Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced it will begin selling internet service to businesses, a move that will widen the company's battle against entrenched telco companies like AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) that also sell internet services to business users.
Google in 2014 began experimenting with internet access sales to business users in Kansas City through its Early Access Program for Google Fiber for Small Business. Today, the company officially took the wraps off its "Fiber Business" plans that are now available in Charlotte, North Carolina -- the latest Google Fiber city -- and will be rolled out to Google's other Fiber cities.
"We know that businesses come in different shapes and sizes," wrote John Shriver-Blake, Google Fiber's product manager, on the company's blog. "They have varying needs and would like the flexibility to choose a plan that best fits their needs. That's why we're transitioning from the Early Access program and introducing three new plans."
Fiber Business offers three options: 100 Mbps for $70 per month, 250 Mbps for $100 per month, and 1,000 Mbps for $250 per month. All of the plans include up to 13 static IP addresses.
"Eligible small businesses in Kansas City, Provo, Austin, and Nashville will have until July 31st to sign up under the Early Access program," Shriver-Blake noted. "Beginning August 1, 2016, they'll be able to choose from one of our new plans or keep their Early Access plan and pricing for a full year."
Also today Google announced it is now accepting Google Fiber signups in Charlotte. The company in June said it was progressing with its FTTH build there, and had been granted 82 permits for aerial and underground network facilities.
More recently, Google Fiber purchased Webpass, a competitive provider that provides Ethernet-based services to businesses using a mix of fiber and broadband wireless technologies to deliver broadband services to businesses and residential customers. This acquisition helps Google Fiber on two fronts: It provides the company with additional fiber and allows complementary wireless broadband technology to reach areas where it can't build an initial business case for fiber.
Google's expansion into Charlotte, its acquisition of Webpass, and its expansion into fiber sales to businesses all reflect the company's continued progress on its FTTH efforts, as well as its continued work to challenge incumbent ISPs such as telcos AT&T and Verizon and cable operators like Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR).
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