SAN FRANCISCO — Google wants to offer ultra-fast Internet service in 34 more cities scattered across eight states in the company's boldest challenge to cable and telecommunications providers.
The ambitious expansion of "Google Fiber" announced Wednesday targets major U.S. cities including Atlanta; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The service derives its name from the fiber-optic cables that Google installs to deliver online data instead of clunky copper lines. The sleeker technology allows Google Fiber customers to surf the Internet at a speed of one gigabit per second, up to 100 times faster than existing broadband services. Google Fiber boasts that its service can download an entire movie in less than two minutes.
The plans to move into so many other cities are the clearest sign yet that Google, already the Internet's most powerful Internet company, intends to become a bigger player in providing access to the Internet, too. Launched as an experimental project in 2010, Google Fiber so far is only available in Kansas City, Kan.; Kansas City, Mo. and Provo, Utah. It is coming to Austin, Texas later this year.