Google Fiber eyes 34 cities for 'ultra high speed' Internet

Google Fiber will widen its footprint in coming months, Google says. 

Google Fiber is already available in Provo, Utah, and Austin, Texas, among other cities.

The footprint of Google Fiber is set to expand in coming months, Google announced this week. 

The Mountain View company says it has "started early discussions" with officials in 34 cities around the country, including Phoenix, Nashville, and Portland. (A full map of current and potential Google Fiber sites is here.) In a blog post, Google's Milo Medin said a range of factors would go into the decisions, including an examination of topography, housing density, and the condition of local infrastructure. 

"We aim to provide updates by the end of the year about which cities will be getting Google Fiber," he wrote. "Between now and then, we’ll work closely with each city’s leaders on a joint planning process that will not only map out a Google Fiber network in detail, but also assess what unique local challenges we might face. These are such big jobs that advance planning goes a long way toward helping us stick to schedules and minimize disruption for residents." 

Fiber is already being rolled out in three American cities: Provo, Utah; Austin, Texas; and Kansas City, Kansas. The appeal of the service – which is said to hit speeds 100 times that of the average broadband connection – is clear, and cities have been tripping over each other in an effort to bring Google to their home turf. And yet, as Farhad Manjoo wrote last year in a piece for Slate, Fiber may be "totally awesome," but it's also "totally unnecessary." 

The average Web user, Mr. Manjoo points out, will never be able to take full advantage of Fiber's speeds, even if they are running several gadgets simultaneously on the same connection. 

Speaking to residents of Kansas City, Manjoo found that people "were all thrilled that Google had come to town, and the few who’d gotten access to the Google pipe said they really loved it. But I couldn’t find a single person who’d found a way to use Google Fiber to anywhere near its potential – or even a half or quarter of what it can do." 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to