Google unveils 100 times faster Internet service in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo./NEW YORK Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:20pm EDT

Google Inc's logo is seen at an office in Seoul in this May 3, 2011 file photograph. REUTERS/Truth Leem/Files

Google Inc's logo is seen at an office in Seoul in this May 3, 2011 file photograph.

Credit: Reuters/Truth Leem/Files

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KANSAS CITY, Mo./NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google Inc unveiled its Google Fiber broadband Internet service in Kansas City, Missouri, on Thursday, promising access speeds more than 100 times faster than some of the fastest available from traditional U.S. cable and telecommunications companies.

The new Google Fiber TV service will be priced at $120 a month for a package of major broadcast networks, 1 gigabyte per second Internet speeds and 1 terabyte of cloud storage.

For $70 a month the service will not include the traditional TV channels.

The new advanced service will offer features such as the ability to record eight TV shows at a time and store up to 500 hours of high definition programming. The user can use a tablet or smart phone as a voice-activated remote control if the user wants. Google is offering its Nexus 7 tablet with the Google TV app to early users of the service.

Google Fiber TV will allow users to search live channels, Netflix, YouTube, recorded shows and tens of thousands of hours of on-demand programming.

The new service will also be available to residents of Kansas City, Kansas.

"The Internet is a huge positive force, and yet we are at a crossroad," said Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette, who has played a lead role in overseeing the Fiber project. He said Internet speeds had leveled out for broadband since around 2000, and Google would making it 100 times faster.

"We at Google we believe there is no need to wait," he said.

The download speeds would be around 1 gigabyte a second, according to Google executives who were presenting a demonstration.

Google invested in building out fiber in Kansas City, Missouri in 2011 after inviting cities back in 2010 to help identify communities that would be interested taking part in the project.

(Reporting By Carey Gillam in Kansas City, Missouri, and Yinka Adegoke in New York;editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)

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