Google Fiber rolls out to single-family homes


Google Fiber costs $70 a month, or $130 with Google TV added. Google also offers 100 mbps at $50.

AT&T and Comcast match Google’s $70 for 1-gig speeds, but with caveats. Comcast locks consumers in to a three-year agreement to get the $70 price (there is no contract with Google Fiber), while AT&T requires customers to allow the company to track their web searches in exchange for a discounted price.

For much of the past 18 months, Google Fiber has hung the “coming soon” sign in metro Atlanta.

On Tuesday, they replaced it with “up and running.”

At a ceremony launching its new “Fiber Space” in Ponce City Market, the search giant said it is now offering ultra-fast 1 gig service to single-family homes in parts of the city, including Midtown, Morningside, Old Fourth Ward and Piedmont Heights.

Since summer, Google Fiber has slowly rolled out to a smattering of area apartment complexes and condominiums, but no single-family homes.

Google’s new move comes as Comcast, AT&T and other Internet providers also are deploying 1-gig service in metro Atlanta.

One-gig speeds allow consumers to download a two-hour high-definition movie in 20 seconds or a 30-minute “Parks and Recreation” episode in just two seconds. Google, which also offers uploads at 1-gig speeds, said the average household has Internet speeds of about 15 mbps.

“We are very excited to see what super high-speed Internet does for Atlanta,” Jonathan Love, associate city manager for Goggle Fiber, said.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who attended the ceremony, said, “Fiber Internet service will be the 21st Century version of the railroad, the highway, the phone line in your home. In that regard it is more than a nice extra for people to have. It will be an essential tool need to compete in the 21st Century economy.”

Reed said he is a fan of innovation. City Hall was one of the first to get Coca-Cola’s “Freestyle” dispensers when it launched and he intends for it to be an early adopter of Google Fiber.

Patty Ellis, an Atlanta real estate agent, said Google Fiber’s speeds are game-changing. Google installed high-speed Internet and Google TV in her Midtown home this past Friday and she already has developed little patience with slow Internet connections.

She recently used a desktop with standard connection speeds for work and thought she’d lose her mind waiting for a page to download.

“I thought, ‘Oh my God this is so slow,’” Ellis said. “I wanted to ask them if their internet was down. You get spoiled on Goggle Fiber very quickly.”