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Many communities fought to be the first to experience the new Internet service, but it was the size of the Stanford campus and the cooperation of its residents that made it the prime candidate for a test run.

“There was a nationwide competition to see where Google Fiber would first be installed,” said Jim Sweeney, president of the Stanford Campus Residential Leaseholders Board of Directors. “Before they installed [the Internet] in that city, they wanted something much smaller and diverse for a beta test.”

Criteria used to select Stanford for the service included proximity to Google’s engineering team, ability to test new construction techniques, and willingness of the residents to test and provide feedback on everything from installation techniques to Internet experience, Wandres said.

Although the Stanford community was generally excited to be chosen, the privilege hasn’t come free. “The fee to purchase and install Google Fiber from the property line in [one’s] home will be $249 for professional installation and $49 for self-installation,” Wandres said.

But almost all residents have been willing to pay the fee, and the project is well under way, with some Stanford customers already enjoying the ultra high-speed Internet.

“Some are already up,” said a Google Fiber worker, who did not want to be identified. “It is up already on Cathcart Way and Mears Court.”

Google has sought to engage its new user community in conversation. “They are already getting feedback from the community,” Sweeney said. “They have had community meetings and that online ability to get communications from homeowners.”

Stanford resident Kati Andreasson said she is excited to try out Google Fiber but has some reservations about the project. “It’s really fast, but I don’t know what it is going to cost after a year, so we’ll have to see,” she said.

Google Fiber has started expanding to cities beyond Stanford. “Stanford is Google Fiber’s first testbed with real customers—we’re also building a Google Fiber network in Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO,” Wandres said.

Google intends to make Google Fiber available for the general public in the near future. “We’ll be looking closely at ways to bring ultra high-speeds to other cities across the country,” Wandres said.

Source: Patch News