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Google's IPTV Service Pumps VOD With Avail-TVN

Media-services provider Avail-TVN will feed thousands of on-demand titles into Kansas City for Google's fiber-to-the-home TV service launch this fall.

Subscribers of Google Fiber TV will have access to "tens of thousands" of VOD titles across various devices, according to the Internet company.

Google is offering 1 Gigabit per second Internet access -- more than 100 times faster than the broadband most Americans have today -- as well as a next-generation IPTV service in parts of Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan. The Google Fiber service is $70 per month for broadband only with a one-year contract and $120 per month as part of a broadband/TV bundle with a two-year contract.

Avail-TVN will provide VOD content from studios, broadcasters and cable networks for the new service in a range of formats to support Google Fiber's multichannel video service.

"Google Fiber represents an evolution in the digital video market, and we are pleased to support them as they roll out enhanced services to consumers," Avail-TVN chief revenue officer Jim Riley said in a statement. "Google Fiber takes full advantage of the advanced digital video services that Avail-TVN has pioneered in support of the high value content that consumers want, on the devices they use the most."

On the linear TV side, Google currently advertises a lineup of 126 live TV channels, plus an optional Hispanic programming package and movie tiers from Showtime Networks and Starz Entertainment. Not included for now are top cable networks, including HBO, Disney Channel, ESPN, Fox News Channel, TNT, TBS and AMC.

Google has a Sept. 9 deadline for Kansas City residents to register their interest in the services, and expects to start connecting customers in the following weeks. Between 10% and 25% of "fiberhood" residents must register in order to make the cut for the first round of fiber-to-the-premises construction -- a process that could leave low-income residents without access to the next-generation service initially.

As of Sept. 3, 85 neighborhoods on the Missouri side of the line, or 66% of the 128 eligible areas, have met the Google Fiber preregistration goal, according to the company's website. In Kansas City, Kan., 63 "fiberhoods," or 85% of all eligible areas, have hit their targets.

Google Fiber is challenging incumbent broadband and TV providers in Kansas City, including Time Warner Cable -- which is in the midst of boosting its workforce 9% in the market -- AT&T, SureWest Communications and, to a limited extent, Comcast.

The Google Fiber TV service includes a 2-Terabyte DVR, which is enough storage for up to 500 hours of HD programming, with the ability to record up to eight shows at once. The TV service also will be available on Android and iOS devices, and will include a voice-enabled search function.