Google (and Google Fiber) Contemplating Additional High-Speed Broadband Rollouts

We’ve said this before here at the official blog of Amplitude Digital, but it bears repeating.

It’s a Google world. We all just live in it.

And like the world at large, Google’s universe never stops changing.

The internet search and advertising titan has aggressively innovated, expanded, diversified and evolved over the years, turning its very name into an action verb (i.e. “Just Google it!”), recently climbing to No 2 on the World’s Most Valuable Companies list, and steadily growing into something that seemingly impacts every aspect of our lives today. Including eyewear. And home security devices.

Over the next few years, Google’s impact may be felt even more intensely – and intimately – in dozens of cities across America.

And some of these residential areas will fast – as in VERY fast – become known as “Fiberhoods.”

According to reports, Google said in late February that it will evaluate 34 cities in nine major metropolitan areas – Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham, Portland, Phoenix, San Jose, Salt Lake City and San Antonio – to determine if they’re viable candidates for the company’s extremely-high-speed fiber optic network. Google even has a catchy, concise name for its lightning-quick broadband network:

Google Fiber.

This particular Fiber certainly is faster. In fact, it’s billed by the company as “The goodness of Internet and TV. Times 100.” The times 100 is a reference to their top speed (so far) of 1 gigabit per second (aka 1Gbps), which is said to be more than 100 times faster than the average American broadband connection.

This latest evaluation plan for future Google Fiber rollouts involves a lot of planning and legwork, including working closely with the mayors of all 34 targeted cities. Google and civic leaders will work together to evaluate logistical issues such as geography, topography, housing density, and existing infrastructure like utility poles, water, gas and electricity lines. There’s also the legal details regarding issues like leases and permits to iron out.

Google launched its first fiber optic network in Kansas City in the closing months of 2012, and since then, the company has developed and debuted network “Fiberhoods” in two other cities – Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah.

When Google began providing its broadband service in Kansas City, they offered speeds of up to 1 Gbps – which is, again, over 100 times faster than the average U.S. broadband connection – at affordable and competitive rates. Internet-only service was priced at $70 a month, and the most expensive package, which includes TV service (and more than 200 channels), was offered at $120 a month. Google even offered free 5 Mbps connections for a seven-year period to residents who paid an up-front, one-time fee of $300.

Google intends to announce by the end of 2014 which cities it will decide to move forward with on its ambitious broadband initiative. One would imagine that several targeted cities will make the cut, and it’s hard to argue with the words of Google Access Service VP Milo Medin.

“People are hungrier than ever for faster Internet, and as a result, cities across America are making speed a priority,” Medin wrote on Google Fiber’s blog site. “Hundreds of mayors from across the U.S. have stated that abundant high-speed Internet access is essential for sparking innovation, driving economic growth and improving education.”

Do you agree with Medin here? Could the implementation of such lightning-quick broadband networks in cities across America truly constitute a “rising tide that lifts all boats” when it comes to the diverse range of people who live and work in those metropolitan areas?

Can Google Fiber fast emerge as something like The Broadband Breakfast of Champions, satiating the ever-growing appetites of Americans for fast-access data, information and entertaniment?

Let us know in the comments section below this blog post. We’d love to hear your thoughts on Google Fiber.

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