Google Fiber flunks out

A while back, Google decided to allow free Internet access for seven years in certain cities in the US. The end user would just need to pay $300 [which sounds a bit hefty] for the installation charge or $25 per month for 12 months.

As you have figured out by now, the Internet is almost a necessity in any household. It is probably on par with electricity and running water.

Google was aiming at making the service free of charge primarily in areas of city where people live on low income.
This happened, for example in Provo, Utah and Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri.

For lower income households, having what is essentially a free utility would help alleviate some of the financial burden while keeping those people connected. They were give deadlines to join. Problems were hampered because of a number of reasons:

  • Landlords would allow the infrastructure to be added to their buildings.
  • The installation payment at $300 or $25 for 12 months was still too much for some.
  • An existing installation is not transferable to a new residence, which poses a problem for some residents as some tend to change residences often – either upgrading or downgrading. [With lower incomeĀ households, there is some statistics in the Kansas City School District that the average kid is transferring residence twice in the school year.]

In addition, there were some who didn’t even know the service was available.

During the signup periods, Google Fiber did absolutely no marketing at all to promote the service. The ads they did run in print and TV did not include any mention whatsoever of this inexpensive option.

One other thing they found out was that in the end it wasn’t the lower income areas that have taken advantage of the deal but mostly areas of Kansas City that are better off.

A survey commissioned this fall by The Wall Street Journal found that just 15 percent of residents in low-income areas of Kansas City subscribe to Google Fiber, and just 5 percent are using the discount option. By comparison, more than half the homes in upper-income neighborhoods were taking Google Fiber.

Portland, Oregon may be next to get Google Fiber. We will see if they do a better job in organizing things there than in Kansas City.


About ebraiter
computer guy

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