In areas that qualified through residents applying for the service, Google is offering the 1Gbps service for US$70 per month, or $120 with TV. Residents in those areas can also choose free 5Mbps service as long as they pay $300 for the necessary equipment. Google's project has benefitted from some big public concessions in the Kansas City area, including free access to light poles for hanging fiber cables and an exemption from some fees, some observers have said.
Carriers and cable operators have fought some fiber efforts by local governments and utilities, saying they put established service providers at a disadvantage. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said last week at the International CES trade show that his company has the network platform in place to offer 1Gbps service on its FiOS fiber service.
This isn't the federal government's first step to help foster fast fiber networks. The FCC's Broadband Acceleration Initiative is working to streamline legal access to utility poles and rights of way for fiber, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program is providing back-end fiber infrastructure to help feed the networks that reach consumers.