Google Fiber begins 1 Gbps service rollout in Huntsville, Alabama

Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) is moving ahead with its FTTH build in Huntsville, Alabama as utility crews began installing fiber over the past week that will support its low-priced 1 Gbps Internet service.

Set to be completed in mid-2017, Google Fiber will provide its 1 Gbps service to residents and small- to medium-sized businesses, and plans to cover the entire city within four years.

But to get its service to customers, Google Fiber will leverage the fiber network that will be built by local utility company Huntsville Utilities, which will own the planned dark fiber network. Huntsville Utilities will lease access on the network to Google Fiber, which in turn will connect customers to a FTTH internet service.

Utility crews have begun laying the main line cables that will connect to distribution hubs where service providers who want to lease capacity on the network will be able to connect to the middle mile network.

The installation of the distribution network is set to start this summer and will include hubs and colocation points where Google Fiber and other service providers like AT&T (NYSE: T) and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) could connect to get network access.

Crews began laying the large, main line cables which will eventually connect to distribution hubs where companies who wish to lease capacity will connect to the system. Installation of the distribution network is slated to begin this summer. The network will include "hubs" and "co-location structures" where Google Fiber and other customers can connect.

What's interesting about Huntsville for Google Fiber is that like in San Francisco, the service provider is going to leverage existing network infrastructure.

Joining Google Fiber is AT&T, which cited Huntsville as one of the 38 cities where it plans to build its 1 Gbps FTTH service next. For its part, AT&T and Comcast aren't concerned about Google Fiber coming to town, saying that they can ramp up their network quickly.

In a February blog post, Google Fiber said that it will consider various methods in each city it plans to deliver service, which will include using existing network infrastructure.  

"To date, we've built the majority of our Google Fiber networks from scratch," Google said. "But over the past five years, we've repeatedly seen that every city is unique. So in order to bring Fiber to more people, we've taken different approaches in different places."

Huntsville's new open access middle mile network is part of a year-long process the city began in 2015 when it started to look for ways to entice broadband providers like Google Fiber to come to its city by issuing a request for information (RFI).

For more:
- Birmingham Business Journal has this article

Related articles:
Google Fiber joins AT&T, Comcast in Huntsville, Ala.'s 1 Gbps party
Southern Light to build 1,650 mile dark fiber network
AT&T to light 38 new metro markets with 1 Gig service