Locke: Low tech: Google Fiber, the rest of us are watching

Hey, Google. Nice work.

I realize part of marketing technology is creating buzz, and you’ve proven you’re good at that. Your Google Fiber internet and television products, introduced yesterday at a perky, applause-filled presentation here in Kansas City, sounds great, and are priced right. And you Google folks are all so handsome! But frankly, only about three in 10 of us are really, truly excited about your impending takeover of the Kansas City-area television and ISP market.

Why? Because when you do the math, that’s how many people are eligible right now to get in the chase for having Google Fiber installed in their neighborhood, and for the rest of us, it would seem like a long way off. In fact, it’s more like two in 10, when, according to the map on your own website, you subtract Kansas Citians living north of the river. Or south of I-435. Or east of Swope Park.

I’m certain Brookside and the Plaza will line up for this (in fact, as of Friday morning, the neighborhoods west of Brookside Blvd. are already ready to go). Waldo? Well, anything’s possible, I guess. Meanwhile, the Northland is kinda feeling left out this morning.

As a suburbanite, I feel like it’s probably going to take years for Google Fiber to get to me. It’s certainly not going to be an incentive to get me to move to Kansas City, with its lethal combination of high taxes and poor services. So the rest of us urge you to hurry up. Or at least dangle us a carrot or something, because bunnies love carrots.

So why didn’t you toss a few suburbs into the mix, not to mention the poor folks north of the river? If you wanted a suburb/area to tinker around in, the whole east side – Independence, Raytown, Lee’s Summit – would drop Comcast in about two seconds if you came knocking.

Yeah, I know, you’ve got to play ball with the big boys (Sly) and the people who really could benefit from it (downtrodden KCK) first. And, offering a discount rate is a stroke of genius for the areas with little disposable income. But the rest of us, the bandwidth-sucking, Netflix-watching, hooked-on-HGTV suburbs represent a huge business opportunity for you, Googs: we’ll all dump Time Warner and Comcast and AT&T like a cheating spouse if you can deliver what you say you can deliver.

And we’ll be watching.

So the faster you get this rolled out to the rest of the metro, the better. And just a hint: You’d better be on your game with this one, customer-service wise. Those folks in Brookside are awfully hard to please.

David Locke writes about technology and other oddball stuff that interests him for kcconfidential.com from time to time. 

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15 Responses to Locke: Low tech: Google Fiber, the rest of us are watching

  1. Kyle Rohde says:

    Agreed – most shocking part to me was the Northland being completely shut out, while south KC is all in. That makes leaving JOCO out less sensible, though still funny.

  2. Abby Craig says:

    I wish they wouldnt be so hush about it. I need to get away from TWC and can’t decide if I should hold out for Google or just move to ATT… I am in Lees Summit. Can’t wait to get away from DirecTV, too. Boy, Google could really end up putting the screws to some big companies out here if they start hustling.

    • Kyle Rohde says:

      Abby, you’re a long way from having the opportunity to buy Google Fiber; it won’t even be in the first few neighborhoods in KCMO/KCKS until mid-2013, so getting all of this initial 30% or so of the metro covered will probably take until 2015 at least. And that’s before JoCo, KC North and other suburban areas get it.

  3. Andrew says:

    Why did all these people in the ‘burbs think they were going to be included, at least in this initial rollout? Google was very clear from the beginning that this was for KCMO and KCK. And it just makes sense that they would start in the central, more populated areas and work out to the sprawling suburbs. Honestly, I can’t decide if people around here just have shitty reading comprehension skills or if suburbanites are just so spoiled and entitled that they assumed that of course they would get Google Fiber first! Meanwhile, my Brookside neighborhood has met its goal, and most of Waldo seems to be close to it. JoCo and the rest will get it eventually, I’m sure. But there should never have been this confusion because Google always said it was for KCMO and KCK–not for the entire KC metro area. If you all out in the ‘burbs don’t like it, your options are to wait patiently or move.

    • the dude says:

      Becuase unfortunately Google has been intentionally very vague about everything up to this point. This was the first announcement that actually spelled out what was going to happen, where and when.

      • Chuckish says:

        If you’re somebody that lives in parts of KCK or KCMO that weren’t included, I can understand being upset. If you’re upset and you live in Lee’s Summit or Overland Park…I’m sorry but you’re an idiot. It has, from the very first announcement, been KCK and KCMO ONLY. Never has a suburb been mentioned. When it’s going to take them a year but probably more to connect the most densely populated parts of the city, why in the hell would they string up hundred of miles of cable out to 187th street in order to reach 100 houses in the first phase?

      • Andrew says:

        I agree that they were tight-lipped about who exactly was going to get it first and when. And that was kind of frustrating–for me, anyway, because I was excited about it and eager to know when my neighborhood would get it. But they were clear about it being KCK and KCMO proper, not the KC metro area. I read the Google Fiber blog and had news alerts for Google Fiber set up for the past year or so because I wanted to keep up. And everything reputable that was written about this project— including everything from Google, items in the Star and in national publications like tech magazines—was specific about it being KCK and KCMO. (In fact, that was one thing that Google wasn’t tight-lipped about–it was KCMO and KCK, they stated over and over, but they wouldn’t say exactly where/when/how much yet.) It’s easy to search for examples of this online; just put in a date range that ends before 7/26/12. I can certainly understand how some people in surrounding areas might have gotten caught up in the excitement and might have assumed that they would be included in the initial rollout because they want it so much. And like I said, those people won’t have to wait as long as the rest of the country. But some of the outrage and griping from my friends in the ‘burbs is just a little much.

        • gerald bostock says:

          remember this is a country in which a sizable majority think Obama is a Muslim or was born in Kenya, so it’s surprising that people will believe what they want to believe in spite of the facts put before them. Truthiness rules.

  4. jack p says:

    Hats off to the Google empire!!!!!
    They’re making the folks in the neighborhood do the door to door marketing for them.
    Like “Hi, it’s Archie Bunker from down the street. Need to have you sign up or else I don’t get it either.”
    Great concept. Wish I would’ve thought of it,

  5. James B. says:

    As of today the winner is Wornall Homestead with a whopping 17% of households registered. Loser is The Country Club Plaza with 0 people registered. It gets even more interesting here. http://www.netcompetition.org/conflict-of-interest/questions-to-ask-at-google-fiber-announcement

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