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Google Fiber: No ‘Serious’ Talks About British Expansion

When it comes to building out fiber networks and the delivery of 1 Gbps speeds, talk is cheap. Actual deployments? That’s something else entirely.

When it comes to a report that Google Fiber is eyeing an expansion into Great Britain, Google acknowledged that there have been some informal talks, and nothing more.

"We have informal conversations with other telecom companies all the time. But we've never had any serious planning discussions about bringing Google Fiber to Britain,” a Google spokesperson said, in a statement.

That’s in response to a report by The Telegraph that Google is sizing up possibilities in several British cities and held “detailed talks” about that recently with CityFibre, a company that targets “second tier cities” in the U.K., and already has deployed more than 30,000 kilometers of fiber. Its biggest fiber-to-the-home deployment in Bournemouth connects more than 21,000 homes in the coastal resort town.

The paper said talks between CityFibre and Google Fiber have not resulted in a contract, but said a tie-up would would apply pressure on BT to upgrade its infrastructure. Virgin Media, now owned by Liberty Global, is the U.K.’s largest cable operator. Its top-end residential DOCSIS 3.0 tier offers speeds up to 152 Mbps.

And depending on how broadly Google Fiber decides to expand in the U.S., its domestic activities will likely keep the company busy for a while. On Thursday’s earnings call, Google execs said expansion talks with individual U.S. cities are progressing, and that Google Fiber expects to provide a more detailed update on its going-forward plans later this year.