Google Fiber is expected to expand to four more cities in the East, with Google said to be preparing to officially announce the expansion of its 1-gigabit broadband Internet service in the coming days.
Two sources familiar with Google's plans are cited by The Wall Street Journal, saying Google will be deploying its ultra-high-speed broadband Internet service to two metropolitan centers in North Carolina, namely Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte. Google Fiber will also be coming to Atlanta, Georgia and Nashville, Tennessee, the sources say.
These four metro areas are part of an initial list of nine cities Google named a year ago as the places where it is considering building infrastructure to deliver its fiber-optic Internet service. The other cities are San Jose, California; Portland, Oregon; San Antonio, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; and Salt Lake City, Utah.
However, Google reportedly assured officials in these cities that it is not abolishing its plans to deploy 1-Gbps Internet service in those areas, as Google is still making its final decision on the matter.
"The message was that these announcements should not be considered the end of the road for the other areas," says David Vossbrink, spokesperson for the city of San Jose. Vossbrink says a Google official told him Google would make its final announcement on Tuesday.
However, local media in Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Nashville report that they have received invitations from Google for an unspecified event this week, where it is believed Google will be announcing the arrival of Google Fiber in those cities.
It is still unclear what type of service Google will offer to these four new cities, although if it will be similar to the Fiber service already being offered in Kansas City, where Fiber was first launched, customers can hook up to Google's 1-Gbps broadband Internet service for $80 a month and pay an additional $40 if they want to receive a cable-style TV package. There is also a much slower 5-Mbps package being offered for free, but customers will have to pay a one-time construction fee of $300.
However, Google Fiber will not be rolling out immediately. Customers eager to subscribe to a 1-Gbps package from Google will still have to wait at least a year before they can jump ship from their current providers, as it usually takes that amount of time for Google to build the infrastructure needed to deploy ultra-high-speed Internet. Also, not every neighborhood will have access to Fiber; only those that show interest will receive fiber-optic Internet.
Other cities already enjoying top Internet speeds are Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah.