US search engine giant Google has identified nine major metropolitan areas as candidates for the next phase of its 1Gbps Google Fiber programme. In a blog post yesterday, Google revealed that it is exploring plans to deploy infrastructure in the following nine metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose; the plans encompass 34 cities across the aforementioned areas.
Milo Medin, vice president of Google Access Services, commented: ‘We aim to provide updates by the end of the year about which cities will be getting Google Fiber. Between now and then, 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. These are such big jobs that advance planning goes a long way toward helping us stick to schedules and minimise disruption for residents. We’re going to work on a detailed study of local factors that could affect construction, like topography, housing density and the condition of local infrastructure. Meanwhile, cities will complete a checklist of items that will help them get ready for a project of this scale and speed. For example, they’ll provide us with maps of existing conduit, water, gas and electricity lines so that we can plan where to place fibre.’
Google Fiber, which launched in Kansas City in September 2012, has since been extended to Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah (both April 2013). In the latter city, Google acquired an existing municipal fibre network known as ‘iProvo’ for USD1, on the proviso that it upgraded the legacy network and offered preferential tariffs to local institutions.