Google eyes Fiber in North Carolina and Tennessee

Details of Google's upcoming expansion of its high-speed Internet service are starting to coalesce. In addition to the earlier reported addition of North Carolina cities, it seems that Google has put down lines in Tennessee as well. It may not be the more ambitious nine areas that Google mentioned early 2014, but it's still some progress, albeit small, in Google Fiber's reach. This insider tip couldn't have come at a better time, when Google has been rumored to be planning on launching its own wireless service as well.

February last year, Google said it was planning on bringing Fiber to Internet users in nine metro areas. According to insider sources, four of those, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durnham in North Carolina as well as Nashville, Tennessee, will see the fulfillment of that promise this week. The other five are said to include Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Phoenix, Portland in Oregon. and San Jose, California. When those will have their share is not yet known, but Google says the expansion isn't over yet, according to those sources.

Since its launch in 2012, Google Fiber has only been available in Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri and Provo, Utah. There, Google is able to deliver Internet speeds up to 10 times faster than your usual ISP, around 1 Gigabit per second. Those are definitely juicy numbers, which would explain why Internet savvy users are eager to hear more about Google's Fiber plans. And although Google claims this is not yet the end game for Fiber, the rate of expansion raises doubts about the service's future.

In fact, not everyone is convinced or excited. A good number of investors on Wall Street consider Google Fiber just as a ploy by the tech giant to get Internet providers to step up their game, despite Google's insistence that Fiber is a legitimate business for them. And some of the cities are not even sure how to best treat Google Fiber's entry into their jurisdiction. In Portland, Oregon, lawmakers have yet to tackle the thorny issue of tax-assessment rules as they apply to Google Fiber, a situation that is reportedly causing Google to delay to bring the service to the city.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal