Big speed boost for the Bay Area

San Francisco

It’s a big deal when Google announces expansion plans for its 1Gbps Fiber service because it’s comparatively affordable and of course crazy fast. The service is also fairly rare—it’s only available in a few locations at the moment—but little by little, it’s expanding. One of the places Google Fiber is headed to is San Francisco. Well, sort of.

In the six years since Google’s been driving its Fiber initiative, it’s focused mostly on building fiber-optic networks from scratch. That’s not always possible, or feasible, so more recently Google’s been looking at different ways to serve big cities. What it decided on for San Francisco is to tap into an existing fiber network to service parts of the city—namely, some apartments, condos, and affordable housing properties.

“In thinking about how best to bring Google Fiber to some residents in this unique city, we considered a number of factors, including the city’s rolling hills, miles of coastline, and historic neighborhoods. By using existing fiber to connect some apartments and condos, as we’ve done before, we can bring service to residents more quickly,” Google stated in a blog post.

This is similar to how Google approached things in Atlanta, Georgia, where it utilized an existing fiber-optic network to bring its service to some apartment complexes in the suburbs. And in Provo, Utah, Google outright purchased an existing fiber-optic network rather than build its own.

Also as part of Google’s high-speed expansion into San Francisco, it wants to help people get online for the first time. To do that, it will connect some public and affordable housing properties to 1Gbps service for free, something it’s done in other areas as well.

Google said there’s a lot work to do before all this can happen, so it doesn’t have details on timing or which specific areas will benefit from the roll out.

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