last of the announced signup cutoffs is April 25 for the Crossroads.
Google has juiced its marketing campaign with a message suggesting that if customers decline installations in the sign-up period they might have to wait years for another chance. That also is intended to lower the company’s construction costs by making multiple passes through the same neighborhoods.
At the top end, customers pay $120 a month for gigabit-per-second Internet speeds — which is typically 100 times faster than most home connections — with a relatively robust selection of TV channels. Customers pay more for connections to multiple TVs and for some premium channels.
At the low end, customers can get “free,” if relatively slow, Internet connections for seven years if they pay the $300 installation costs in 12 monthly installments of $25.
The company has yet to qualify neighborhoods in south Kansas City or north of the Missouri River, but it has suggested construction won’t begin in those areas this year. Google Fiber also has promised service in the small Johnson County communities of Westwood, Westwood Hills and Mission Woods.
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