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Google unveils ultrafast Web services in Kansas City area

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google on Thursday unveiled an ultrafast Web service along with an Internet television subscription in the Kansas City area as part of a pilot project to boost broadband speeds.

The Google Fiber superfast broadband network will be available starting in September, with one-gigabyte per second speeds — about 100 times faster than most current Internet subscriptions.

The wired home project will allow people to replace cable television and Internet with a single subscription to be controlled by a Google tablet computer, which will be offered for free.

“Google Fiber is 100 times faster than today's average broadband,” Google vice president Milo Medin said.

“No more buffering. No more loading. No more waiting. Gigabit speeds will get rid of these pesky, archaic problems and open up new opportunities for the web. Imagine: instantaneous sharing; truly global education; medical appointments with 3D imaging; even new industries that we haven't even dreamed of, powered by a gig.”

The packages offered will include not only Internet but “regular TV, the kind you could only get from your cable provider,” as well as on-demand programs, Medin told the kickoff event.

Google said it was offering a full ultrafast Internet and television package for US$120 a month, with waived installation fees and a free tablet. It also will offer Internet only for US$70 a month.

It will also offer free Internet at the current speed of five megabytes per second but will charge an installation fee.

Google asked residents to register to determine the neighborhoods where the project will be introduced in Kansas City, Kansas, and neighboring Kansas City, Missouri.

It was not immediately clear when or if Google would expand the project to other U.S. cities.

Google announced its plan to build an experimental high-speed Internet network two years ago, saying the United States had fallen behind other major nations in broadband speed and access.

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