Google Fiber coming to four more cities

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Credit: Google

Update: Google has since confirmed that it will expand to 18 cities within the four metro areas below, with construction to start “within several months,” according to Dennis Kish, the VP of Google Fiber. It also added that it is continuing to explore bringing fiber to Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose, and will have updates on these potential Google Fiber cities later this year. We may add updates after a press conference held at 11:30 PST.

Google is set to announce its gigabit fiber-to-the-home service in Atlanta; Nashville, Tennessee; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina this week according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal quoted sources close to the events and said that local news media in Atlanta and Nashville were invited to events on Tuesday and the North Carolina cities were invited to events on Thursday.

These cities are among the nine that Google named last February as under consideration for fiber service. Other cities include San Jose, California and San Antonio, Texas. Currently [company]Google[/company] has a fiber network in Kansas City, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Provo, Utah and Austin, Texas. It has also spurred several of the local incumbents in those and other areas of the country to start laying fiber services.

The Journal article says that the other areas where Google announced interest in building fiber networks should not consider any new network announcements to mean they are out of the running. According to the article:

David Vossbrink, a spokesman for the city of San Jose, said a Google Fiber official told him Monday that Google would be announcing expansion cities beginning Tuesday. “The message was that these announcements should not be considered the end of the road for the other areas,” Mr. Vossbrink said.
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As it stands today, Google has every interest in prolonging the threat of its expansion for as long as possible. Even before laying conduit in Austin, it managed to spur AT&T to start upgrading its own network in Austin and pushed a local cable overbuilder to actually start offering gigabit service in limited areas before Google or AT&T actually ever managed to. AT&T actually serves more people I know than Google with gigabit service in Austin, although that’s less a statement of actual homes passed than a measure of where my friends happen to live.

And so when it comes to pushing for faster broadband networks around the country, Google’s best weapon is actually the press release and the threat of action, because it spurs the local government to clear roadblocks and gets incumbents to consider and sometimes actually upgrade their service. That said, I still eagerly await the day the Google truck rolls to my neighborhood in Austin.

7 Comments

Teck

All those companies, use ATT as their main feed, even google branches of ATT fiber, mci, dow jones, windstream, nextlink, just different company name, but same fiber feeds it. ATT is the gigantor of them all, in every state in every city, everyone feeds from ATT at some point.

Lu

I sincerely hope Google does this in Canada – where fiber access for residential use has virtually no competition from the big “three” fat-cat providers here.

I pay $75 for the same level of performance (25mb downstream) I did about 10 years ago, it’s madness.

incero

I have AT&T gigapower (1gig fiber) in Austin, many thanks to Google making their announcement to encourage some action!

JDT

How much does it cost Google to put in fiber in each city? Surely, even as rich as they are, they can’t do Google Fiber in all of the top 50 markets?

John Nemesh

A lot depends on how each city will work with Google to give them access to easements…and I am sure there are a LOT of other considerations that factor into Google’s decision to deploy in each market. This should go a lot more smoothly when the FCC lays down Title II regulations on the telecoms too…

It is a HUGE undertaking for a new company (Google or anyone else) to get a city wired up and to be able to provide services to each household in the neighborhoods they deploy in…billions of dollars and thousands of man hours. It’s not a decision to be made rashly.

While I am eagerly awaiting a nationwide rollout of Google Fiber, I understand that they need to take it slow and to work out the kinks they encounter in each deployment. With every rollout, they gain valuable experience and learn more about what it takes to “do it right”…so I will be patient while they figure things out.

The good news is, with every new city, Google becomes more of a threat to the incumbents like Comcast and Time Warner. We will see benefits even in cities that don’t get Google services, because the other guys will HAVE to compete…or go under. (one can only hope that the latter happens in most cases!)

farsyd

How is Google fibre going to get over the heckle of being an elitist service that cherry picks wealthy neighbourhoods? I am not trying to hate it, I’d like a Gb but worry they might get stymied.

Stacey Higginbotham

In KC it worked super hard to get in lower-income neighborhoods by rallying community organizations and I think waiving fees or setting up donations that covered fees for signing up. IT also worked hard to convince rental property owners that investing in fiber was a good idea to get them to sign up since in many poorer areas property owners don’t live in the homes. But they struggled.

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