Google Fiber trumps NBN speeds, pricing

Google Fiber trumps NBN speeds, pricing

Summary: Google has announced plans and pricing for its 1 gigabit fibre broadband service in the US that is cheaper and faster than NBN plans on offer in Australia today.


Google has announced that Kansas City, Missouri, will be the first to get its new 1-gigabit-per-second fibre broadband service, at a cheaper rate and of a faster service than what will be offered by Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN).

The internet giant announced the plans overnight, calling for Kansas City residents to register their interest in the service and pay a US$10 deposit.

Residents are being asked to band together with their neighbours, and if between 40 and 80 people in one area have registered in the next six weeks, Google will begin rolling out fibre to their area. Customers will need to pay US$300 to have the fibre installed, but for the introductory period, Google is waiving this fee for two of the plans.

There are three plans on offer for residents:

  • For US$120 per month, customers get unlimited data, up to 1-gigabit-per-second (Gbps) upload and download speeds, Google Fiber TV — Google's IPTV service — a Nexus 7 tablet, TV Box, Storage Box, Network Box and 1TB of storage on Google Drive on a two-year contract.
  • For US$70 per month, customers get unlimited data on up to 1Gbps upload and download, the Network Box and 1TB of Google Drive storage.
  • For US$0 per month (but including the US$300 construction fee), customers will get up to 5-megabits-per-second (Mbps) download and up to 1Mbps upload, with unlimited data and the Network Box included. Google has promised to keep this connection free for at least seven years.

The latter package is aimed towards Kansas City residents who may not have broadband services already.

The announcement comes as the Australian Government continues to roll-out its own, much larger, fibre-to-the-home network to 93 per cent of premises. Currently, the top-tier plan available on the NBN is 100Mbps down and 40Mbps up, with prices ranging from AU$40 per month up to AU$164.95 per month, with data limits on all plans. The government has indicated that as more customers get onto the NBN over time, prices should come down. The initial objective of the pricing for the NBN is to pay off the network and to gain a 7 per cent return for the government. Pricing has been factored so that wholesale prices in regional and metropolitan Australia are exactly the same.

When Google initially announced its plans to launch 1Gbps fibre services, NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said the NBN would eventually launch 1Gbps services in the future.

"We will have one consistent set of products across the whole national footprint. And that means consistent ubiquitous service up to one gigabit per second," Quigley said in March 2010.

"Everyone keeps talking about 100Mbps. But that's obviously when we're talking about residents. For business, we are allowing for a certain percentage in our dimensioning to structure point-to-point services up to 1Gbps."

Topics: NBN, Government, Government AU


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • You do understand

    the difference between Kansas city and Aiustralia? One very small. one very, very big.
    • Of course

      And it's only being rolled out where people want, by private enterprise instead of government.

      But side-by-side comparisons are still interesting.
      Josh Taylor
      • Master_T

        How can you consider this a side-by-side comparison ?

        The networks themselves are the same in technology, that doesnt mean they ARE the same. People in a metro area, funded by private investment are hooked up based on demand. So an Opt-In scenario.

        Kansas is a single city. Theres no costs of cross-subsidisation factored in, theres no costs of fixed wireless for remote locations and theres no costs pertaining to satellite - all of which are coming out of the initial price your going to pay.

        The NBN is a very effective model, but what makes this comparison moot is that it doesnt take into account the core of the NBN, the cross subsidy for the rural areas.

        Anyone can make a city area viable and cheap, but to provide it everywhere ? Ask Google to do that. $10 says they'd rather shoot rare animals.
        • All decent points

          And as I mentioned in the article, the price for NBN services is to pay it back.
          Josh Taylor
  • Connection Speed vs Real-Life Speed

    The connection between the end-user premises and 'exchange' might be 1Gbps, but unless you're the only user, and it's 1Gbps all the way to the service your accessing, you'll never achieve that speed unless you're accessing a server at the 'exchange'.

    It's like saying your driveway is 200km/h, and expecting to achieve that speed on the way to work. Speed Limits and Traffic will crush that dream in an instant.
    • Correct

      Sorry, I should have said "up to 1Gbps". The same applies to any network. :)
      Josh Taylor
      • "up to 1Gbps"

        At cox i get up to 3 down .5 up in real life I get 1.5 down.
        The cost is 39.95 compared to the prices in you story I am being robbed "break yourself fool".

        I would have been better off to stay with a 56k modem.

        I hate them so bad that I just might move, guess what city.
        Ralph Ostrander
    • Nice Try DLB_84

      I am perplexed why you assume the "speed" must be saturated by only a single sesison. Consider a home or home office of 5 people each requesting large files, perhaps two streaming netflix, one online gaming, etc. Sure, no single connection has end to end 1Gbps, but in total that household has the ability to saturate pretty close to whatever they are offering.

      I don't think Google is trying to market to individuals attempting to utilize 1Gbps on their own inside one browser window doing one activity, dude.

      But thanks for playing.
    • Fibre isnt HFC cable.

      We are not talking HFC Cable here, the 1000/1000 u/d speeds can be achieved at all premises most of the time , as not every premise is going to be utilising full speed at the same time. The Fibre can be provisioned to provide almost full speed to every resident during normal loads. This will be 100% better than Cable.
      The Server can be provisioned to supply those speeds.. Its not 1gb "Shared" like cable.
      Paul Grenfell
  • transfer

    Wouldn't the modem required to take a broadband signal and make it baseband be insanely expensive to get the 1 Gbs speed at home?
  • transfer

    Wouldn't the modem required to take a broadband signal and make it baseband be insanely expensive to get the 1 Gbs speed at home?
    • Home connection is expensive...

      Yeah, the construction costs to connect a residence to Google fiber is $300, which I'm assuming is mainly for the hardware. Similar to what Verizon FiOS attaching to your home. However, they waive the upfront fee if you sign 1yr contract for internet only or 2yr contract for Google Fiber TV (which then they also throw in a set top box and Nexus 7, because they're to techna-pimpin for normal remotes).
  • transfer

    Wouldn't the modem required to take a broadband signal and make it baseband be insanely expensive to get the 1 Gbs speed at home?
    • Modem = ONT

      junki, the Modem is actually an ONT..Optical Network Terminal , which is part of the included connection costs.. Thats supplied by Google installers and the cost isnt expensive.. You simply plug into the ONT..
      Paul Grenfell
  • U.S. Google Fiber

    What good would it be? It takes at least 5-10 gbs download capacity to run a video on the internet. Why 1 gbs download? Google doesn't get it that for $85 you get 50/25 gbs from Verison in the U.S.?
    • Why 1 gbs download?

      They are talking speed not data allowance. Googles plans are unlimited data
    • You're getting your Megabits and Gigabits mixed up!

      Ha... no.

      Verizon offers 50/25 Mbps. Google offers 1Gbps or 1000Mbps. I have Verizon FiOS 25/25Mbps for $70 (older plan). Google would offer me 400x more bandwidth for the same amount per month.

      That bares repeating... Google's plan is faster than my Verizon plan by 400x for the same monthly cost.

      Kansas City (both of em)
      • Math redo

        Your comment bears scrutiny:

        1000 mbs = 1 gbs
        25 mbs x 40 = 1000 mbs or 1 gbs

        Google's plan is 40x faster than your plan, not 400x.

        Why hate on Kansas City? The area covered by Google's service is very small compared to the entire metro area. I live about 2 miles outside of the coverage area to the southwest. Now that's extremely frustrating. But I have fiber to the house (similar to FIOS) through Surewest and get 18mbs/18mbs for about >$60/month.

        The areas chosen for coverage include community colleges and several universities including the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the newly NCI qualified Kansas University Medical Center (thank you, Kathleen Sebelius). The coverage areas lagging in interest so far (as of 8/8/2012 are mostly low-middle to low income neighborhoods

        (green areas are a qualified for neighborhood, yellow areas eligible but lacking interest)
    • ??

      Sir, searching every google fiber related article on the web, and posting nonsensical comments does not make Verizon data allowance > Google bandwidth...
      Nartay Kasim
    • 1 Gbps = 1,000 Mbps

      Verizon 4G is 50/25 Mbps... And only in a few areas does it ever reach 50.