Web giant Google today announced that it has invited 34 cities across the United States to take part in its fibre to the premises network project that offers one gigabit per second symmetric connection speeds to customers.
The new cities are in the Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose regions. If the cities decide to take up the offer, Google Fibre will conduct an area study to scope the costs with feasibility announcements due towards the end of the year.
A conference of 100 mayors from US cities resolved to support the federal government's Gigabit City Challenge [PDF], based on earlier partnerships with Google to build networks in four cities, as well as publicly funded ones in Chattanooga, Tennessee and San Leandro, California.
Google's vice president of access services, Milo Medin, said the area study will include finding ways to utilise existing infrastructure such as electricity poles to deploy the fibre, to minimise the amount of work required.
Medin stated last year that keeping costs low through cooperation with municipal authorities was key to the success of Google Fibre.
The company has not provided any financial details on Google Fibre, but an earlier agreement with Kansas City [PDF] shows that authorities in the metro area agreed to shoulder the cost for a wide range of requirements such as electricity and office space, and will provide open access for deployment.
Already, Google Fibre is operating in three metro areas in the US. The service offerings include a basic option that is free, delivering 5Mbps internet connectivity for seven years but coming with a US$300 installation charge.
Customers opting for the US$70 or US$120 a month subscriptions do not have to pay installation or customer premises charges, and get one gigabit per second speeds on down and upstream connections.