Google Fiber to Expand to New Cities

Google considers 34 new cities for its superfast connection. 

Map of current and potential Google Fiber cities.

Google is already developing fiber optic networks in Provo, Utah, Austin and Kansas City.

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Google on Wednesday invited 34 cities in nine metropolitan areas to talk with the company about whether local regulations would allow Google Fiber to bring next generation Internet and TV speeds to homes in their areas.

Google Fiber is Internet infrastructure provided by the company that is more advanced than that provided by many other wireless companies, which often use old copper wire connections while fiber optic cables carry data much faster. The average user does not need speeds that fast yet, but improving graphics on video games and streaming video will take advantage of those efficient download speeds.

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Netflix publishes monthly reports of which Internet service providers are the fastest way to connect to their streaming video. In January, Google Fiber ranked first for Netflix download speeds, while Comcast ranked 14th and Verizon ranked 17th.

Google is developing fiber optic cables in Austin, Texas, Kansas City, Kan., and in Provo, Utah. The metropolitan areas that may be eligible for Google Fiber placement are Nashville, Tenn.; Salt Lake City; Phoenix; Charlotte, N.C.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Portland, Ore.; Atlanta; San Antonio and San Jose, Calif.

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“We aim to provide updates by the end of the year about which cities will be getting Google Fiber,” Google said in its blog post.

Google’s service is unique because it runs fiber optic cables directly into people’s homes, so the company asked cities to complete a checklist of how to clear regulatory red tape. These factors on where to run fiber optic cables will include which areas are densely populated, where existing phone poles and electricity lines are located and other details that could affect construction. Google plans to share information from these studies to help other cities plan for fiber wire development.

“These are such big jobs that advance planning goes a long way toward helping us stick to schedules and minimize disruption for residents,” Google said.