Google Fiber Expansion: When Will Google Fiber Be Available in Your City?
Google Fiber offers one of the fastest and most highly rated internet connections in the country, but its availability is limited to a handful of cities. Fortunately, Google Fiber has begun to expand its footprint by adding new cities to its network.
Upcoming Google Fiber cities
|West Des Moines, Iowa||20211|
|Millcreek, Utah||Early 20212|
|South Salt Lake, Utah||Unspecified5|
Many of the areas where Google Fiber is expanding are near existing Google Fiber cities. For example, Google Fiber has been slowly expanding in Salt Lake City, Utah, for several years. Now it’s extending its network into many of the neighboring cities in the Salt Lake Valley.
Although the list of currently announced new cities is still relatively short, Google Fiber is also expanding its network within current Google Fiber cities. For example, in early 2021, Google Fiber expanded into four more neighborhoods in Austin, Texas: Allandale, North Loop, Mueller, and North Shoal Creek. As it expands its network in Austin, Google Fiber plans to add more neighborhoods in the near future.6
Google has also expanded into several new neighborhoods in the Raleigh-Durham area, with new coverage areas in the cities of Chapel Hill and Carrboro.7 If you live in or near an existing Google Fiber city, your odds are better than most for getting Google Fiber in your neighborhood.
Current Google Fiber cities
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Austin, Texas
- Carrboro, North Carolina
- Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Chicago, Illinois
- Denver, Colorado
- Huntsville, Alabama
- Irvine, California
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Kansas City, Kansas
- Miami, Florida
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Oakland, California
- Huntington Beach, California
- Provo, Utah
- Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- San Antonio, Texas
- San Diego, California
- San Francisco, California
- Seattle, Washington
Google Fiber began with a single city in 2010 and quickly expanded to a handful of cities across the country. At the time of its announcement, 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps) was about 100 times faster than the average residential internet speed.8 And it wasn’t targeted at huge tech hubs like Silicon Valley and Seattle, but at suburban cities like Kansas City, Missouri, and Provo, Utah.
The massive hype surrounding these early Google Fiber cities not only pushed other cities to compete for Google’s attention but also made customers start demanding more from their internet service providers (ISPs). Over the next few years, fiber-optic connections went from being almost unheard-of in residential internet to being the gold standard of internet connections against which all other connection types are judged.
|Plan||Price||Download speed||Get it|
|Google Fiber 1 Gig||$70.00/mo.*||1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps)||Check Availability|
|Google Fiber 2 Gig||$100.00/mo.*||2 Gbps (2,000 Mbps)||Check Availability|
*Terms and Conditions: Plus taxes and fees. Service not available in all areas. If you live in an apartment or condo, Google Fiber’s ability to construct and provide Fiber is subject to the continued agreement between Google Fiber and the property owner. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
Google hits pause
Despite the popularity of Google Fiber and the overwhelming number of cities lining up to become the next fiber city (Google expected between 10 and 50 applications and ended up with over 1,000), the project was put on hold a few years later.8
In Louisville, Kentucky, AT&T filed lawsuits against the local city and county governments to prevent Google Fiber from using utility poles, thus slowing down the network’s deployment. These lawsuits halted Google Fiber’s expansion and kept eager potential customers waiting for years for fiber to get to their neighborhood. Although a judge later dismissed the lawsuits as frivolous, the project was severely derailed.9
During this time, Google Fiber experimented with ”microtrenching,” an installation method where, instead of digging a deep, foot-wide trench, a crew could simply carve a narrow groove into a road, only slightly wider than the cable and a few inches deep.
Unfortunately, the experiment in Louisville went poorly, and many fiber-optic cables became damaged or even popped out of the road, tripping pedestrians.10 Google had to pay to repair the roads damaged during the failed installation and eventually pulled out of Louisville altogether.
At this point, the company had announced that Google Fiber was pausing all fiber-optic projects. Not only were potential expansions into new cities canceled, but mentions of network expansion in existing Google Fiber cities also disappeared from the provider’s website.11 For a time, this looked like the end of Google Fiber.
Google Fiber today
After a long silence, Google Fiber announced its first new city in four years: West Des Moines, Iowa.12 Shortly after that, it announced several new cities around Salt Lake City, Utah.2, 3, 4, 5 Although this expansion is not quite as aggressive as its initial campaign, it seems likely that Google Fiber will continue to expand into new areas.
Despite the numerous setbacks that it encountered in places like Louisville, Google Fiber is continuing to explore new and innovative ways of delivering fiber-to-the-home technology. For example, despite its previous failure with microtrenching, Google Fiber is once again using this technique in places like Taylorsville, Utah.3
Google Fiber is also engaging in more public-private partnerships in order to expand its fiber network. It previously made similar deals with cities like Provo, Utah, which sold its municipal fiber infrastructure to Google.13 In West Des Moines, the city is building an “open conduit” that can be leased out to providers like Google Fiber.14 Many other countries handle internet infrastructure like this, and it can help increase competition among ISPs while reducing costs to customers.
How to get Google Fiber in your area
Google Fiber is still a relatively small ISP compared to companies like AT&T and Xfinity, so if it’s not in your city yet, you probably have a long wait ahead of you. In the meantime, there are some things that you can do to encourage Google Fiber and other fiber providers to expand into your area.
The most direct thing you can do is encourage change on a local level. Go to town council meetings. Talk to your state representatives. When state and local governments invest in municipal internet infrastructure and open networks, it can lower the barrier for smaller ISPs like Google Fiber to enter the area, improving speeds and increasing competition. Similar initiatives have been announced in places like New York City in order to bring universal broadband to all its residents.15
If nothing else, demand more from your internet. When Google Fiber was first announced, no one thought residential customers would want gigabit internet speeds. Now, demand for video chat, streaming services, and other media have made slower connections almost obsolete. If there’s enough demand for high-speed internet, some company will try to get it to you.
Most widely available fiber providers
|Provider||Price||Download speeds||Get it|
|AT&T||$35.00/mo.–$60.00/mo.||300 Mbps–940 Mbps||View Plans|
|CenturyLink||$65.00/mo.||940 Mbps||View Plans|
|EarthLink||$69.95/mo.–$99.95/mo.||50 Mbps–1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps)||View Plans|
|Frontier||$49.99/mo.–$74.99/mo.||500 Mbps–940 Mbps||View Plans|
|Windstream||$57.00/mo.–$85.00/mo.||1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps)||View Plans|
|Verizon||$39.99/mo.–$89.99/mo.||300 Mbps–940 Mbps||View Plans|
If Google Fiber isn’t available in your area yet, there might be another provider in your area offering fiber internet plans. Many nationwide ISPs are rolling out fiber-to-the-home connections to meet customer demands, and many of them have a much bigger fiber network than Google Fiber. The big difference is that none of these providers have a 100% fiber network like Google Fiber, so just because a provider covers your area, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they offer fiber at your address.
- Google Fiber Blog, “Next Steps in West Des Moines,” May 10, 2021. Accessed July 14, 2021.
- Google Fiber Blog, “Google Fiber Is Coming to Millcreek, UT,” July 14, 2020. Accessed July 14, 2021.
- Addy Bink, ABC4.com “Google Fiber Coming to Another Utah City,” April 22, 2021. Accessed July 14, 2021.
- Addy Bink, ABC4.com “Google Fiber Coming to Another Salt Lake County City,” May 5, 2021. Accessed July 14, 2021.
- Bill Hardesty, The City Journals, “Google Fiber Is Coming to SSL,” April 19, 2021. Accessed July 15, 2021.
- Google Fiber Blog, “City Update: Google Fiber Is on the Move in Austin,” March 15, 2021. Accessed July 15, 2021.
- Jason Parker, WRAL TechWire, “Google Fiber Expanding in Triangle, Charlotte after 32% Increase in Bandwidth Demand,”May 4, 2021. Accessed July 15, 2021.
- Blair Levin and Larry Downes, Harvard Business Review, “Why Google Fiber Is High-Speed Internet’s Most Successful Failure,” September 7, 2018. Accessed July 15, 2021.
- Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, “AT&T Admits Defeat in Lawsuit It Filed to Stall Google Fiber,” November 1, 2017. Accessed July 16, 2021.
- Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica. “Google Fiber’s Biggest Failure: ISP Will Turn Service Off in Louisville,” February 8, 2019. Accessed July 16, 2021.
- David Anders, CNET, “Whatever Happened to Google Fiber?” March 5, 2021. Accessed July 16, 2021.
- Google Fiber Blog, “Thank You, West Des Moines!” July 7, 2020. Accessed July 16, 2021.
- Dave Smith, International Business Times. “Google Fiber In Utah: Why Provo Sold Its $39 Million Internet Service to Google for Just $1.” April 19, 2013. Accessed July 16, 2021.
- Ryan Daws, Telecoms Tech, “Remember Google Fiber? It’s Just Expanded for the First Time in Four Years,” July 7, 2020. Accessed July 16, 2021.
- Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, “NYC Broadband Plan Calls for Fiber Everywhere, with ISPs Sharing Network,” August 1, 2020. Accessed July 16, 2021.
Author - Peter Christiansen
Peter Christiansen writes about satellite internet, rural connectivity, livestreaming, and parental controls for HighSpeedInternet.com. Peter holds a PhD in communication from the University of Utah and has been working in tech for over 15 years as a computer programmer, game developer, filmmaker, and writer. His writing has been praised by outlets like Wired, Digital Humanities Now, and the New Statesman.
Editor - Rebecca Lee Armstrong
Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.