Google Fiber evaluating 9 metro areas for IPTV rollouts

Michelle Clancy | 21-02-2014

Google is exploring the expansion opportunities for its Google Fiber broadband and television service, which boasts 1Gbps broadband and a host of IPTV networks.

Candidate cities include Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, San Antonio and San Jose.

Google has invited cities in nine metro areas around the US 34 cities altogether to have exploratory talks with the search giant to determine "what it would take to bring them Google Fiber". The company will work with each city's leaders on a joint planning process that will map out a projected Google Fiber network in detail, and also assess what unique local challenges it might face, like topography (eg, hills, flood zones), housing density and the condition of local infrastructure.

Meanwhile, cities will complete a checklist and provide maps of existing conduit, water, gas and electricity lines for trenching fibre, along with ways to access existing infrastructure like utility poles that could be leveraged.

"Over the last few years, gigabit Internet has moved from idea to reality, with dozens of communities working hard to build networks with speeds 100 times faster than what most of us live with today," said Milo Medin, vice president of Google Access Services. "People are hungrier than ever for faster Internet, and as a result, cities across America are making speed a priority."

He added: "Hundreds of mayors from across the US have stated that abundant high speed Internet access is essential for sparking innovation, driving economic growth and improving education. Portland, Nashville and dozens of others have made high speed broadband a pillar of their economic development plans. And Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, declared in June that every school should have access to gigabit speeds by 2020."

Google already has Google Fiber projects in Kansas City, Austin and Provo, Utah, and expects to name the next rollout cities by the end of the year. The company is being choosy on where to invest and is taking a 'belle of the ball approach', with Medin saying that "it might not work out for everyone".