Google adds another city to fiber service rollout

Olathe City Council has approved an agreement to bring Google Fiber to the city

Google has added Olathe in Kansas to the cities where it will roll out its high-speed broadband network called Google Fiber.

The company is also rolling out the network in Kansas City, Missouri, and neighboring Kansas City, Kansas, and said the construction schedule was unchanged.

The Olathe City Council said it had approved late Tuesday an agreement to bring Google Fiber to the city.

Olathe, the fifth largest city in Kansas, is described by Google as one of the fastest-growing cities in the state, which has attracted new businesses and residents. "We think that Fiber and widespread Internet access will help to create jobs, grow local businesses, and make Olathe even stronger as it grows," Rachel Hack, community manager for Google Fiber, wrote in a blog post.

The company said it still had a lot of planning and engineering work to do in Olathe before it could start pre-registration of customers and announce timings for the rollout.

Google started to connect homes in Kansas City, Kansas, to its Google Fiber broadband service in November last year, with the promise that the installations at Kansas City, Missouri, would start in 2013. The two cities won out over 1,000 cities that applied for the 1Gbps service in 2010.

The Internet company said in February, 2010 that it planned to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the U.S., with 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home connections. It asked for responses to its request for information (RFI) from local governments and the public.

Google said in August it had reached a tentative agreement to deploy Google Fiber in the cities of Westwood, Westwood Hills and Mission Woods in Kansas. The approvals from the three city councils are pending, Google said. It plans to include the communities in the future, at a timing to be announced.

"Hopefully, this is the first of several announcements that we'll be able to make about bringing Google Fiber to additional cities in the KC metro area; so stay tuned," Hack wrote on Tuesday.

Gigabit Internet is priced by Google at US$70 per month, while high-speed Internet bundled with TV costs $120 a month. Free Internet at up to 5Mbps downstream is available for a construction fee of $300. The construction fee for equipping a home for service is waived for those who sign up for the paid services.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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