Google Fiber plots 5-state expansion

Google Fiber is looking to aggressively expand its footprint over the next several years, with CEO Dinni Jain outlining plans to extend its reach into five new states.

Over the past several years, Google Fiber has focused on fleshing out coverage in its existing cities. Earlier this year, the operator settled a dispute with Mediacom to allow it to bring service to Wes Des Moines, Iowa. Jain noted in a blog the move into Iowa marked its first entrance into a new state in five years. Now, it’s hungry for more. Specifically, the operator wants to bring its service to Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Idaho.

“These states will be the main focus for our growth for the next several years, along with continued expansion in our current metro areas,” Jain wrote.

Asked how many markets it might be targeting in each state, a Google Fiber representative told Fierce it is “in active conversations with multiple communities in these five states. We expect to have more specifics to share in the coming weeks and months.” The representative added it does not plan to apply for government funding to help fuel its new builds.

Its interest in Arizona and Colorado will come as little surprise to those who have been following Google Fiber’s activity. The operator announced in July it was hoping to strike a deal with local government officials to bring its service to the city of Mesa, Arizona. The city council subsequently approved Google Fiber along with three other operators to serve its more than 220,000 homes and businesses.

And after Ting Internet in January inked a deal to become the anchor tenant on a sprawling fiber network being built by Colorado Springs Utilities, Google Fiber executives reportedly said in March they were also interested in signing a lease to use the same infrastructure.

Reuters reported Google Fiber chose its new state targets based on areas where it found internet speeds to be lacking. It is unclear exactly what markets it will be pursing in each state. However, according to Ookla’s Q2 2022 fixed broadband speed report, Las Vegas, Nevada; Denver, Colorado; Boise, Idaho; Phoenix, Arizona; and Omaha, Nebraska ranked among the top 30 cities with the slowest internet speeds based on median download rates.

Some of these cities correspond to locations where Fiber parent Google has data centers. For instance, Google has data centers in Storey County, Nevada near Reno and Henderson to the southeast of Las Vegas; Council Bluffs, Iowa just outside of Boise, Idaho; and Papillion, Nebraska to the southwest of Omaha.

Google Fiber already has a presence in Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. It offers its Webpass fixed wireless access service in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois and Washington state.

The Google Fiber representative said it does not share revenue or subscriber figures for the business, but noted it has “experienced robust growth in both areas in recent years."