Google's small business gigabit enables e-commerce for a few dollars more

23 November 2014 by Steve Blum
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An extra $30 or so gets you a commercially usable gigabit connection from Google. That’s the deal being rolled out to small businesses in a few districts of the Kansas City metro area.

The basic consumer price in Kansas City is $70 for a gigabit ($120 with television service). Google’s new small business package is $100 for the gigabit, plus another $20 if you want a static IP address (or 5 for $30). Google isn’t saying anything about quality of service or oversubscription levels, which means a commercial subscription might not be any better than consumer grade service. The difference is in the terms of service.

Google Fiber’s small business acceptable use policy says

You agree not to use…the Services provided to you for any of the following purposes…

To make the Services available to anyone outside the premises to which the Services are delivered. This limitation does not prohibit you from offering Internet service to your customers and other authorized users on your premises (for example, via Wi-Fi), subject to this AUP and our Terms of Service.

To resell the Services directly or indirectly, except as explicitly approved by Google Fiber in writing.

To create substitute or related services through the use of or access to the Services (for example, to use the Services to provide web hosting services to third parties).

Compare that to the consumer policy

You agree not to use or allow third parties to use the Services provided to you for any of the following purposes…

To operate servers for commercial purposes. However, personal, non-commercial use of servers that comply with this AUP is acceptable, including using virtual private networks (VPN) to access services in your home and using hardware or applications that include server capabilities for uses like multi-player gaming, video-conferencing, and home security.

Google is trying to draw a plain language line between consumer use (personal stuff for business or pleasure only), small business use (do what you need to do to support your own business, but don’t resell access or web services) and ISP-grade service. So far, the price seems to be scaling fairly.