Noah J Nelson on Wednesday, Feb. 19th
Google Fiber, seen by some as the Holy Grail of Internet Service Providers, is in an “exploring” phase again.
We’ve long believed that the Internet’s next chapter will be built on gigabit speeds, so it’s fantastic to see this momentum. And now that we’ve learned a lot from our Google Fiber projects in Kansas City, Austin and Provo, we want to help build more ultra-fast networks. So we’ve invited cities in nine metro areas around the U.S.—34 cities altogether—to work with us to explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber.
The launch of Fiber in Kansas City was seen as the first real pressure on major ISPs like Comcast and Time Warner in years. Still: the rollout of Google Fiber has been a slow process, befitting an infrastructure project of this size. Google likes to see the demand demonstrated, and in the past has had potential customers put their money where their mouth is before breaking ground.
With a Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger in the offing–which would marry up the two largest ISPs in the U.S.–more competition would be surely welcomed by beleaguered cable Internet consumers.
Right now the country doesn’t even crack the “best broadband” top 10. Bulgaria, Latvia, and Romania make the list but not ‘Merica. Sure, we’ve got more land mass to cover, but our electronic nervous system is as slow as an elephant in molasses. Even our best wired major cities–San Francisco, New York–pale. (PROTIP: if you want blazing fast Internet and have money to burn, Chattanooga, Tennessee is the place for you.)
Google’s financial incentives center on getting faster Internet into more homes. At the end of the day they are an Internet based advertising agency, and they can’t sell ads if people aren’t online.
The metro areas which will now have the opportunity to vie for Google’s affections are San Jose, Salt Lake City, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Phoenix, San Antonio and Portland, Oregon.