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Google Fiber Shortlist Cities Eyeing Free Gigabit Internet for Schools

Google has announced a shortlist of 34 cities in nine metropolitan areas that could be next to receive Google Fiber, and the company may also provide free gigabit Internet service to some schools in those cities.

Google Fiber is the company's fiber optic Internet infrastructure being implemented in select cities throughout the United States. According to information on the company's site, it provides connection speeds of up to 1 Gbps, also known as gigabit Internet, which is "100 times faster than today's basic broadband." Homes in the neighborhoods served by Google Fiber can subscribe to the company's gigabit Internet and TV services. The company also provides free basic Internet service of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speed to anybody in the areas served by Google Fiber.

Google Fiber is already in place in Kansas City and is set to roll out in Provo, UT and Austin, TX next. Cities on the shortlist for potential future rollouts include Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Nashville, TN; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX; Phoenix, AZ; Portland, OR; Raleigh-Durham, NC and San Jose, CA.

Google provides free gigabit Internet to public and nonprofit organizations such as schools, libraries and community centers selected by the city as part of the company's Community Connections program. Schools can use Google Fiber to provide students with access to online learning resources, as well as for collaboration and communication.

The Google Fiber Community Connections program includes:

  • A free symmetric gigabit Internet connection (up to 1 Gbps upload and 1 Gbps download) over Google Fiber’s network for the duration of time specified in the company's contract with the city;
  • Dedicated 24/7 phone, as well as e-mail and chat support and next-business-day on-site support;
  • 1 static public IPv4 address and 256 IPv6 LAN networks (/56); and
  • Choice of a Google Fiber Jack or Google Network Box.

In some cases, the company will even cover the cost of construction and installation associated with implementing Google Fiber at public institutions.

Further information about the Community Connections program can be found on Google Fiber's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].