Google Fiber is officially inviting customers in Huntsville, Alabama, to sign up for its 1 Gbps FTTH service, leveraging the city’s own middle mile network infrastructure.
Starting this week, customers in North Huntsville will be able to sign up for Google Fiber’s internet, TV and phone service. Residents and small business owners in this part of the city now have access to Google Fiber’s internet services.
Specifically, residents in North Huntsville are eligible to purchase Fiber 1000+TV, Fiber 1000, Fiber 100 or Fiber 100+TV. Customers can also add a Fiber Phone to any of these packages, providing a voice experience with all of the features of Google Voice, including what it said are “very low international calling rates.”
When compared to local cable offerings from Comcast, the Google Fiber service set is competitively priced.
Fiber 100 and Fiber 1000, which offer 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps, respectively, are priced at $50 and $70 a month. Customers that purchase a video and data bundle have two options: Either $140 a month for Fiber 100 and TV and $160 for Fiber 1000 and TV.
Google will face plenty of competition from AT&T, which cited Huntsville as one of the 38 cities where it plans to build its 1 Gbps FTTH service. Neither company said they aren’t concerned about Google Fiber coming to town because they have wide resources to ramp up their network quickly.
For its part, the city of Huntsville began looking for ways to entice broadband providers like Google Fiber to come to its city by issuing a request for information (RFI).
Local utility company Huntsville Utilities, which will own the planned dark fiber network, will lease it to Google Fiber, which in turn will connect customers to a FTTH internet service.
Google Fiber is the city’s first tenant, and will lease part of the network with a nonexclusive arrangement that allows other providers to lease fiber from the city as well.
Leveraging the network build in Huntsville is part of a broader plan for Google Fiber to look at alternative ways to build out its fiber network. The service provider has over the past year realigned its strategy, putting all of its new gigabit network deployments on hold.
“While we continue the process of building Google Fiber networks in cities like Kansas City, Austin, Nashville and others, we’re always looking to new approaches to get people connected,” said Caroline de Gantes, head of business operations in Huntsville for Google Fiber, in a blog post. “Leasing the infrastructure in Huntsville rather than building from scratch allows us to bring Google Fiber to even more people, and even faster.”
In other markets like Louisville, Kentucky
, where it faced battles with AT&T and Comcast over access to utility poles, Google Fiber indicated it may pivot its network towards a broadband wireless deployment instead of fiber.