Google Fiber Expands KC-Area Signups

Google Fiber is ready to weave its 1-Gig and TV service mix to more areas in and around Kansas City, including several areas that signed on for franchises last year.

Google Fiber announced Tuesday that it consumers can now sign up for services in several new areas, including south and north Kansas City; and Raytown, Gladstone, and Grandview, Mo. The latest group includes 158 individual “fiberhoods,” which are areas comprised of between 250 to 1,500 homes).

Per the demand-based method in which it has deployed its network in other portions of the KC area, prospective customers in these new areas must also pony up a $10 registration fee and choose one of three plans: its 1-Gigabit + TV bundle starting at $120 per month, its standalone 1-Gig broadband service ($70 per month), or its “free” high-speed Internet service (5 Mbps down by 1 Mbps up) if customers agree to pay a “construction fee” of $25 per month for one year or a one-time payment of $300.

Under this Fiber Rally concept, individual fiberhoods will be selected and prioritized for deployment based on the number of homes that sign up for service. Fiberhoods that miss goals established by Google Fiber could miss out.

But Google Fiber could circle back. “We are also extending this opportunity to the 21 fiberhoods in central KCMO and KCK that didn’t qualify for Google Fiber in 2012. these fiberhoods will have until June 19 to tell us they want Fiber,” Carlos Casas, Kansas City field team manager  for Google Fiber, explained in the blog post.

Google Fiber has not revealed customer numbers, but noted that it has pulled nearly 6,000 miles of fiber in the KC area, where it’s facing off with Time Warner Cable, AT&T and Surewest Communications.

Google Fiber also offers services in parts of Provo, Utah (after acquiring the iProvo network), and is slated to start connecting customers in Austin, Texas, by mid-2014.

Last month, Google Fiber said it was exploring expansions into nine more metropolitan areas and 34 cities.  If Google Fiber opted for all of them,  it would be looking at a fixed network investment cost of between $2.2 billion to $3 billion, according to an estimate from Bernstein Research analyst Carlos Kirjner.