Two of America’s biggest metro areas — Los Angeles and Chicago — are now on the list of potential Google Fiber sites. It seems like Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is serious about becoming a major ISP and TV provider in the US market.
Six million additional people could have access to Google’s gigabit Internet service, over which users can download a gigabyte of information in under 10 seconds. Google announced the potential expansion in a blog post that largely says city leaders need to make the next move.
“While we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to bring Fiber to Chicago and L.A., this is a big step for these cities and their leaders,” says the blog post. The post offers a link to a PDF checklist of requirements that municipalities have to meet. The list includes everything from construction, access to telephone poles, to using city-owned land for the “huts” that house communications equipment.
The message is clear. If city leaders want to bring Google Fiber to town, it’s on them to meet Google’s requirements.
“From Venice Beach to Wrigley Field, we’ll study the different factors that would affect construction — like city infrastructure and topography — and use that information to help us prepare to build a local fiber network,” says the announcement.
Google Fiber famously launched in Kansas City, and has since expanded to Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah. Six other cities have been officially confirmed to receive the service, and before today’s announcement either other cities were “potential” sites.
Some sites, such as Portland, Oregon, have been potential sites for a few years already. So residents of LA and Chicago shouldn’t expect to switch their ISPs anytime soon. Even if Google eventually commits to the cities, it could be years before the trucks get rolling. But for anyone in either metropolitan area frustrated with their current ISP, Fiber bringing some potential competition is great news.