Enlarge /. Illustration of fiber optic cables.
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Google Fiber wired broadband is expanding into a new city for the first time in several years as part of a public-private partnership to build an open access network that anyone can use to provide services. The new network is located in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Google Fiber "paused" plans to expand to new cities in October 2016 due to lawsuits from established ISPs and construction problems that eventually led to the ISP's complete exit from Louisville. In West Des Moines, however, Google Fiber will rely on the city to build a network of fiber optic lines.
"Communities like West Des Moines are characterized by building and maintaining infrastructures. They dig and lay pipes under the streets, restore and maintain sidewalks and green spaces, reduce traffic congestion and reduce construction interruptions," Google Fiber said yesterday in an announcement.
The West Des Moines government announcement said, "As soon as the city installs the conduit publicly, broadband providers will pay a license fee to install their fiber in the city conduit. Google Fiber will be the first tenant on the network." A conduit license agreement "requires Google Fiber to cover part of the cost of building conduit … through their monthly lease payments."
"On a monthly basis, Google Fiber would pay the city $ 2.25 for every household connecting to the network," said the Des Moines Register. Google Fiber would pay the city at least $ 4.5 million over 20 years.
Construction is scheduled to begin in autumn and will be completed in about two and a half years, the city said. While Google Fiber is expected to be the first tenant to offer fiber services through the West Des Moines network, the city hopes to boost broadband competition by having other ISPs install their own fibers in the conduits.
Current ISPs in West Des Moines are CenturyLink and Mediacom.
The city aims to cover all houses and businesses
The previous Google Fiber buildings covered only a portion of each city, depending on where demand was greatest. But West Des Moines is aiming for universal coverage, and Google Fiber said it would offer a "city-wide" service.
"Every home and business in West Des Moines is entitled to a free connection point from its property to the municipal fiber line," the city said. "The city will install these connections and will contact every company and resident in the near future to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate." The city also said it plans to provide high-speed broadband to "all residents, regardless of their means."
The city said it would pay its share of the construction costs by issuing bonds instead of increasing property taxes. "West Des Moines plans to invest nearly $ 40 million in the project," the Des Moines Register wrote, adding that city officials intend to "get bids for the underground line that will house the fiber optic cables." ".
While Google Fiber has largely given up its own fiber optic design, in some cities it offers wireless home Internet service through its Webpass subsidiary. Google Fiber’s announcement says the ISP will continue to investigate “partnerships” with other cities:
It's not the first time Google Fiber has worked with a city to create a fiber network. In Huntsville, Alabama, we rent Huntsville Utilities fiber to provide high-speed Internet service in this city.
Whether in Huntsville, West Des Moines, or anywhere else, our goal is to work with communities to find the right model that will provide more people and businesses with superior Internet and increase competition. We will continue to explore partnerships with other future-oriented cities, utilities and businesses. Finally, there is still so much to do to make the internet service faster and more affordable, and to give everyone the great internet they deserve.
The list of cities where Google Fiber offers either wired or wireless services can be found here.