Google Fiber starts lighting select condos, apartments in Nashville

Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) has launched limited services in Nashville, Tenn., offering 1 Gbps data to four apartment and condominium buildings.

Following its initial announcement that Nashville will be the next fiber city, the internet giant will face off with AT&T (NYSE: T) and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), which have already started to offer 1 Gbps services in Middle Tennessee.

Martha Ivester, head of Google Fiber operations in Nashville, would not provide the The Tennessean with specific details on what additional neighborhoods would get the service, but said it plans to connect a large amount of homes in the city.

"Our goal really is to connect the lion's share of Nashville," Ivester said, according to The Tennessean report. "Not just apartments and condos but all residents, whether they are in a single-family home or a multi-dwelling unit, and small businesses as well."

Apartment residents can use Google Fiber's "apartment finder" feature to track access to the service. The service is currently available in four of the city's buildings: Rhythm at Music Row, Element Music Row, Bristol on Broadway and Icon in the Gulch.

Similar to other rollouts in Austin, Texas, and Kansas City, Mo., these sites were chosen due to their accessibility to either the existing utility poles on which Google is placing fiber, or to its micro-trenching -- a new installation method that allows for less invasive digging of city streets to lay fiber.

Besides offering its 1 Gbps FTTH data service, Google Fiber will offer Nashville consumers its $10 a month Fiber Phone voice service.

Google Fiber has also started installing fiber in Edgehill Apartments as part of the federal ConnectHome initiative that will offer free service to economically challenged residents.

While AT&T and Comcast may be ahead of Google Fiber in Nashville's 1 Gbps race, Ivester said that having three competitors in one market will provide residents with greater choice.

"A year ago people in Nashville had no gig opportunities," Ivester said. "As of (Wednesday), there will be three options for people. That is a great thing for Nashville. Philosophically, the more innovation that can happen in Nashville is a great thing for the city and a great thing for Google Fiber."

Regardless of how many homes Google Fiber initially reaches, it's clear that its presence in various markets continues to influence the way that AT&T and other competitors price their 1 Gbps service.

Comcast plans to offer a $70 monthly price for its 1 Gbps service for customers willing to sign a three-year contract, or $139.95 a month without a contract. Likewise, AT&T lowered the price of its 1 Gbps service in markets like Austin to $70 a month.

Even if customers do not want 1 Gbps service from AT&T or Comcast, a number of residential customers have used Google's presence to negotiate a better service rate for slower speed broadband tiers.

For more:
- The Tennessean has this article
- see this Google Fiber tweet

Related articles:
Google Fiber's presence continues to force broadband pricing hand of AT&T, CenturyLink and Comcast
Google Fiber begins FTTH construction in San Antonio, but can't confirm service delivery timeline
Google Fiber unveils 25 Mbps broadband plan for low-income families
Google Fiber shutters free Internet service in Kansas City