Ever since Google first announced that they would be building a fully fiberoptic, gigabit Internet service, Internet junkies across the United States (and even Canada, though expansion up north is unlikely) have been begging the company to bring high-high-high-speed Internet to their city or town.
Google expected that they would get a few responses to the program. When the program was first discussed, Google saw it as a way to research the problems and procedures involved in creating a gigabit network, to see how people on such a network would change their Internet habits (if at all), to see how advertising could be improved if Google was able to control both the Internet and the cable box.
The prices offered were incredible – fully gigabit speeds would be available for just $70 a month, comparable to what many pay elsewhere for much lower speeds. Or, if you weren’t so hooked, you could get a 5Mbps connection for 7 years, all for a one-time payment of $300.
They never expected that Google Fiber would be a real business – it would simply serve as an example for how these networks could be built. Then more than a thousand cities responded to Google’s question of where to put their first fiber network. Just like that, a business was born.
While Google has kept mum about the financials involved in its first fiber experiment, the project boss is gung-ho. Said Google’s Milo Medin, “We thought a handful of cities would say they were interested. Then we saw that 1,100 communities replied. No one at the time thought there was a real business here. But that changed when we saw the interest.”