Who's Rallying for Google Fiber?
At least 35 "Fiberhoods" in the Kansas Cities have already met their pre-registration goal to get hooked up with Google Fiber, the FTTH network Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s building to support symmetrical 1Gbit/s broadband speeds and a bundled TV service.
Rather than making Google Fiber available to everyone in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., all at once, Google's turned the introduction of services (and how quickly residents can get them) into a game of sorts, urging residents to pre-register (for $10). Fiberhoods that meet their goal and have the most pre-registrations will be in the front of the line. Fiberhoods that don't get enough pre-registration volume by Sept. 9 are out of luck, at least until the next rally. (See The Google Fiber Threat and Google Fiber Bundles TV, Shuns Data Caps.)
In addition to adding some cache to its customer-acquisition efforts, Google is also using this concentrated, volume-driven approach to make its business model work. (See Google Fiber's Drive for Density .)
At last check, 31 of the 128 listed Fiberhoods in Kansas City, Mo., have already met their goal, with an area called Greenway Field leading the way with a 19 percent pre-registration total. And the goals vary. The city's business district, for example, will need a pre-registration of 25 percent to qualify for Google Fiber. It still needs 311 more to sign up, but was more than halfway there as of Monday afternoon.
The level of pre-registration activity is not nearly as energetic on the smaller, more blue-collar Kansas side of the border. There, just four of 74 total Fiberhoods (5.4 percent) are currently beating their goal, with Hanover Heights out in front with pre-registration rate of 21 percent.
Despite the slow start on one side of the border, there's still lots of time left for local residents to make incumbents like Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and SureWest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW) sweat this out. Google's accepting pre-registrations for another 41 days.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable