Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) is considering Oklahoma City and two Florida cities, Jacksonville and Tampa, as areas where it could bring its 1 Gbps FTTH service.
Similar to the work it started in Irvine, Calif., Louisville, Ky., and San Diego, Google Fiber said these cities are good candidates as they all have a number of new small businesses popping up.
"Their list of accolades is long -- from Jacksonville's title as a top 10 city for tech jobs, to Tampa Bay's #2 spot on the list of best cities for young entrepreneurs, to Oklahoma City's recognition as the #1 city to launch a business," Jill Szuchmacher, director of Google Fiber Expansion, said in a blog post. "One of our goals is to make sure speed isn't an accidental ceiling for how people and businesses use the Web, and these cities are the perfect places to show what's possible with gigabit Internet."
During the next step in the evaluation process, Google Fiber will work with local leaders in each city to develop "detailed studies" of each of these metro areas. As part of that process, it will look at various elements that could be a factor in building the network such as local infrastructure and housing density.
"City leaders will use our checklist to share key information such as maps of water and electricity lines," Szuchmacher said. "Early preparations not only help with our decision-making process -- they help cities lay the groundwork for any service provider to enter the market."
Upon completing the evaluation process, Google Fiber will decide whether it can bring its FTTH service to these areas.
Today, the service provider is at various stages of serving customers, designing and building networks, or exploring the possibility of delivering service in 15 other metro areas.
The service provider has also been making progress in other cities, including San Jose, Calif., and Portland, Ore.
According to a San Jose Mercury News report, the provider is in the process of seeking permission from the city council to build two "fiber huts," a sign that that the Silicon Valley city could be the next stop on its FTTH journey.
Meanwhile in Portland, the service provider has begun hiring local staff to build the service. A report in The Oregonian lists two new hires: Chris Taylor as senior program manager and Daniel Pickens-Jones, who joined Google Fiber in March as a local partnership manager in California and now lives in Portland.
Gaining a more favorable permitting and local ordinance process has been key to Google Fiber's expansion strategy. But that has been only one issue Google Fiber has to overcome.
In some markets like Scottsdale, Ariz., a decision on whether it can operate as a service provider has faced legal battles from local incumbent cable operator Cox Communications, which accused the city council of giving the Internet giant a number of concessions. Cox said that the local government developed what it calls a regulatory framework that exempts Google Fiber from obligations imposed on cable operators for its planned fiber rollout in the city.
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