Google Fiber to take on Cox and Lumen in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Building on a recent string of network expansion plans, Google Fiber's latest market target will pit it against area incumbents Cox Communications and Lumen/CenturyLink.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

March 28, 2023

4 Min Read
Google Fiber to take on Cox and Lumen in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Google Fiber's rekindled network expansion plan took another step forward this week with word that the service provider has struck a deal to build a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Google Fiber's latest expansion move will pit it against incumbent operators Cox Communications and Lumen/CenturyLink.

Figure 1: (Source: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo) (Source: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)

Rachel Merlo, head of government and community affairs for Google Fiber's Central Region, noted in a blog post that the Council Bluffs City Council approved a license agreement for the build on Monday evening. Google Fiber has set up a website to track its progress in Council Bluffs. Google already operates a data center in the area.

"We're getting started on planning and engineering now, with the goal of starting construction late this year and serving our first customers in Council Bluffs next year," Merlo wrote.

Google Fiber did not spell out how many homes and businesses it will serve in Council Bluffs as a result of the buildout. According to US Census estimates from 2022, Council Bluffs has a population of 62,415 and 25,282 households.

Merlo noted that Google Fiber engaged in conversations with Council Bluffs and other surrounding communities following Google Fiber's announcement last fall to build a fiber network in Omaha, Nebraska – just over the state line.

Google Fiber is also building fiber networks in West Des Moines and Des Moines, Iowa.

Google Fiber recently launched symmetrical 5 Gbit/s speeds in a handful of markets, including Kansas City, West Des Moines and all of the cities and towns it serves in Utah. The new 5-Gig tier sells for $125 per month, an offering that is marketed alongside 2-Gig down and 1-Gig up ($100 per month) and symmetrical 1-Gig ($70 per month). Google Fiber also has teased the launch of an 8-Gig tier that will fetch $150 per month.

The launch plan in Council Bluffs arrives as Google Fiber restarts expansion projects in several US states.

Here's an updated list of Google Fiber's current and planned service deployments, and if the deployment is focused on FTTP or the Webpass fixed wireless access platform:

Market

FTTP or Webpass

Atlanta, Georgia

FTTP

Austin, Texas

FTTP

Charlotte, North Carolina

FTTP

Chicago, Illinois

Webpass

Council Bluffs, Iowa

FTTP

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

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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