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.

(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:

Table 1:

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
*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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