Google Fiber to Ride Muni-Owned Huntsville Network

Adding a new wrinkle to its service expansion strategy, Google Fiber has inked a deal to offer gigabit and TV services on a fiber network that Huntsville Utilities is building.

Huntsville started down that path in 2014, inviting potential partners to join the effort. Google Fiber said it is on board, and has already set up a site where potential customers in Huntsville can sign up to stay apprised of the progress.

“So what comes next? Pending final approvals, Huntsville Utilities will design and construct its network,” Jill Szuchmacher, director, Google Fiber expansion, announced in this blog post. “Once the network is built, Google Fiber — or any other broadband provider — will be able to bring high speed Internet service to the city. This is just the beginning of the process, so it's too early to share dates or timelines.”

“Google’s entrance into our market bolsters our high-tech legacy, energizes our entrepreneurs, tinkers and engineers, and supports the high quality of life Huntsville is known for delivering,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said, in a statement. “Fiber to the home is the Internet infrastructure for the 21st century. It is as vital to our quality of life as roads, water, sewer and electricity.  It will become the benchmark for cities vying for talent. “

Google Fiber’s agreement with the city spells more competition for area incumbent providers Comcast and AT&T, which has included Huntsville on its plan for GigaPower, the telco’s fiber-based gigabit network.

Szuchmacher noted that most of Google Fiber’s networks have been built from scratch, but that the company has been taking different approaches in different markets.

In Provo, Utah, Google Fiber is initially offering service on the network it acquired from iProvo, and in Atlanta, Ga., Google Fiber is building its own network while also using existing fiber infrastructure to deliver service to some apartment buildings.

"And now, due to the leadership of the Mayor and Huntsville Utilities CEO Jay Stowe, we’ll be working with a muni-owned network to bring our high speed service to Huntsville," she wrote. 

In addition to Provo and parts of Atlanta, Google Fiber has also launched services in portions of Kansas City and Austin, Texas, and has deployments underway in Salt Lake City, Utah; San  Antonio, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; and Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Google Fiber is also exploring expansions in Chicago; Portland, Ore.; Los Angeles, San Jose, Irvine and San Diego, Calif.; Phoenix; Oklahoma City; Louisville, Ky.; and Jacksonville and Tampa, Fla.