There are 34 cities in the areas that Google is eyeing to build speedy fiber optic services like the ones it now offers in Kansas City, Austin, and Provo the company today says in a blog post. The potential expansion territories include Portland, OR; San Jose, CA; Salt Lake City; Phoenix; San Antonio; Nashville; Atlanta; and Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, NC. “We’ve long believed that the Internet’s next chapter will be built on gigabit speeds, so it’s fantastic to see this momentum” the company says about its request for proposals on how officials can “work with us to explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber.” The company plans to announce by year end where it will build, working “closely with each city’s leaders on a joint planning process…These are such big jobs that advance planning goes a long way toward helping us stick to schedules and minimize disruption for residents.” Considerations include topography, housing density, and local infrastructure conditions as well as locations of existing conduit, water, gas and electricity lines or utility poles “so we don’t unnecessarily dig up streets or have to put up a new pole next to an existing one.” With its many Internet services, Google has a strong motivation to promote the development of a state-of-the-art infrastructure. Its efforts so far have already had a ripple effect, prompting cable operators to boost their Internet speeds to head off competition from a deep pocketed rival. Indeed, last week Comcast pointed to Google Fiber as the kind of new challenger that could lure away subscribers — and, as a result, justifies the No.1 cable operator’s $42.5B deal to buy Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 operator.
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