Dallas could become the third city in Texas to receive Google’s Fiber high-speed Internet service.
The company has begun preliminary talks with officials to scope out the work involved in bringing the gigabit service to the city.
As part of the process, Google will work with officials to get details on the city’s topography and existing municipal-owned utility poles and electricity, gas and water lines to figure how and where to place the fiber lines needed for the service.
Google’s formal 18-page checklist of items for Fiber includes getting details on state laws and city ordinances pertaining to the reuse of existing infrastructure where possible to build out the network. Google will also require city officials to provide details on the permits and the processes that it will require to go through to build out and deploy Fiber in Dallas.
“Building a fiber-optic network through a dense and complex urban environment like Dallas is challenging,” Jill Szuchmacher, Google’s director of expansion for Fiber, wrote in a blog post this week. “These discussions will help us deploy our network efficiently and responsibly.”
Google launched Fiber about six years ago as a high-speed, relatively low-cost alternative to the available Internet services from the major incumbent carriers. More recently it has begun bundling a TV service option as well, and earlier this year, the company announced a $10 per month Google Fiber phone service that customers can sign up for when subscribing to Fiber.
The company offers two plans for residential customers—one at $70 per month featuring up to 1,000M-bps download and upload times and unlimited data, and the other at $130 per month for high-speed Internet and TV service.
Google has so far rolled out the service in six major metro areas, starting with Provo, Utah, and Kansas City, and adding Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Nashville and Austin, Texas. Google is in the process of actively deploying Fiber in another four cities—San Antonio, Huntsville, Ala., San Francisco and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. It is currently considering another 12 metro areas, including Dallas, as potential sites for rolling out the service.
Google previously claimed that Fiber’s gigabit speed service will benefit not just consumers but small businesses, as well. Some analysts have predicted that the company’s entry into the telecom space could have broad ramifications for the major players and force them to introduce similar high-speed services at similar price pints.
So far, though, those predictions have not quite played out the way some had predicted. Earlier this year, an analyst from MoffettNathanson Research said his review of data from the U.S. Copyright Office showed that a mere 53,390 customers had signed up for the Google Fiber TV option across all the cities where it was available as of Dec. 31, 2015.
While the number of customers for the stand-alone Fiber broadband service is likely higher, the relatively low number of subscribers to the TV service raises questions about just how popular Fiber really is, the analyst had noted in widely reported comments at the time.