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Google Fiber Looking to Move into Phoenix

Image by LBJ Library (Flickr)

Google Fiber sets its sights on Phoenix for offering a wireless version of the traditional fiber optic.

Google wants to move in and test the new wireless version in Phoenix along with 23 other US markets according to a filing with the FCC.  The service likely would hit residential customers first, posing as a competitor to local companies Cox Communications and CenturyLink.

Phoenix has been in the Google Fiber talk for several years and missed out on the high-speed internet service last year. Despite missing out on Fiber, the Phoenix City Council approved issuing a license to Google Fiber Arizona to expand in to the area.

"When it comes to the Internet, speed matters. Today's decision will help our ability as a community to offer the ultra-fast service that is fundamental to competing and innovating in the 21st century economy," said Mayor Greg Stanton. "This is a key step forward to possibly seeing Google Fiber in our market, but it has also been good to see Cox and CenturyLink taking steps toward providing Gigabit Internet speeds as well. Ultra-fast Internet speeds are critical to our Innovation Infrastructure."

The license itself does not guarantee that Google will build, but grants the company use of city rights-of-way to build a network if and when they choose to do so and outlines the parameters under which they will operate if they proceed.

"Phoenix continues to provide choices for its residents in order to ensure digital inclusion for all," said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, chair of the City Council's Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. "The City Council was united in adding to an already competitive environment in our community.  We welcome Google Fiber and continue to support infrastructure improvements in our community."

Google Fiber's original plan to move super-fast internet across the US involved running high-bandwidth fiber-optic cable directly to each home that its network would serve. That process has so far proved to be expensive and slow-moving. Google is working to test the viability of a wireless network in hopes that the new technology can one day help move abundant internet access to more consumers.