Google Fiber Looks to the North and Southeast

As other ISPs — most notably AT&T and their GigaPower offering — continue to expand fiber-optic one gigabit service across the country, Google Fiber approaches things at a more deliberate pace. At this time, Kansas City, Austin, and Provo are the only cities where Fiber subscriptions are actually available.

Recently, however, the technology giant announced that two cities in the upper half of the U.S. — Chicago and Portland — are being considered for the service. This is the first time Google has looked northwards for Fiber expansion. What other cities are slated for Google Fiber? Read further to see if your town could be next.

Google Fiber expansion map

The Southeast On Google Fiber’s Short Term Docket

Despite considering two Northern cities as future possibilities, the Southeast is Google Fiber’s expansion focus for the short term. It’s been about a year since Google announced Fiber was coming to the Nashville, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, and Charlotte metro areas; covering many of the major cities of the Southeast. San Antonio is also slated to join Austin as Texas cities with the service, while Salt Lake City is being added to Provo in Utah.

A glance at Google’s Fiber expansion map reveals potential cities other than Chicago and Portland being looked at over the long term. These include Jacksonville and Tampa in Florida, Oklahoma City, Louisville, and a variety of locations in California, including San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Seattle is one of many cities applying to Google for Fiber consideration.

Considering Google Fiber installations take a lot of heavy lifting — both physical and political — if you live in one of those locales, don’t expect Fiber to be available for at least one to two years. Some cities, including Houston, New Orleans, Hampton Roads, and Atlantic City were actually eliminated from consideration — on a temporary basis — due to climate and other terrain issues.

What Is Google’s End Game for Fiber?

Many technology pundits wonder about Google’s ultimate reasoning for entering the ISP market with Fiber. Are they only hoping to shake up the scene, forcing existing players to change their pricing models, as with their wireless initiative, Project Fi? According to Time Magazine, Google’s motives appear to be ultimately altruistic, hoping to increase average Internet speeds across the U.S.

Considering the country’s relatively poor standing worldwide when it comes to overall Internet speed, Google’s efforts are to be lauded. According to the Akamai Internet speed rankings, the U.S. moved from 33rd in 2013 to 12th in 2014, showing an increase in average speed from 6.0 Mbps to 11.5 Mbps. It looks like the search giant is making a positive impact.

Whether or not Google Fiber is coming to your neighborhood in the near future, be sure to regularly check your Internet speed to ensure your ISP is providing you with the bandwidth you deserve.