Competitors Gear Up For Google’s Challenge

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm
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KANSAS CITY -- Despite Thursday's announcement, Google Fiber's product offerings aren't scaring away the internet giant's competitors.

The metro area  is considered an extremely competitive market where many consumers already have more than one choice for television and internet access.

The best introductory price for broadband internet, digital cable t.v. and home phone service from dominant provider Time Warner Cable is $90 dollars a month. That's less than Google's bundle price of $120 a month.

While Google does not include home phone service, it does include cutting edge technology like it's Nexus tablet and one terabyte of cloud storage space that no one else currently bundles.

Time Warner's standard download speeds top out at 10 megabits per second. Google's promised gigabit speed is 100 times faster, designed to eliminate buffering of video streams that frustrate internet users.

"We have great speeds," said Mike Pedelty, communications director for Time Warner Cable Kansas City. "We have a lot of things to be proud of with the offerings we provide currently. We have very fast speeds and we have a number of options for people to meet their current needs and demands."

AT&T also makes internet, TV and home phone service available to more than 400,000 homes in the metro area through it's fast growing, internet-based U-verse service. While it too doesn't have the speed Google is offering, in a prepared statement the company says it has unique features of it's own that will help set it apart.

"The exclusive U-verse wireless receiver, which gives you the freedom to put your t.v. in any room in your home, is just the latest example of the innovative services we're offering Kansas City customers," the company's statement said. AT&T's most popular bundle costs $44 a month for six months.

Comcast recently introduced "Platinum Internet" with download speeds up to 305 megabits per second, about a third as fast as what Google is offering. It costs about $300 a month but is currently not available around Kansas City.

Competitors may be betting that customers don't need gigabit speeds. Verizon says at 300 megabits per second you can download a standard movie in less than 40 seconds.

A typical high-definition movie takes a little more than two minutes to download. Some claim that should be fast enough for most people.

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