Google To Fiber Cities: Don’t Freak Out, We’re Not Cancelling Anything

Image courtesy of Rob Bruce

When Alphabet joyously announced last week that Google Fiber was so great that they were going to stop expanding it, lay people off, and lose the CEO, some confusion followed. Google Fiber is, after all, still kind of a nascent business — in most cities where it has a presence, it’s still just a toe-hold, with more expansion waiting on the horizon. So are the other towns and neighborhoods who have been waiting for service still going to get it?

Would-be gigabit internet subscribers who have been anxiously nibbling their nails can now breathe a sigh of relief, as Google’s dropping some clarification: yes, yes you will.

As DSL Reports has noted, Google executives are soothing local media in cities where the company has already broken ground, reassuring residents that plans to maintain and expand the Fiber footprint are not abandoned.

Cities where Google Fiber is already under construction or where the company is already serving customers will indeed keep their service, and plans to expand it to other neighborhoods and suburbs are still on track. So that means metro Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Kansas City (both KS and MO), Nashville, Provo, Salt Lake City, and the NC Triangle — Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill — are all still good to go.

Likewise, planned expansions already in progress in Huntsville, AL; Irvine, CA; Louisville, KY; and San Antonio, TX are going to continue. “We’ve already begun construction here in San Antonio and things are moving forward,” a Google Fiber representative told the San Antonio city council. In fact, city staff in the same meeting said that construction is moving ahead faster than many residents expect, and so they’re trying to come up with a system of warning neighborhoods in advance who’s going to be working on their streets, when.

Construction isn’t moving quite so quickly in all of the Fiber cities on the list, however; in some, notably Nashville and Louisville, legal challenges from incumbent providers AT&, Charter, and/or Comcast have slowed down deployment. Before any cable can be laid in those cities, Google first has to help the local governments defend themselves against the suits that seek to stall out competition.

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