Google turns to others to launch gigabit FTTH in San Francisco, Huntsville

Google Fiber has turned to outside help to offer its gigabit broadband services via fiber to the home (FTTH) in two new markets. The company says it will use a planned municipal network in Huntsville, AL, to offer gigabit FTTH, and will use existing fiber to serve select apartments, condominiums, and affordable housing projects in San Francisco.

Google Fiber has turned to outside help to offer its gigabit broadband services via fiber to the home (FTTH) in two new markets. The company says it will use a planned municipal network in Huntsville, AL, to offer gigabit FTTH, and will use existing fiber to serve select apartments, condominiums, and affordable housing projects in San Francisco.

Google Fiber is using in-place fiber as a foundation for providing services in Provo, UT, based on the iProvo network. However, it bought that network (see "Google offers to buy iProvo FTTH network"). And while it plans to use some in-place fiber to serve multiple-dwelling units (MDUs) in Atlanta, it also plans to build its own infrastructure there to address the majority of its customers.

Now Google appears to be open to the idea of inaugurating markets using other carriers' networks. In Huntsville, Google announced earlier this week that it will use part of the fiber-optic network Huntsville Utilities plans to install. The service provider was a bit vaguer about its San Francisco plans, announced yesterday, declining to state where it would get the fiber infrastructure.

"To date, we’ve built the majority of our Google Fiber networks from scratch. But over the past five years, we’ve repeatedly seen that every city is unique. So in order to bring Fiber to more people, we’ve taken different approaches in different places," wrote Jill Szuchmacher, director, Google Fiber expansion, as part of the Huntsville announcement.

In both cases, Google also declined to predict when it would start service and which parts of Huntsville and San Francisco it would target.

With the addition of Huntsville and San Francisco, Google Fiber says it's now engaged with 22 markets regarding its gigabit broadband offerings. However, given the fact that it is offering service in only four of these markets, a willingness to use infrastructure other than its own might accelerate service initiation in the others.

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