Google Fiber has officially partnered with more than 3,000 multi-family communities in Fiber cities across the nation, the service announced on Thursday. This milestone was reached over the course of about five years thanks to not only the efforts of Google Fiber and its people to expand, but also thanks to apartment, condominium, and townhouse communities that actively reached out to Google about getting Fiber into their locales. On top of that figure, the service now boasts around 300 Community Connection points, where real estate partners and nonprofits can team up with Google to put Fiber connections down in public areas, or use Fiber technology to power nonprofits and community efforts. While a number of metropolitan areas continue waiting to see Google bring Fiber to their areas, the service is growing strategically early on by focusing on low-cost, high-profit installations such as apartment complexes, and helping out local communities along the way.
The low-cost gigabit internet service reaching a milestone is not the only thing Google is announcing today, as the company is also debuting a new initiative called Google Hardware Program which will help real estate partners to leverage the internet of things to provide value to residents and tenants by offering discounts on gear like Google Home units and Nest thermostats. No details were announced as of this writing, but Google did clarify that it will be offering the program to apartment and condominium communities, which means that full smart home setups being available on move-in could become a coveted apartment perk in the near future. Google also did not mention whether this initiative would only be available in Fiber cities.
Google Fiber is back on track to expand after a lengthy downtime last year, wherein a large number of employees were let go and all plans to expand the service's availability were put on hold. Upper management is even being shaken up in the aftermath of those recent developments. The service has indeed hit a few new major metropolitan areas since the stoppage was lifted but many major locales and their bedroom communities are still waiting for Google Fiber. A significant portion of those areas are currently under a monopoly or have only a few options and may not even have access to key features like unlimited bandwidth and gigabit speeds at any price point.