“While we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to bring Fiber to Chicago and L.A., this is a big step for these cities and their leaders,” Jill Szuchmacher, director of Google Fiber’s expansion efforts, wrote in a blog. “Expansion planning for a project of this size is a huge undertaking.”
There are now 20 cities where Google Fiber is providing service already, building its network or considering building, including Atlanta and Austin. The 20 metro areas contain about 5% of the total U.S. population and include six of the 10 largest U.S. cities by population.
Its expansion plans have become a lot more aggressive since Google re-organized itself into the Alphabet holding company earlier this year. The goal is to give newer businesses more freedom to invest while making them more accountable for their financial performance.
“Google Fiber looking at big cities is a sign of greater aggressiveness,” said Blair Levin, who led broadband Internet initiatives at the Federal Communications Commission for several years. “It is ultimately going to have to stand on its on two feet, without the support it previously required from Alphabet. To do that, it needs a certain scale that requires a presence in a number of bigger cities.”