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Google Fiber eyes SLC for network growth

By Natalie Crofts and Keith McCord, | Posted - Feb 19th, 2014 @ 7:15pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — Google Fiber might be coming to Salt Lake City.

The company announced on its blog Wednesday it is considering Salt Lake City as one of nine metro areas where it will offer its ultra-high speed fiber network.

"Now that we’ve learned a lot from our Google Fiber projects in Kansas City, Austin and Provo, we want to help build more ultra-fast networks," wrote Google Access Services Vice President Milo Medin on the company's blog. "So we’ve invited cities in nine metro areas around the U.S. — 34 cities altogether — to work with us to explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber."

Google Fiber is also considering additional cities in Arizona, California, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas.

The company said it would be working closely with local leaders over the next few months and provide updates about which cities will receive Google Fiber by the end of the year.

"Google chose to work with Salt Lake City because of how tech-savvy the area is," said representative Angie Welling. "Google would love to see what local entrepreneurs would do with a high-speed gig connection."

Before deciding where to install its services, Google Fiber will conduct studies on local factors that could affect construction like topography, housing density and the condition of local infrastructure.

The company wants to avoid digging up streets unnecessarily, so it is asking cities to ensure it can add their fiber to existing poles or conduits. The cities are also being asked to provide detailed maps and review permit processes so installation can move quickly.

"Getting ready for fiber is good for cities," a statement from the company reads. "No matter the outcome, cities that go through this process will take a big step forward in making their cities ready for the fiber-optic networks that are the future."

Welling said Salt Lake City's candidacy for Google Fiber won't affect the service in Provo, where installation is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year. Provo was one of the first cities where Google Fiber was offered.

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Natalie Crofts
Keith McCord

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