SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Sept. 16, 2014 – The City of Santa Clara and Google are entering the second phase of planning to determine if and when Google will bring affordable ultra high-speed Internet connectivity to neighborhoods. The first phase of preparation involved numerous meetings between the Google Fiber City team and the city to study the existing electrical and telecom infrastructure as well as the ordinances and permit process governing the extension of optic fiber connectivity to Santa Clara neighborhoods.
Google will now examine factors that may affect construction plans, such as topography (e.g., hills, flood zones), housing density and the permit process. A decision on whether or not to proceed with the Google-funded fiber project is expected by the end of the year in Santa Clara and 33 other cities.
Meanwhile, Google is assessing the amount of interest in Google fiber in each city. Santa Clara residents wishing to express interest and learn more about the potential benefits of the service can sign up for information and post comments at www.googlefiber.com.
“Should Santa Clara and Google move forward, residents could choose to take advantage of 1-gigabit-per-second Internet and television access that is about 100 times faster than the average broadband service now available,” said Larry Owens, Silicon Valley Power (SVP) Manager of Customer Services. SVP, the City of Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility, also owns and operates an extensive fiber optic network already serving businesses, schools and city facilities.
“We’ve worked hard since March to provide Google with the information they need to make the decision,” Owens said. “Becoming a Google Fiber City would bring affordable cutting-edge connectivity to our neighborhoods.”
According to Google’s website, their proposed rates for customers in what Google calls “fiberhoods” would range from $70 a month for 1-gigabit Internet access and $120/month for 1-gigabit Internet and television. Residents could also opt to receive basic high-speed Internet access of 5 megabits/second for a one-time installation fee of $300, payable over a year, which would provide broadband for 7 years with no additional fee.
Once Google has proceeded with its Google Fiber City projects in other cities, it has usually taken well over a year to start providing service to neighborhoods that opt to subscribe to the service. Austin, TX was officially named a Google Fiber City in April 2013 and service to the first neighborhoods to subscribe is not expected until later this year. Google currently offers its 1-gigabit service in Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO.