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Google teases more cities with bonkers-fast fiber broadband rollouts

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Google has named nine areas in the US that could be added to its high-speed fiber internet connection service.

The ad giant said that the new markets will be considered for broadband rollouts this year, with final decisions to be taken at the end of 2014.

The nine candidates include the cities of Charlotte, NC; Nashville, TN; Salt Lake City, UT; and San Antonio, TX. Google is also examining rollouts in the metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Portland, Phoenix, San Jose, and Raleigh-Durham.

Google said that it will be working with city officials in the selected areas on possible plans and maps for Google Fiber service.

"We'll work closely with each city’s leaders on a joint planning process that will not only map out a Google Fiber network in detail, but also assess what unique local challenges we might face," Google said in announcing the new cities.

"These are such big jobs that advance planning goes a long way toward helping us stick to schedules and minimize disruption for residents."

Currently, Google has deployed its gigabit-a-second fiber in Provo, UT; Austin, TX; and the Kansas City metro area. The web king hopes to push its Fiber service to 10Gbps.

Google weighed up a number of factors in choosing the nine extra markets announced today, including the presence of incumbent providers and the willingness of local governments to work with Google to take over existing infrastructures or install new fiber lines.

While the high-speed network deployments made people in Google Fiber markets the envy of disgruntled broadband customers in other locales, the deployments have come at a cost – with cities sometimes having to foot millions of dollars in costs.

Among the targets on today's list is the greater part of what is considered Silicon Valley. Santa Clara, the surrounding cities of Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale are all suggested in the San Jose proposal. Google's own headquarters are located in Mountain View, though the company already operates its own high-speed network on campus, as you'd expect (let's not mention the NSA-tapped lines between its data centers).

While Austin and Provo have both emerged as hotbeds for new technology firms, a San Jose launch would bring Google Fiber's first real foray into a major tech hub. Thus far, Google has avoided traditional strongholds such as Seattle, New York and Silicon Valley in favor of smaller, emerging markets. ®

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