Google’s super-fast Internet service could come to Los Angeles – Los Angeles Times
Alphabet Inc. said it would explore adding its super-fast Internet service to Los Angeles, the largest city yet in the tech giant’s nascent bid to build a network of hyper-connected urban centers called Google Fiber.
The announcement Tuesday, which provided few details, comes only a day after AT&T said it would expand its equivalent of super-fast broadband service into 38 additional cities, including parts of L.A.
L.A. city officials have been calling on Internet providers to upgrade their speeds to match some of the leading cities for connectivity such as Seoul and Tokyo.
Google Fiber is currently available in three cities: Kansas City, Mo.; Provo, Utah; and Austin, Texas. The service will soon roll out in six other cities: Salt Lake City; Atlanta; San Antonio; Nashville; Charlotte, N.C.; and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. The company is also trying to bring Google Fiber to San Diego, Irvine and Chicago, which was named alongside L.A. in Tuesday’s announcement.
Google Fiber starts at around $70 a month for users and climbs to about $130 with access to more than 150 TV channels. The service includes Internet speeds of 1 gigabit per second, which represents about 40 times faster uploading speeds and 100 times quicker downloading speeds than the typical service used by Angelenos, according to network testing company Ookla.
L.A. recently put out a bid for companies to introduce gigabit Internet access, offering up to $1 billion in incentives, including expedited permitting and a guarantee to become a customer.
Google Fiber is working independently of the city project, however, and said it would shoulder the costs of adding super-fast Internet to the nation’s second-largest city.
Any work would mean thousands of miles of fiber cable being either laid underground or added to electrical poles.
“It is a significant investment,” said Jill Szuchmacher, Google Fiber’s director of expansion.
Szuchmacher said the company will now begin the months-long process of determining what permitting, infrastructure upgrades and partnerships with city departments will be required to add Google Fiber to L.A.
She could not estimate how long such a project would take to complete or say whether the service would be introduced in phases to different neighborhoods.
“This is just the beginning of the conversation,” Szuchmacher said.
Google Fiber has been working closely with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti‘s office.
“Having high-speed, available, and affordable access to the Internet is important to virtually everybody across the world,” the mayor said in a statement. “We expect that Google Fiber’s entrance into Los Angeles, their largest market to date, will benefit everyone here in the city.”
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