Google Fiber's wireline broadband is expanding to West Des Moines, Iowa, where it will build an open-access network that any ISP can use to offer service. This will allow high-speed internet providers to enter the market by leasing in the conduit network, and help increase competition and further the goal that all residents across the city have access to "world-class internet".
This is a first in more than four years for Google after it had "paused" plans to expand to new cities in October 2016, and it is a part of a public-private partnership.
In the case of West Des Moines, Google Fiber will rely on the city to build a network of fiber conduits. Google said in an announcement, "Municipalities like West Des Moines excel at building and maintaining infrastructure. At digging and laying pipes under the roads, restoring and preserving the sidewalks and green spaces, reducing traffic congestion, and lowering construction disruption.
"Tonight’s announcement not only marks an exciting step forward for the people of West Des Moines and Google Fiber, but it demonstrates the innovative power of public and private sector collaboration, showcasing what each party — a city and a company — does best."
The West Des Moines government's announcement followed, saying, "once the City installs conduit in the public right of way, broadband providers will pay a license fee to install their fiber in the City's conduit. Google Fiber will be the first tenant in the network."
Google Fiber's previous buildouts have only covered a portion of each city, based on where demand was highest. But West Des Moines is aiming for universal coverage, and Google Fiber said it will offer the service "city-wide."
The collaboration is unique in the sense that Google Fiber's previous buildouts had only covered a portion of each city based on demand. However, in West Des Moines, Google Fiber said it aims to offer "universal coverage".
The construction is to begin this fall. It is expected to be completed in about two and a half years.