Google has invited 34 cities across nine metropolitan areas to work with them on finding out whether it would be possible to bring them Google Fiber.
Offering speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, a Google Fiber connection is up to 100 times faster than currently available average broadband Internet speeds.
Google Fiber projects are already being implemented in Kansas City, Austin and Provo. Ramping up availability to 34 of the biggest cities on both coasts takes it to a whole new level.
Google is pitching the expansion and high-speed Internet access as a necessary economic development tool that mayors from all over the map have said will spark innovation and drive economic growth while improving education.
Milo S. Medin, VP, Google Access Services, said in a blog post announcing the proposed Google Fiber expansion that Portland, Oregon and Nashville, Tennessee [both on the list of invited cities] and dozens of others have made high-speed broadband a pillar of their economic development plans.
Medin also singled out San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who has declared that every school should have gigaspeed Internet access by 2020.
The nine metro areas that Google is targeting for an expansion of Google Fiber are Portland, OR; Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; Phoenix, AZ; San Antonio, TX; Nashville, TN; Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; and Raleigh-Dunham, NC.
Google has asked all the invited cities to put together a checklist that will make it easier for a Fiber project to go ahead in their city. For example, cities have been requested to streamline permitting processes and provide maps of existing conduits and utility lines.
This information can be used by Google to follow the plan and use existing infrastructure such as utility poles instead of digging up streets to put a new pole up next to an existing one. Google will be doing its own detailed study of each city including the topography, housing density, and the condition of infrastructure.
This process will be completed by the end of the year, at which time Google will be able to announce which of these 34 cities will be getting Google Fiber.
Medin noted in his blog post that cities which go through this process will end up more prepared for any provider who wants to lay out a fiber network.
Furthermore, as a means of helping other communities everywhere who want to bring fiber to their residents, Google plans to share what they learn from their studies involving the 34 invited cities.