Late last month we noted how
Google Fiber had announced they were working with 34 cities in nine regions on how to best prepare themselves for faster fiber broadband. While the press generally misread the announcement as saying that these cities would be getting Google Fiber, it seems like only one or two actually will by the time this new initiative is over.
The new plan's primary goal appears to be to share a little bit of what Google has learned about fighting the status quo from their work in Provo, Austin and Kansas City. Another goal, made obvious be Google's mention of South Carolina, is to draw greater attention to some of the protectionist bills being passed by incumbent ISPs
to block competitors and/or towns and cities from improving infrastructure themselves.
Some of you might be interested in taking a look checklist they're sending to potential partner cities
(pdf). In it, Google also notes they're discussing the option of broader Wi-Fi coverage with these target cities:
Google Fiber is also exploring the possibility of deploying Wi-Fi in future Google Fiber cities. Requirements related to Wi-Fi are not included in this checklist, but we will be discussing our Wi-Fi plans and related requirements with your city as we move forward with your city during this planning process.
While Google Fiber gets all the attention, Google has rather quietly been expanding free Google Wi-Fi to select locations in California, Georgia, and Oklahoma
. May first was the deadline for cities to respond to items on Google's checklist, which is effectively a best practices document outlining how to make improving a cities broadband infrastructure a speedier and more efficient process.
Google's expected to have more detail on this effort (as well as potential new Google Fiber cities) by sometime before the end of the year.