Google ready to turn up fibre-based IPTV


27 Jun 2011
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After months of building out fibre infrastructure in Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo, Google says that it is ready to turn up Google Fiber's broadband Internet and HDTV service, taking on IPTV rivals AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS.

However, the company is hedging its bets with a sign-up process that encourages a friends-and-family recommendation scheme on the part of interested customers.

Google is asking residents of Kansas City to pre-register at and pay a $10 fee. A neighborhood has to reach a certain critical mass of fee-payers before Google will light up the fibre.

"Google Fiber is different—and getting it is different too," the company said in the announcement. "Doing that lets us know which areas are most excited about it. So, join up and make sure your neighbours do, too. Pre-registering matters—if your fiberhood doesn't reach its goal by September 9, you will not be able to get Fiber."

The statement confirms the long-rumoured IPTV service. Google, which owns rings of dark fibre in various regions in the US, has revealed plans to deliver 1Gbps in ultra-broadband to Kansas City-area homes in the second half of the year. However, the company had been silent on the TV aspect of its service offering, although it has also secured IPTV licences from the Missouri and Kansas Public Service Commissions. And in June, news came that a Google-developed set-top box (STB) has been submitted to the FCC for approval.

Google also recently applied for an FCC licence to set up a satellite farm in Iowa, which could be used for beaming TV signals directly to its fibre node for delivery across the country.
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