Google to Get into the Cable Biz?

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You’ve read many stories by now about Google TV, but none like this. The internet giant is apparently weighing the idea of offering cable TV services directly to customers in Kansas City as an experiment that could radically change the future of the company.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is considering offering video and phone services in addition to a planned high-speed internet service already announced for Kansas City, and has gone so far as to discuss the idea with representatives from Time Warner, Walt Disney Corp. and Discovery Communications, each of which may be a possible partner in the venture should it move forward.

(MORE: Google TV May Soon Be Able to Sidestep Blocked Content)

This isn’t the first time Google has considered adding a more traditional cable package to its offerings; the WSJ quotes former Google product director Keval Desai as saying that the company has been thinking about such a move for years, in part in preparation for the convergence between television and the web. In addition to the Kansas City location, a similar plan in Palo Alto, CA, was apparently also under consideration.

According to the report, the Kansas City project could be up and running by early 2012, although price points and availability are still undecided. Google declined to comment when contacted on the subject.

MORE: Google TV to Launch in Europe ‘Early 2012’

Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.