Google Fiber could be coming to San Diego

Posted at 4:45 AM, Sep 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-11 07:45:12-04

Frustrated with your slow Internet connection? You may soon have options, as San Diego is one of three cities being considered for Google Fiber's superfast Internet, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced at a news conference Thursday in Barrio Logan.

Google will begin exploring whether San Diego has the infrastructure to support Google Fiber, which promises speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps). The other two cities being considered are Irvine and Louisville, Kentucky.

"In the coming months, Google will work with city staff to explore the possibility of bring Google Fiber to San Diego's thousands of homes and businesses," Faulconer said, while flanked by Google executives and local business leaders. "This means doing the planning and preparing necessary for a major infrastructure project of this scale."

Jill Schumacher, director of expansion for Google Fiber, said San Diego's burgeoning tech industry attracted them here.

"It's a community with a growing tech sector," Schumacher stated Thursday. "One of our goals with Google Fiber is to provide ultra-fast gigabit internet speeds to entrepreneurs and engineers."

Google will study factors including "local topography, housing density, and the condition of existing infrastructure," Google Fiber stated on its blog.

"Today, the average broadband speed in the U.S. is right around 12 Mbps," Schumacher added. "Google Fiber connections are up to 1,000 Mbps."

Faulconer cautioned that there is no certainty Google Fiber is coming to San Diego. There is no exact timeline for when the service might be available to the public.

"This doesn't mean that Google Fiber is here quite yet," Faulconer said. "It's getting closer, but there is some work to do."

Tax attorney Jordan Marks works on the go and says having fast Internet is a necessity.

"We cover five counties so I have to travel quite a bit for work."

Marks finds Internet wherever he can, including at Ryan Bros. Coffee in Barrio Logan.

"Having fast Internet, and being able to send larger packages that may be important to taxpayers, that's extremely important," Marks said.

The next stage involves planning. Schumacher and her team will work with the city to determine if Google Fiber is feasible.

"Our process over the next few months will be working very closely with the mayor and his team to research and plan out what a local fiber network would look like here in San Diego," Schumacher said. "The planning process will be very important, because it could ultimately help us determine whether or not we could bring fiber here without being too disruptive to the community."

There are currently nine metropolitan areas with some level of Google Fiber: Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Kansas City, Nashville, Provo, Raleigh–Durham, Salt Lake City and San Antonio.

Inside the Google Fiber cables are two strands, both thinner than a human hair. One is there to connect to the home, and the other one is there just in case anything goes wrong.

In cities that already have Google Fiber, residential plans are $70 a month for gigabit Internet, and $130 a month for a bundle of Internet and television. Business plans start at $100 a month.

"We want great companies to be here, small businesses to thrive here; having high-speed Internet -- gigabyte speed Internet -- is only going to help," Faulconer said.