Google Fiber launches Fiber Phone, can now go head-to-head with cable on triple plays

Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) has announced the addition of $10-a-month landline service for its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) offering, expanding its ability to compete with cable with triple-play products.

The new Fiber Phone service includes unlimited U.S. calling and low rates similar to Google Voice for international calls.

"While mobile phones have pushed us toward the future, home phone service is still important to many families," said John Shriver-Blake, product manager for Google Fiber, in a blog post. "Landlines can be familiar, reliable and provide high-quality service, but the technology hasn't always kept up."

Google Fiber is currently available in four cities and is in the process of being rolled out in seven cities. The service provider is also eyeing 11 additional cities in parts of the Midwest, Southwest and West. 

While Google Fiber has had a major strategic influence over numerous telecom companies, data released to the U.S. Copyright Office about the service's actual pay-TV deployment suggests that the impact may be outsized.

According to the data obtained by MoffettNathanson, Google Fiber had only around 53,000 subscribers as of December, with the video customer base growing by 79 percent over the previous year.

Given that Google Fiber has been in the market for five years, and has added recently a number of new cities to its deployment, MoffettNathanson said it's surprised that the service added only around 12,000 new subs over 12 months.

As for the addition of phone service, that shouldn't be too surprising. Google revealed in February that it was testing a new voice service with some of its FTTH customers.

For more:
- read this Google Fiber blog post
- read this Washington Post story

Related articles:
Google Fiber to roll out $10 phone service to all of its FTTH markets
Google Fiber testing VoIP with select group of FTTH subscribers
Google Fiber's L.A., Chicago plans show it's serious about network expansion, Wells Fargo says
Report: Google Fiber accounts for only 5/100ths of 1% of U.S. pay-TV market