Google eyes 34 US cities for next step in gigabit fiber expansion

The cities across the US aren't guaranteed service, but gigabit-speed Internet could be coming

Google has chosen 34 cities across the U.S. as the next sites for possible expansion of its gigabit-speed Fiber Internet service.

The cities encompass nine metro areas and include Salt Lake City; San Antonio; Nashville, Tennessee; Charlotte, North Carolina; clusters of cities around Silicon Valley, including Mountain View where Google has its headquarters; Atlanta; Portland, Oregon; Phoenix; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

The cities in the metro clusters are: Silicon Valley: San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto; Atlanta: Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs and Smyrna; Portland: Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego and Tigard; Phoenix: Scottsdale and Tempe; Raleigh-Durham: Carrborro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Garner, Morrisville and Raleigh.

Google Fiber is currently available in Provo, Utah, and Kansas City and will soon launch in Austin, Texas. It delivers a "basic speed" service for no charge, a gigabit-per-second-speed service for US$70 per month and a $120 package that includes a bundle of more than 200 TV channels.

That speed is 10 to 100 times faster than the current fastest service typically available to American homes. For heavy Internet users including those that stream a lot of high-definition video, the service could be an attractive option.

For Google, the expansion of Fiber means the chance to collect more data about what people do online -- and how they watch television.

Remote-control clicks up and down to change channel is among the data collected by Google from subscribers with the TV service. That's important information for a company like Google, which makes a large portion of its revenue from advertising.

Wednesday's announcement doesn't guarantee any or all of the cities will be getting the service.

"While we do want to bring Fiber to every one of these cities, it might not work out for everyone," the company said in a statement. "But cities who go through this process with us will be more prepared for us or any provider who wants to build a fiber network."

It also doesn't put a time frame on the process, but it's unlikely to come to any of the cities this year.

"We'll work closely with each city's leaders on a joint planning process that will not only map out a Google Fiber network in detail, but also assess what unique local challenges we might face," the company said. It's "aiming" to provide updates on the progress of talks by the end of this year.

Google's first steps in providing Internet service happened in 2006 when it launched a municipal Wi-Fi network in Mountain View. The free service blanketed much of the city, but in the past couple of years has become unusable -- a result, according to Google, of the greater traffic demands being put on it by the plethora of smartphones and tablets in use.

On Wednesday, the city of Mountain View said it has agreed with Google on a new proposal that would replace the existing Wi-Fi network with a new one that covers only the downtown area of the city. The new network will be accompanied by a $500,000 "technology grant" from Google. The grant money has been initially earmarked to expand Wi-Fi service in city buildings and a park.

The Wi-Fi and grant proposal needs to be approved by the city council. It will be up for a vote on Feb. 25.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetGoogletelecommunicationCarriersInternet service providers

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?