Google Fiber is bulking up and could be coming to your hometown.
The company announced on its blog Wednesday it’s considering expanding its superfast Internet network to 34 cities in nine metro areas, including San Jose, Atlanta and Phoenix. (Via Google)
Google launched its gigabit Internet service in Kansas City, Kan. and Mo. in 2012 and has since begun expansion to Provo, Utah and Austin, Texas. (Via Google Fiber)
The service costs $70 a month and is fast enough to download a Blu-ray quality film in just a few seconds. Adding TV service takes that up to $120.
Between now and the end of the year, Google plans to “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.”
Because, the process isn’t like buying a new router. Google has to literally install thousands of miles of fiber-optic cables in chosen cities. Some cities – just based on existing infrastructure – will be easier to build in than others.
That’s why Google told Ars Technica it “genuinely would like to build in all of these cities,” but that was unlikely due to the “complexities of deploying networks.”
Take Kansas City, for example. The Kansas City Star points out, even after three years, the service has yet to fully deploy. But it adds expansion could help those who already have the service.
“An expansion would balloon its customer base, possibly providing Google greater negotiation leverage with entertainment companies for its TV lineup. It still notably lacks the popular cable channel AMC.”
Service provider rival Comcast actually gave Google a bit of a compliment last week when it was arguing why its merger with Time Warner should be approved.
The Verge notes Comcast cited Google as a legitimate competitor. “If Google Fiber expands in a significant way, that argument may start to carry some weight.”
But again, we’ll have to wait to hear from Google on just how many cities it chooses.