Google Fiber expands competition with Comcast, Lumen in Colorado

Google Fiber has added Lakewood, Colorado, to the list of markets it is tying into its new network expansion initiative. The deployment will pit the broadband service provider against incumbent cable operator Comcast and incumbent telco Lumen/CenturyLink.

Google Fiber is targeting Lakewood after the city inked a non-exclusive right-of-way use deal "that enables us to deploy the network efficiently," Sasha Petrovic, Google Fiber's Southwest region general manager, explained in this blog post.

(Source: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)
(Source: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)

Of note, Google Fiber is in the process of launching 5-Gig and 8-Gig speed tiers in early 2023, with Google Fiber customers in markets such as Utah, Kansas City and West Des Moines getting an opportunity to test out those new speeds as early as this month via its "trusted tester" system.

Comcast, one of Google Fiber's foils in the Colorado market, is pushing ahead with a plan to launch symmetrical, multi-gigabit speeds in select markets starting in 2023 and expand that capability to more than 50 million homes and businesses before the end of 2025.

Google Fiber is now working on engineering designs for the Lakewood build, with construction slated to start in 2023. Meanwhile, the Internet service provider (ISP) has created a web page where local residents can keep tabs on service availability and the construction process.

The deployment will be Google Fiber's first fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) build in the state but doesn't mark its entry in the area. Webpass, Google Fiber's fixed wireless access (FWA) offering that largely focuses on multiple-dwelling units, has been serving parts of the Denver area since 2017.

Google Fiber did not say how many homes will be part of its buildout in Lakewood. US Census data shows that the city contained 64,844 households (2016-2020) and estimates that Lakewood currently has a population of 156,605.

Multi-state expansion plans underway

The selection of Lakewood comes a few weeks after Google Fiber CEO Dinni Jain announced that the ISP was in talks with city leaders in five states – Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Idaho – about expanding FTTP services to various communities.

Other cities to make Google Fiber's new-build list recently include Omaha, Nebraska, and Mesa, Arizona.

Here's a snapshot of Google Fiber's current and planned service deployments:

Table 1:

Market FTTP or Webpass
Atlanta, Georgia FTTP
Austin, Texas FTTP
Charlotte, North Carolina FTTP
Chicago, Illinois Webpass
Denver, Colorado Webpass
Des Moines, Iowa FTTP
Huntsville, Alabama FTTP
Idaho FTTP*
Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri FTTP
Lakewood, Colorado FTTP
Miami, Florida Webpass
Nevada FTTP*
Nashville, Tennessee FTTP
Oakland, California Webpass
Omaha, Nebraska FTTP
Orange County, California FTTP
Provo, Utah FTTP
Salt Lake City, Utah FTTP
San Antonio, Texas FTTP
San Diego, California Webpass
San Francisco, California Webpass
Seattle, Washington Webpass
*Google Fiber FTTP deployments coming to cities yet to be announced.
(Source: Google Fiber and Light Reading research)

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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