Money Minute: Google Fiber Test Hits Speedy Start


Google's test of a super-fast Internet connection in Kansas City is off to a speedy start.

A survey by analysts at Bernstein Research finds 42 percent of residents in Kansas City have signed up for Google Fiber at $70 a month. That's about $5 a month more than the much slower service offered by Time Warner Cable (TWC). Google (GOOG) previously identified 33 other cities for expansion of the fiber service, if the Kansas City test goes well.

Student loans are about to get more expensive. The rate on undergraduate loans is set to rise by nearly a percentage point, to 4.66 percent. For a freshman starting at a four-year college later this year, that could mean $2,100 in extra interest payments over a decade.

The Internal Revenue Service will conduct 100,000 fewer audits this year, mostly because of cuts to the agency's budget. As a result, the IRS Commissioner says the government will lose about $3 billion in uncollected tax revenue.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 117 points Wednesday and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 10, but the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) fell 13 points. The Nasdaq has lost 6.5 percent since its recent peak in early March.

The hope of harnessing offshore winds for energy use is catching sail. The Energy Department will pay up to $47 million for each of three projects to corral the winds off the coasts of New Jersey, Virginia and Oregon. The long-delayed projects are expected to begin delivering energy by 2017.

The Navy has selected Sikorsky Aircraft and Lockheed Martin (LMT) to build new helicopters to replace the aging fleet of presidential choppers. No surprise there. They were the only bidders. The award of $1.2 billion is for six new helicopters.

Finally, here's hoping Bob Costas doesn't have another untimely bout of pink eye. NBC has locked up the rights to broadcast the Summer and Winter games through the year 2032. It agreed to pay $7.7 billion to extend the current deal, which had been set to expire in 2020.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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