Google's Fiber service is headed to the southeast, as the company announced today that the next cities to get its gigabit Internet are Nashville, Tennesse; Atlanta, Georgia; and Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. In addition to these four big cities, several additional towns nearby are also getting Fiber, bringing the total number of Fiber cities in this group to 18.
The announcement comes a little over a month since Google delayed the initial announcement, citing that the company had "a bit more work to wrap up." Initial plans to look at more cities to place Fiber began last February. Parties in the considered cities had to complete a checklist of items such as providing information about city infrastructure and providing access and streamlining the construction process before being chosen by Google.
The goal now is to look at the infrastructure plans provided by the selected cities and figure out where to lay down the fiber lines while avoiding crucial utilities such as electricity, water and power. Additionally, surveyors and engineers will comb through certain areas of each city to cover any missing locales that might have been missed in the original plans. Google said that the process could take a few months, but once the planning stages are finished, construction can begin.
Google's plan to install Fiber sounds quick, with residents potentially signing up before the end of the year or even early next year. However, if its past work is any indication, the planning and construction might take a little longer than expected. Austin, Texas was announced as another city to get Fiber in April 2013, but the actual construction didn't start until September 2014, almost a year and a half later. Residents in the south and southeast region of Austin have already signed up, but it's still unclear when the network will be up and running.
Elsewhere, residents in only two counties in the Kansas City area, the first city to get Fiber, will be able to sign up sometime this year, and in Provo, Utah, the sign up period has ended but construction is still ongoing.
Even as the foundations for Fiber begin in the new areas, Google is still looking ahead and already considering new locations for Fiber. Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Jose, California; Phoenix, Arizona; and San Antonio, Texas are all on the company's list, and an update about each city's eligibility will have to wait until later this year.
Regardless, Google's expansion plans show that the trend of gigabit Internet is gaining ground all over the country. In addition to Google's seven metropolitan areas, companies such as Ting, EPB, LUS Fiber, and CenturyLink are all currently providing or have plans to provide gigabit Internet to places such as Charlottesville, Virginia; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Lafayette, Louisiana; Omaha, Nebraska; Las Vegas, Nevada; and 14 other cities across the country.