Report: Google’s Kansas City Fiber project could cost as much as $94M to build

google-fiber_dtAs we previously reported, Google’s heading deep in the heart of Texas for its latest Google Fiber installation project. The company announced today that it’s hoping to have Austin connected to its superfast gigabit Internet service as early as mid-2014, but it didn’t mention anything about how much money it’s investing in its service. Late last year, Google began launching Fiber in Kansas City, Kansas, with plans to also include Kansas City, Missouri. However, TechCrunch is reporting that the Bernstein Research analyst group estimates the cost for building and deploying the Fiber network in Kansas City could reach $84 million just to get to the first 149,000 homes – and that’s before they’re even connected to the service. To actually provide service for 12,000 homes on day one will cost an additional $10 million, bringing Google’s total cost for its Kansas City project to $94 million. 

According to Carlos Kirjner and Ram Parameswaran of Bernstein Research, that $84 million doesn’t even cover actually connecting those 149,000 homes. It will cost another $674 or $500 per house, depending on whether the house is based in Kansas City, Kan., or Kansas City, Mo., respectively. Bernstein’s analysts estimate that Google’s total cost to build the infrastructure to cover 300,000 homes could reach $170 million – and, once again, that number is before Fiber is actually installed in any of the homes. 

Now that Austin will be the next city to receive Google Fiber, it begs the question of what Google’s plans are for its superfast Internet and TV service. Bernstein analysts estimate that it would cost $11 billion for Google to build and rollout the service to 20 million homes nationwide. That 20 million number is important because it equates to roughly 15 percent of the market and would make Google a “medium-to-large domestic access and pay-TV provider,” according to Bernstein. 

Google currently sells three tiers of Fiber: the most comprehensive includes gigabit Internet and over 200 HD TV channels for $120 a month; the middle tier includes gigabit Internet for $70 a month; and the lowest tier charges $300 for installation with 5Mbps download speed guaranteed for free for at least seven years. None of these plans include a data cap, either. 

We’ll see what happens with Google Fiber. While one analyst group’s opinion isn’t gospel, it does highlight the exorbitant cost of building a high speed network from scratch. Google isn’t hurting for cash, but it does raise the question of what Google projects might be sacrificed in the future to accomodate the cost of an unproven superfast Internet network.

Image via Google

Computing

Best Buy is offering the Google Pixelbook for just $699 on Black Friday

Best Buy's steep $300 price cut on the Pixelbook this holiday represents one of the best prices we've seen on Google's premium Chrome OS hardware. The Pixelbook will be priced at just $699.
Computing

Having enough RAM is important, but stick to these guidelines to save some money

Although not quite as exciting as processors and graphics cards, RAM is one of the most important parts of your PC. Not having enough can hurt performance. So, how much RAM do you need?
Home Theater

PlayStation Vue adds more local channels, bringing the total to over 600

PlayStation Vue is Sony's answer to live TV without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription. To help you understand the service, its plans, and numerous features, we've created this handy guide.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Mobile

Verizon discounts prepaid plan to $65 for unlimited data with autopay

Verizon offers lots of plans for individuals, your family, and folks who want prepaid service. Here is everything you need to know about Verizon's plans, from data packages and smartphones to Big Red's prepaid plans.
Computing

Turn your desk into a command center with the best ultrawide monitors

Top of the line ultrawide monitors have the deepest curves, the sharpest colors, and the biggest screens on the market today. You’re going to want one, sooner or later. So why not sooner? These are the best ultrawide monitors you can buy…
Product Review

The MacBook Air plays the oldies we love, but the band is getting old

We’ve waited for a long time for an update to the MacBook Air, and Apple finally delivered one. With a lot of features ported over from the MacBook Pro, is this new laptop what Apple fans have always wanted?
Computing

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

AMD Navi: Everything you need to know

With a reported launch in 2019, AMD is focusing on the mid-range market with its next-generation Navi GPU. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.
Computing

Microsoft takes up to $330 off of Surface PC bundles in Black Friday promo

'Tis the season for savings at Microsoft. The Surface-maker is offering some nice Black Friday deals on its Surface Pro 6, Go, and Laptop 2 hardware. You'll also find deals on notebooks from HP, Dell, and Lenovo.
Computing

Over a million veterans now eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program

Comcast's low-cost Internet Essentials program, which provides internet access for just $10 per month, has expanded to include U.S. veterans. One million veterans now qualify for the service.
Computing

An IP address vulnerability took down some Google services for 1 hour

It might have been for just a brief hour, but some of Google's services went down on November 12. Caused by an improper rerouting of IP addresses and traffic away from usual western sources, Spotify and Google Cloud were impacted.