Chicago and LA teased with promise of Google gigabit pipes

AT&T also has big rollout, provided you don't mind being tracked

Fiber optics

Google has added two of the largest cities in the US to its ranks of potential fiber markets.

The Mountain View advertising giant and sometimes ISP said it would be adding Chicago and Los Angeles as "potential" markets for its gigabit broadband internet service.

As potential cities, Google has given no commitment or expected date to begin service, but has presented cities with the chance to land fiber service should they meet the Chocolate Factory's requirements list for service.

The requirements cover infrastructure and construction permits Google would need to run its fiber lines, as well as a commitment from the city to allow other carriers to make interconnect link-ups to the lines.

"As we've explored bringing Fiber to other metros across the U.S., we've worked to refine our checklist and prepare for building our network in different places," wrote Google Fiber expansion director Jill Szuchmacher.

"Now, we're ready to use that same process to work with two of the biggest cities in the country. Home to a combined 6+ million people, Chicago and LA are the two largest metros we've engaged with to date."

AT&T, meanwhile, said it was going to be adding 38 new cities in 20 US states to its GigaPower service. The AT&T gigabit service will be rolled out in major cities including Detroit, Los Angeles, Cleveland, San Diego, Memphis, and St. Louis.

In total, AT&T estimates that the GigaPower service will cover 14 million people following the latest expansion. The GigaPower service was first launched two years ago in Austin, TX, and has followed a similar model to Google in first offering the service to smaller select markets and then expanding into larger cities.

While AT&T has been pumping resources into expanding GigaPower recently, some of the telco giant's policies with the service have not been met warmly, with the company getting some criticism over its Internet Preferences ad tracking platform that charges customers extra cash to disable its monitoring features. ®

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