The United States has pretty good broadband Internet, all things considered, but lags well behind esteemed rivals such as Japan, Switzerland, Israel and Bulgaria in terms of average speed. Google Fiber, a project to slowly ramp up the nation’s high-speed Internet quality, is slowly but surely helping things improve. Today, Google announced that the project will hit four new locales this year: Atlanta, Georgia, Nashville, Tennessee, and Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.
Google detailed its latest step in the Google Fiber project on the company’s official blog. Fiber, which can theoretically deliver much faster speeds than traditional broadband via fiber-optic cables, will come to approximately 18 cities located within the four metro areas later this year.
Although Google first began its Fiber program as a social experiment in Kansas City, Missouri, the program was so successful that the company has made Fiber a regular part of its growing suite of businesses. Google Fiber is now available in Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah in addition to its Kansas City roots. Both customer and civic responses have been generally favorable.
If your city wasn’t in one of the four areas covered today, Google is still investigating five more areas for a possible 2015 implementation. Portland, Oregon, San Jose, California, Salt Lake City, Utah, Phoenix, Arizona, and San Antonio, Texas are all potential contenders for Google Fiber networks.
Since Google introduced Fiber specifically with academics and entrepreneurs in mind (since they arguably need high-speed communications more urgently than the general population), it’s no surprise that the company favors areas rich in universities and startup businesses. While Google stands to make a ton of money from a fast fiber-optic network, the company still asserts that its primary goal is to foster creativity and communications.
It’s also worth noting that these four areas represent the first time Google Fiber will exist on the East Coast. Since Google has offices in New York City, one can only hope that the company might eventually choose to implement something a little further north.