Cities on Google's proposed short list for high-speed Internet service will have to wait a bit longer, as the search giant has put off its announcement until early 2015. This past February, Google said it was exploring the possibility of bringing its Fiber project to 34 additional cities in nine metropolitan regions across the U.S. and several deployments are currently underway.
Already deployed in Kansas City, Mo., Austin and Provo, Utah, Google Fiber provides gigabit-level network speeds far faster than those currently available in many parts of the country. According to its announcement in February, Google is eyeing extending that service to 34 cities including Atlanta, Nashville, and Phoenix.
We reached out to a Google spokesperson, who told us, "We've been working closely with cities around the U.S. to figure out how we could bring them Google Fiber, and we're grateful for their vision, commitment, and plain old hard work. While we were hoping to have an update for cities before the holidays, we have a bit more work to wrap up; we'll be back in touch sometime early next year."
Google has noted previously that moving forward in other regions would require a joint planning process and identification of any unique local challenges.
"While we do want to bring Fiber to every one of these cities, it might not work out for everyone," Milo Medin, Vice President of Google Access Services, said in February. "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."
AT&T On Hold
Google is not the only company looking at deploying gigabit fiber for Internet access. Other telcos such as CenturyLink and AT&T have also made plans to build high-speed networking capabilities in various regions across the U.S.
In April, for example, AT&T announced an initiative to roll out gigabit-capacity fiber to up to 100 additional cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, and Miami. It already offered its GigaPower high-speed service in Austin and has development under way in Dallas.
Last month, however, AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said the company would put its 100-city plan on hold because of a lack of "clarity" about federal regulations. His remarks came as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission considers the possibility of reclassifying broadband Internet as a utility-like service, a move backed by millions of supporters who have submitted comments to the FCC. The plan is opposed by many service providers and tech firms, including AT&T, Comcast, Cisco, IBM, Time Warner and Verizon.
Earlier this week, Fight for the Future, an advocacy group backing Internet reclassification, told us it had confirmed that the FCC had "drastically undercounted" the number of comments it had received in support of such a move. In an e-mail sent to Fight for the Future, the FCC's chief enterprise architect, Erik Scheibert, acknowledged the agency had dropped at least 244,881 "pro" comments in its count.
'Gigabit City Challenge'
Supporters of a high-speed Internet build out have said infrastructure improvements would create jobs, improve educational opportunities and boost economic growth. In 2013, for example, the U.S. Conference of Mayors kicked off a "Gigabit City Challenge" calling for "a least one gigabit community in all 50 states by 2015."
As reported in Akamai's most recent "State of the Internet" report, the U.S. has average Internet connection speeds that place it behind 13 other countries. The top five countries with the fastest Internet connections are South Korea, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Japan and the Netherlands. At connection speeds of one gigabit per second, Internet users can download 25 songs in one second and download an entire HD movie in 36 seconds.
Posted: 2014-12-29 @ 8:01am PT
Your statement "Already deployed in Kansas City, Mo., Austin and Provo, Utah" is false. After a year and a half they are 'taking signups' in Austin and only for a tiny fraction of the city.
Posted: 2014-12-20 @ 11:59am PT
Richard, that is for GPON networks. Google is doing a custom version of WDM-PON that ensures at least 800M under heavy neighborhood loads. They have also built a longhaul network that allows near a Gbit to the coasts - per user.
I have Google Fiber and get over 900M every time, including during prime time and even to the coasts (from KC). Am in a building with over 100 units in a neighborhood with many hirise buildings with most having Google Fiber - still get over 900M every time.
Posted: 2014-12-20 @ 9:37am PT
Is that a volume-weighted average or the average over all connections?
Posted: 2014-12-19 @ 2:33pm PT
Google's gigabit pipe is shared by some number of homes, probably somewhere between 32 and 128. So you need to divide its speed accordingly to correctly calculate download times. In Japan, for example, the fiber network using the same technology Google uses delivers about 35% of the promised speed. That's still very nice, but it doesn't make web sites load faster or Netflix's picture any better than a good unshared 10 Mbps connection does.