San Francisco has joined a half-dozen other cities in queue for Google’s high-speed fiber Internet service.
Google will bring the service to some apartments, condos and affordable housing properties in San Francisco, the search giant said in a blog post Wednesday. But the rollout comes with a catch.
Instead of laying down the necessary fiber from scratch, which is a time-consuming process, Google will use existing fiber networks to try to deploy the service more quickly. However, this means only certain sections of San Francisco will qualify. Areas without existing fiber are out of luck for now.
Google Fiber is the company’s effort to rev up Internet access in the United States, where average speeds are lower than in many other countries. Faster Internet performance would be a boon to consumers and businesses alike, for everything from shopping to streaming movies. Google’s not alone in the quest. Other providers, such as Comcast and AT&T are also looking to offer higher-speed Internet access.
At 1 gigabit per second — or 1,000 megabits per second — Google Fiber is significantly faster than the average Internet connection in the US, which was measured at 12.6 megabits per second in the third quarter of 2015, according to network provider Akamai. Internet access through Google Fiber costs $70 per month.
This isn’t the first time Google will use an existing network to launch its fiber service. In Provo, Utah, Google Fiber travels over a network the company bought from the city. In Atlanta, Google uses existing fiber to offer its service to certain apartment buildings. And Monday, the company said it will offer Google Fiber in Huntsville, Alabama, using part of a network the city plans to build.