Google Fiber, originally labeled by analysts as an experiment, is expanding in typical Google fashion. The search giant has successfully wired Kansas City and has plans to move into Provo, Utah and Austin, Tex. in the coming months.
Google Fiber offers customers 5 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload speeds for free (after a $300 installation fee) or offers a blazing-fast 1 gigabit service, plus 1TB storage, for $70 a month with no initial fee.
The 1 gigabit speed is symmetrical, meaning that download and upload speeds are equally fast. Google also has a TV program for $120 a month, which includes a full channel TV lineup, no data caps, a Nexus 7 tablet (which can double as a TV remote), 1 TB of storage and Vudu.
To keep up with Google, Comcast has slashed the pricing on its triple play package in Provo, Utah, according to DSL Reports.
According to DSL, which references a Comcast memo sent to employees, Comcast has started offering residents a Digital Premier channel bundle, which will include 105 Mbps service and either Xfinity Voice or Xfinity Home Secure for $120 a month for three years.
It appears that Comcast is strategically offering the service now to preempt Google Fiber. Comcast hopes to lock as many customers down for three years before Google enters the fray.
The offer of 105 Mbps is still nearly 10 times slower than Google Fiber and more expensive, but for the average user is probably sufficient—and is currently available, unlike Google Fiber.
Whether or not Google Fiber is successful in Provo, it is already forcing ISPs to up their game if they hope to remain competitive. Google is challenging the incumbents, and driving up speeds as options increase.