Google is creating a 'fiber ring' in Salt Lake City and Nashville

As part of its Google Fiber deployment, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is expanding its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployment to Nashville, Tenn., and Salt Lake City. Interestingly, the company said that it is creating fiber rings in both cities by attaching fiber to utility poles.

In Salt Lake City, the company will deploy 600 miles of fiber, which will be attached to more than 20,000 utility poles which will then be attached to a point of presence on the ring. Those points then connect to five fiber huts where the company will house the electronics that serves the customers.

Distribution fiber will then go from the fiber huts to neighborhood cabinets. From the cabinets, access fiber will transport signals to homes where a network interface unit will be installed on the side of a customer's home that connects to the customer's internal wiring.

The franchise agreement with Salt Lake City requires Google "to have lines and cables placed underground to the greatest extent reasonably practicable." In particular, Google has to run cable underground in new residential areas and within the central business district, unless utility poles are already standing in the area.

Google's Nashville deployment will have the same configuration as Salt Lake City, except that in Nashville, Google plans to deploy 3,200 miles of fiber, install 18 fiber huts and attach fiber to at least 100,000 utility poles. Google has contracted with Bechtel for the Nashville project.

Google is using Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) technology for the deployments. GPON is seen as a cost-effective means of deploying FTTP.

Besides Salt Lake City and Nashville, Google is also offering Internet and TV services via FTTP in Kansas City, Mo.; Austin, Texas; and Provo, Utah. Additional launches are planned for Atlanta; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Launches are under consideration for San Antonio; Phoenix;  San Jose, Calif.; and Portland, Ore.

Although Google Fiber is new to Salt Lake City, CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) has been offering fiber to the city for some time. In an interview with FierceInstaller, Jeremy Ferkin, CenturyLink vice president of operations for Utah, California and Nevada, said that the ILEC has deployed FTTP to nearly 20,000 business locations in Utah, representing 60 percent of Utah businesses with five or more employees. Ferkin also indicated that CenturyLink has deployed FTTP to 832 schools and educational locations in Utah.

CenturyLink indicated in May that it would deploy FTTP to 100,000 residential customers by May 2016. Ferkin said that in addition to routinely deploying fiber to new or "greenfield" areas, the ILEC is in some cases also deploying FTTP in areas with existing copper.

For more:
- see this Southern Alpha article
- see this Google document
- see these CenturyLink press releases about fiber to businesses

Related articles:
Google Fiber takes on CenturyLink, Comcast in Salt Lake City with 1 Gbps service
Google Fiber incites SMB battle against CenturyLink, Comcast in Provo, Utah
Comcast to bring 2 Gig service to six new markets