Search giant Google is expanding its US municipal broadband project in a bid to become a leading American carrier. Excuse me while I roll my eyes.
Whenever Google comes out with one of its grand pronouncements, particularly in this area, I feel compelled to chorus, “Here we go again.” Perhaps this time I’m being too cynical. Perhaps not.
A bit of background: It’s been four years since Google announced plans to get into municipal broadband services. After getting over 1,000 cities to respond eagerly to their initial invite early in 2010, the company started small, with rollouts of one-gigabit Internet connections to homes in Kansas City, Kansas. Three years later, the trial started in Provo, Utah, and Austin, Texas.
That was pretty much it. Until this week, when Google announced it has reached out to 34 US cities to chat about bringing them one-gigabit fiber broadband.
The company described its plan in a blog by Milo Medin, VP of Google Access Services:
- 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.
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Mary Jander is managing editor of UBM’s Future Cities. Previously, she was executive editor of Internet Evolution, site editor of Byte and Switch, and a longtime senior editor of Light Reading. She has spent over 27 years reporting and writing on information technology and … View Full Bio