When it comes to Internet speeds these days, the majority of the developed world has it pretty okay. Broadband speeds to the home are fairly quick, just as long as you’re willing to pay for the privilege, and 4G LTE speeds have gotten better across the US with Verizon’s XLTE and better coverage from the likes of T-Mobile and AT&T. A couple of years ago now, Google thought they could do a much better job than the ISP’s were doing in delivering speedy Internet access to homes in major cities across the US and they started up Google Fiber. The initiative famously hit Kansas City first, and has since spread to willing cities and areas across the US. Now, Google is exploring bringing Fiber to Chicago and Los Angeles.
The way in which Google begins the process of seeing whether or not they can bring Fiber to a city is by completing a self-created checklist. The checklist for Google Fiber is freely available to take a look at on Google Drive, and over the coming weeks and months, Google will use this to get an idea of how viable these cities are. State laws, infrastructure plans and more are all part of what the checklist asks for, and over on the Google Fiber blog Google writes “while we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to bring Fiber to Chicago and L.A., 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 Fiber is much more than just simple fiber optic broadband, and genuinely delivers gigabit speeds, which work out as 1,000 mpbs up and down. Those sort of speeds simply aren’t available from other providers, and while it used to be dismissed as an experiment to force the hands of ISP’s, Google Fiber is now a part of Alphabet and a small, yet significant part of the overall business. Below is an updated map of Google Fiber areas and cities as well as the two potential new additions in Chicago and L.A.