Google Fiber expansion news on ice

Google has slammed the brakes on its Google Fiber roll-out, telling eager internet addicts that its plans to go live in fresh cities across the US before the end of the year have been postponed until 2015. The search giant had originally maintained it would have an answer on the next locations to get high-speed service by the holidays, with many hoping to receive the gift of insanely fast connectivity – or at least the promise of it – among their other presents. However, 33 cities will now have to wait until the new year before they find out who gets fiber and when.

Google had previously confirmed that Raleigh, Durham, and Charlotte in North Carolina, along with Atlanta, San Antonio, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Portland, Oregon, and San Jose, California were all on the shortlist.

Service is currently operational in just a handful of locations, including Austin, Texas, Kansas City, Mo., and Provo, Utah.

"We've been working closely with cities ... to figure out how we could bring them Google Fiber, and we're grateful for their vision, commitment, and plain old hard work," Google said in a statement. "While we were hoping to have an update for cities before the holidays, we have a bit more work to wrap up; we'll be back in touch sometime early next year."

No specifics on the cause of the delayed decision have been given, though Google spokespeople have previously hinted that the company may have rushed into earlier installations without doing its homework first.

Diving in head-first with some cities had been "like getting married without having ever dated," Google Fiber director of business development Jill Szuchmacher said earlier this month, the Triangle Business Journal reports. Szuchmacher pointed to the value of a better understanding of pre-existing conditions, which inevitably takes time before any announcement can be made.

"If there's infrastructure built, there is no reason to dig up a street," she insisted.

Meanwhile, several other companies are continuing their own fiber service roll-outs, including AT&T. With speeds hitting the gigabit point, for both uploads and downloads, part of the process for Google and others has been figuring out exactly what users will actually do with all that bandwidth.

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