Almost a year ago, Google launched its first broadband internet network, Google Fiber, in Kansas City (the Kansas and Missouri versions both), with speeds that severely overshadowed currently-available cable and DSL providers for a fraction of the cost. Consumers were able to sign up for 1 gigabit download speeds for a mere $70 a month. And while the provider landscape is a little different up here in Madison, Wisconsin, I currently fork over $30 a month to Charter for 30 megabit/second (Mbps) download speeds, as a frame of reference. And I only got that because I threatened to cancel.

By the numbers, this means I pay a buck for every megabit of bandwidth. With Google Fiber, those lucky Kansas Citians, they’re paying 7 cents for the same capacity. It’s no wonder that the service has positively taken off — it’s an incredible jump in service in every way. And while regular consumers have been enjoying the buffering-free YouTube videos, the service has also been attracting businesses and cultivating a general sense of municipal progress.

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