Google Fiber may be the holy grail of Internet service for many, but many people still rely on landlines for everyday communication purposes or emergency use. In order to allow its subscribers to sever connections with the old local ISPs and telecoms completely, Google will soon offer home phone service for Fiber subscribers.
For $10 a month (phone not included, alas), Fiber Phone will do all the things you (well, not you, TechCrunch reader, but others) have always done with a landline — which is mainly make and receive phone calls.
Google sweetens the deal with some advanced features (possible because the service lives in the cloud) that seem most likely to be used by people unlikely to have a landline, but I’m sure they will be welcome nevertheless. Fiber Phone features unlimited calls to the U.S., call filtering and blocking, voicemail transcription, and call forwarding to your mobile so you don’t miss that telemarketer.
It may seem an anachronism, but if Google aims to be the main or even sole conduit for communication in the areas it is expanding to, it does have to offer this. Otherwise, some (say) CenturyLink subscriber is going to fail to switch because they’d rather keep their phone and have one bill, in spite of poor speeds and service.
No word on where Fiber Phone will appear to start, but “over time” it should be available in all Fiber-powered cities. You can sign up for updates here.