Last year, Google announced plans to build a fiber-optic broadband Internet network infrastructure in Kansas City. The ultra-high-speed network, which is expected to deliver Internet speeds 100 times faster than a typical broadband connection, is named Google Fiber. The new Internet service is expected to debut by the end of June in undisclosed neighborhoods and will allow for uninterrupted streaming of HD television.
Last week, Google filed paperwork and applied to launch its debut pay-TV programming in Kansas City. If the new service is approved by regulatory bodies and Google is able to negotiate agreements with the content providers, the new pay-TV service could launch in the next several months.
In addition to filing the paperwork related to the TV service, Google Fiber also recently applied to install 1000s of 4.5 meter “fixed earth” satellites in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The satellites, which will be used for data and video services, will be installed on a 1000 acre tract of land located next to a $600 million data center.
In a recent study, Bernstein Research predicted that Google is working to move digital storage away from DVRs and TiVos to the cloud:
“We could call this the ‘YouTubization’ of linear TV. Expect Google to store (and make available to consumers) the content across all or most TV channels it will provide … Storing the content of hundreds of TV channels for days, weeks or longer and serving them on-demand to individual users requires large amounts of storage and processing capacity. Of course, this is only possible if homes are connected to the cloud through very high-speed connections.”
When The Wall Street Journal, who is predicting that the new Google pay-TV service could launch in the next several months, questioned Google about a launch date the response was non-committal:
“We’re still exploring what product offerings will be available when we launch Google Fiber.”
If Google can convince the content producers to sign on, the Google pay-TV would provide the tech company with an additional advertising platform. Since the new service is expected to enable consumers to subscribe to a la carte service channel packages and pay only for the channels they want, it is expected that Time Warner and other cable providers will fight this new service.
Would you sign up for the new Google pay-TV service or do you think Google should leave television to the cable networks?