Google Fiber adds Grandview, Mo. to Kansas City buildout; captures one-third of homes in service area

Google Fiber (Nasdaq: GOOG) named Grandview, Mo., as the latest addition to its Kansas City-area fiber to the home network after the city's board of aldermen voted to bring the service to their community.

When the service becomes available, it will enable residents to get higher speeds that local incumbent telcos and cable operators AT&T (NYSE: T) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) can't match. AT&T can deliver up to 10-25 Mbps over its existing copper network, while Time Warner Cable can deliver 50-100 Mbps over its HFC-based network infrastructure.

The service provider did not give a specific timeline to actually begin lighting up customers.

"It will still be awhile before we can build Fiber in Grandview--we need to plan and engineer our network there first," wrote Rachel Hack, community manager for Google Fiber, in a blog post.

Google Fiber added Shawnee on Friday to the list of Kansas City-area communities slated to receive the service, and is gaining traction in other regions. In April, it announced that it would bring the service to Austin, Texas and, about a week later, to Provo, Utah. 

Uptick in existing markets for its FTTH service, while still small, is gaining momentum.

A Bernstein Research survey said that Google Fiber services have been sold to about a third of homes where it is offered in Kansas City. Within the third that are subscribing to Google Fiber, about 10 to 15 percent opted for the 7-year, 5/1 Mbps service, which requires a $300 installation charge but costs nothing after that.

Of potential customers who live in the areas where the FTTH service is being built out, 77 percent said they were thinking of replacing their existing broadband provider with Google Fiber, while another 60 percent said "they were likely to do so."

"These very high purchase intent numbers do not allow us to rule out the possibility that Google will indeed achieve very high penetration of homes passed, well in excess of the typical 20 percent to 30 percent that over-builders have achieved historically in their most successful markets," Carlos Kirjner, a Bernstein analyst, wrote in the report.

For more:
- see the blog post
- The Kansas City Star has this article

Editor's Corner: Is municipal broadband worth the cost?

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