Nashville on short list for Google Fiber expansion

Planning process to culminate late this year

Technology giant Google says the Nashville area is among nine U.S. metros that might get the company’s gigabit internet network.

The announcement by Google comes five months after the company said the Entrepreneur Center would become one of seven Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hubs. Between now and the announcement late this year of the chosen cities, Google officials will work Metro leaders to map out a possible Google Fiber network and tally up the potential hurdles. Also in the hunt for a Google Fiber buildout are Atlanta, Charlotte, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Jose. (Austin, Kansas City and Provo, Utah, already have Fiber networks.)

“We’re going to work on a detailed study of local factors that could affect construction, like topography (e.g., hills, flood zones), housing density and the condition of local infrastructure. Meanwhile, cities will complete a checklist of items that will help them get ready for a project of this scale and speed,” said Milo Medin, vice president of Google Access Services, in a blog post. “For example, they’ll provide us with maps of existing conduit, water, gas and electricity lines so that we can plan where to place fiber. They’ll also help us find ways to access existing infrastructure — like utility poles — so we don’t unnecessarily dig up streets or have to put up a new pole next to an existing one.”

Understandably, city officials are excited about today’s news. Mayor Karl Dean said “this announcement speaks to our momentum as a city of the future and, in a statement, the Nashville Technology Council said Google’s inclusion of Nashville “shows the strides we’ve made as a creative community and why we’re becoming known as a technology town.”