Phoenix Not Yet Advancing in the Google Fiber Sweepstakes
Google announced today that four more U.S. cities will be getting Google Fiber, and Phoenix isn't one of them.
The company had announced nearly a year ago that Phoenix was one of nine metro areas in the United States where it wanted to bring Google Fiber, its Internet service advertised as being "100 times faster than today's basic broadband."
Google announced today that Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham will get Google Fiber service, while the other cities -- including Phoenix -- remain "potential Fiber cities."
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We didn't immediately hear back from Google or the city as to why Phoenix didn't make the cut, but we'll update this post with any word we get. (See update below.)
Google has explored bringing Fiber to Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe, and the mayors of those three cities last year held a joint press conference to announced that they were intent on doing anything they could to land the service.
A Google employee at that press conference explained how the company needed to work closely with the cities in order for Google to build the Fiber network infrastructure, although it was made clear that direct subsidies weren't up for grabs.
"We're also continuing to explore bringing fiber to five additional metro areas--Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose, and will have updates on these potential Fiber cities later this year," Google's announcement today says.
A few months after Google's announcement last year, Cox Communications announced it would start offering similar Internet speeds to residential customers, although that service is still unavailable to most.
In places where Google already offers gigabit-speed Internet, like Kansas City, it's $70 a month. In comparison, Cox's fastest cable Internet package is advertised as 150 megabits per second download speed (about one-seventh the speed of Fiber) for an introductory price of $80 per month.
UPDATE 5:39 p.m.: We've heard from both Google and the city, and neither sides were too detailed.
From Google's public policy and government affairs manager Angie Welling: "Google Fiber remains committed to the Phoenix Valley, just as Valley leaders are committed to creating local economies and a competitive marketplace fueled by technology and innovation. We have made great progress in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe -- we are excited about ongoing talks with the cities and what the future holds for Google in the Valley of the Sun."
And from city spokeswoman Deborah Ostreicher: "We are among their top cities and this is a huge priority for us. We are working closely with them under the leadership of the mayor and council, who are extremely focused on this."
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