Google Fiber eyes Chicago and L.A.

Invitation to get 1Gbps networking would bring the total launched, underway or potential Google Fiber cities to 20

US Google Fiber map

If Chicago and Los Angeles are added, they would bring to 20 the number of U.S. cities using or preparing to launch Google Fiber. 

Credit: Google

Google Fiber could be coming to Chicago and Los Angeles, where more than 6 million people live, Google announced Tuesday.

The company invited the two cities to get the 1Gbps service, then plans to work with city leaders to collect detailed information on factors that would affect construction, such as topography and city streets.

“While we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to bring Fiber to Chicago and L.A., this is a big step for these cities and leaders,” said Jill Szuchmacher, director of Google Fiber Expansion, in the blog.

Google Fiber currently serves three metro areas: Kansas City (in both Kansas and Missouri), Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah. Six more cities are listed by Google as “upcoming” Fiber cities and 11 others are potential cities, including L.A. and Chicago.

Those two cities would be the largest metros for Google Fiber. “Whether it’s filmmaking or entrepreneurship or more abundant bandwidth at home, Chicago and L.A. are the perfect cities to show us what’s possible with gigabit Internet,” Szuchmacher said.

Google’s announcement follows by one day the news from AT&T that it plans to expand GigaPower 1Gbps fiber to 38 more cities for a total of 58 cities. GigaPower was launched in Los Angeles on Monday and had previously been available in Chicago and nearby cities. AT&T’s first city was Austin, Texas, starting about two years ago.

High-speed Internet access to homes and small businesses is considered a key to a city’s economic development. Cities without it will be at a competitive disadvantage, said Jeffrey Kagan, an independent analyst.

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