Google is evaluating options for bringing its super-fast Google Fiber internet service to Los Angeles and Chicago, the company announced Tuesday. Both cities would be the biggest markets for Google Fiber to date, and a build-out of networking infrastructure across Los Angeles could potentially take years.
Google Fiber offers consumers internet access with speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second, which close to 70 times faster than speeds offered as part of Time Warner Cable’s current standard internet package. Google also offers consumers an optional pay TV package, and charges $130 per month for internet and TV, or $70 per month for internet service alone.
Google first started experimenting with providing internet access in Kansas City, Missouri in 2011, and has since expanded the service to 20 suburbs of that city as well as Austin, Texas, and Provo, Uta. The company has decided to six additional cities in the future, and is evaluating possibilities for another 11 cities, which also include San Diego and Irvine.
The company made it clear Tuesday that it hasn’t decided yet whether bringing Fiber to Los Angeles and Chicago is actually feasible. It first has to evaluate local infrastructure needs and other aspects that could impact a build-out. LA mayor Eric Garcetti nonetheless seemed enthusiastic about the impact of the announcement, saying in a statement: “Expanding, improving and strengthening Internet access throughout Los Angeles is vital to further accelerating L.A.’s economic growth — and affordable service is essential to erasing a digital divide that leaves too many people without the tools to maximize potential in the 21st century.”
It’s easy to see why Garcetti would be upbeat. Google’s continued investment in Fiber has prompted competing incumbents to invest in faster internet access themselves. AT&T announced Monday that it will bring its own Gigabit internet service to Los Angeles as well.