updated 05:03 pm EST, Wed February 19, 2014
Search engine working with localities to determine feasibility of expansion
Google has begun the exploratory process in nine metro areas around the US for expansion to its Google Fiber high-speed Internet and television service. Areas being examined by the search engine giant are Raleigh-Durham, NC; Charlotte, NC; Nashville, TN; Atlanta, GA; San Antonio, TX; Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; San Jose, CA; and Portland, OR.
Google claims in a blog post to be doing "work on a detailed study of local factors that could affect construction, like topography (e.g., hills, flood zones), housing density and the condition of local infrastructure. Meanwhile, cities will complete a checklist of items that will help them get ready for a project of this scale and speed."
Additionally, localities will "provide us with maps of existing conduit, water, gas and electricity lines so that we can plan where to place fiber. They'll also help us find ways to access existing infrastructure -- like utility poles -- so we don't unnecessarily dig up streets or have to put up a new pole next to an existing one."
No timetable for the build-outs have been given. In fact, the blog post trumpeting the potential expansion areas specifically notes that "while we do want to bring Fiber to every one of these cities, it might not work out for everyone."