Google is looking into bringing its gigabit Google Fiber internet service to Chicago and Los Angeles. Today the company announced that it's entered the exploratory phase and, with the help of officials in both cities, Google will run through its usual checklist to see whether it's feasible to roll out Fiber in two major metropolitan areas. They'd be the biggest markets Google has tackled to date, and we're still nowhere near a timetable for when residents would receive service. There's a long road ahead, and no guarantees that Google can even pull it off. But Google sees both cities as a good fit for Fiber.
"With the help of gigabit internet, Chicago and LA can boost their creative cultures with internet speed to match their size," said Jill Szuchmacher, director of Fiber expansion. "Whether it’s filmmaking or entrepreneurship or more abundant bandwidth at home, Chicago and LA are the perfect cities to show us what’s possible with gigabit internet."
From Venice Beach to Wrigley Field, we’ll study the different factors that would affect construction — like city infrastructure and topography —and use that information to help us prepare to build a local fiber network. While we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to bring Fiber to Chicago and LA, this is a big step for these cities and their leaders. Planning for a project of this size is a huge undertaking, but we’ll be sure to keep residents updated along the way.
Google's announcement comes just one day after AT&T said it would bring its own GigaPower internet to "parts of" Los Angeles and many other cities. Fiber's current expansion map can be seen below. Blue cities are current Fiber markets, purple shows upcoming Fiber installs, and gray designates potential cities; Chicago and LA are both now added there.