Launched over a decade ago, Google Fiber’s reach is still limited to 19 cities across the United States. Though that coverage isn’t as impressive as the 1Gbps up and down speeds it promised back in the day, the company is at least making strides in the bandwidth department. It's now making the jump to 2Gbps speeds on a household line, matching what Comcast has been doing since way back in 2015. That extra throughput comes at a price, though, and not everyone is eligible for it just yet.
The kind of person to subscribe to Google's ultra-fast Fiber Internet probably knows a little more about good Wi-Fi than most, so it's nice that Google Fiber is now letting its savviest subscribers make the most of their gigabit (and upcoming 2Gbps) speeds without the Network Box.
Google had gone rather quiet about the expansion of its Fiber network until last week's announcement that it would come to West Des Moines in Iowa. Like buses, a second has arrived soon after — Google has shared plans to extend its high-speed internet service in Utah to the city of Millcreek.
After a long hiatus, it looks like Google Fiber is finally ready to start expanding to new markets again. In a blog post yesterday, Google announced that the West Des Moines, Iowa city council has approved an "open conduit network," and that Google fiber will be the first tenant for city-wide internet access via the new plan. Over 66,000 new customers will have access to Google Fiber's fast and cheap internet access — and incumbents will finally have a reason to compete.
Google Fiber is the tech giant's answer to overpriced, sluggish internet access, provided you live in one of the few areas where it's available. While Fiber has expanded to 9 states, Louisville, Kentucky has the unpleasant honor of being the first market to lose access to Google Fiber.
Google Fiber has been hitting a few rough patches lately; it turns out it's pretty expensive and difficult to lay down fiber internet. But Google thinks it can turn things around by shifting the service's rollout process. Today the company announced that Fiber will arrive in Louisville and San Antonio, but without the traditional TV add-on.
Google sells fiber Internet access and television service through the Google Fiber brand. Yeah, you might have forgotten that, since the rollout process is about as fast as continental drift, and even if you live in the US odds are overwhelming that you don't have access to it. Google also makes set-top box software called Android TV... which you might also have forgotten, since it's still pretty limited in terms of actual users. Fiber started in 2012, with Android TV starting in 2014, so they've never been running the same software, but they're getting a little closer now.
Many of us have spent the last five years hoping beyond hope that Google Fiber would be deployed on our home turf. Fiber has been expanding little by little, but the costs are still astronomical. Alphabet CEO Larry Page has reportedly gotten fed up with Google Fiber burning through cash. He's demanded Fiber chief Craig Barratt cut his staff to 500 from 1,000 and reduce the cost of acquiring new customers to one-tenth of current levels.
Google Fiber is slowly, s-l-o-w-l-y making its way into more US markets, and its latest move is intended to make that rollout faster. The Google subsidiary has agreed to purchase Webpass, a high-speed Internet service provider that services residential buildings and businesses in parts of Boston, Chicago, Miami, San Diego, and San Francisco. If you happen to live in one of these cities, you can check your building's access on the main Webpass site.
Google Fiber is high-speed internet the likes of which most of us can only dream of. For a handful of states, Google's effort to get people online faster is already a reality. Roughly six metros are set to get the experience at some point in the future. Another dozen are being considered, and today Google has announced Dallas as the latest city to make that list.