Virtually unmentioned in discussions about Google Fiber as it is being deployed in Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. is that voice is available as part of the service. That’s largely because the really unique aspect is the 1-Gbps broadband access.
Even the video service is a relatively basic offer lacking many channels many consumers will prefer.
But voice is less than an afterthought. it’s just something users can supply themselves, using over the top applications such as Google Talk.
That tells you much about potential future models for at least some access providers, if Google Fiber proves it can make an actual profit, offering 1-Gbps symmetrical Internet access and entertainment TV, on its own fiber to the home network.
Broadband access will be the foundation. Google Fiber believes video entertainment is a crucial service to drive higher average revenue per user. Sonic.net believes Internet access and voice is the more logical bundle for it to offer.
In either case, the real top draw is Internet access at 1 Gbps for $70 a month. Basically, voice or video are complementary services.
Cable operators and telcos, with higher operating costs, might always feel it necessary to offer the triple play as a way of creating enough gross revenue to support their services. But some service providers might try and optimize their offerings around broadband access, using either voice or video as a complement, but not both.
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