Google's gigabit network division leader said today that it is primarily the readiness of cities' infrastructure and permitting processes that help them make the short list for much-coveted deployment of the company's municipal fiber network.
Dennis Kish, vice president of Google Fiber Inc. , said as much during a press conference today following the announcement of the company's first simultaneous multi-city expansion, with plans to build gigabit-speed networks in Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Nashville, Tenn. The process to build out those networks will take several months, he said. (See Google Continues Gigabit Expansion.)
"The cities we're announcing today are just ready to go," Kish said. "We've made substantial progress getting everything fiber-ready, and we can move on to the construction of the networks."
Kish added that being "fiber-ready" is generic, and not limited to attracting Google Fiber -- a nod, perhaps, to the oft-repeated theory that Google's gigabit network buildouts are as much about inspiring traditional local network operators to step up to gigabit speeds as they are about Google being a broadband competitor. (See AT&T to Fill Google's Gigabit Void in Kansas.)
Still, cities are ecstatic to get Google to their communities, for the brand recognition of being a Google Fiber city as much as for the ultra-high-speed Internet access it brings. As such, municipal leaders are very focused on what to do to make their locations more desirable for Google and other providers, and what can be learned from other cities' experiences. (See Momentum Mounting for Municipal Gigabit.)
For its part, Kish said Google Fiber is investing in fiber network deployment to benefit the communities it's targeting and its own development and application efforts. "We think the next chapter of the web is going to be written on gigabit speeds, and we want our engineers to be unconstrained when they're bringing their innovations to the market," he said.
Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose are next on the list, the company said. In each city where it has built a fiber network so far -- Kansas City, Austin and Provo -- Kish said the company has become more efficient at processes such as pole permitting and infrastructure mapping.
"With each city we engage, we've been learning a lot of key lessons," he said. "They did a ton of work to make themselves fiber-ready and engage with us. That really speeds it up."
— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, Light Reading