Google Fiber takes on AT&T, Verizon in Shawnee, Kan.

Google Fiber (Nasdaq: GOOG) on Thursday said that it is extending its fiber to the home (FTTH) service into Shawnee, Kan., where it will take on established telcos AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ).

The Internet giant has recently been on an active streak of network expansions. Google announced in April that it would bring the service to Austin, Texas and, no less than two weeks later, to Provo, Utah.

Similar to these network expansions, Google Fiber will offer speeds that will far surpass what residents can get from AT&T and Verizon, both of which currently offer speeds on their DSL networks between 10-25 Mbps.

Although Shawnee is located southwest of Kansas City, which will make for an easier extension plan, the service provider has not given a timeline of when the service will be available.

Rachel Hack, community manager for Google Fiber, said in a blog post that they have a "lot of planning and engineering work to do before we're ready to bring Fiber to Shawnee."

Google said that the debut of its fiber service fits in well with Shawnee's mentality of using technology to help support residents and businesses.  

"We've also been impressed by Shawnee's vision to keep their citizens informed and involved using the Internet," wrote Hack. "Recently, the City modernized their website, so that locals can easily access city info--from crime maps to fiscal reports to streamed audio of city council meetings."

After city officials voted to approve the service provider's move to bring their service to the city, Google and the city announced the news together.   

"The ultra-high speed Google fiber network will enhance the quality of life for people in Shawnee by providing faster access to essential digital resources," said Shawnee's Mayor Jeff Meyers in a release announcing the new agreement. "This will grow and strengthen Shawnee's competitive advantage in the years to come."

While it's still unclear how broad Google Fiber is going to go with its FTTH plans, it is prompting two of the top telcos--AT&T and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL)--to reveal their own 1 Gbps plans.

CenturyLink announced this week that it would begin a 1 Gbps FTTH pilot deployment in Omaha, while AT&T earlier in the month revealed its plans for a similar network in Austin.

For more:
- see this blog post
- see the city's release

Special report: The Contenders: Municipal fiber providers meeting or beating the incumbent competition

Editor's Corner: Is AT&T's 1 Gig response to Google Fiber real or fantasy?

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