News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 02/19/2014
Subject :

Palo Alto to Work with Google Fiber to Explore Bringing Community Ultra-High Speed Internet Access
Contact : Claudia Keith, Chief Communications Officer    650/329-2607
Jonathan Reichental, Chief Information Officer    650/329-2121
Palo Alto, CA  – Today, Palo Alto announced that it is on a short list of cities working with Google to explore the possibility of bringing ultra high speed Google Fiber broadband network to the City.

"Palo Alto competed in Google's initial competition to bring ultra high speed internet to cities," said Palo Alto City Manager James Keene.  “We are pleased to accept Google’s invitation to participate in this new phase of assessing how to bring 1 gigabit fiber to more communities.  Our collaboration will complement the open market approach our City Council has directed us to pursue to bring fiber to the premise in Palo Alto.  Google’s invitation will advance our ability to achieve this goal.”

Improving broadband speed and choice for the community has been a priority for Palo Alto for a number of years, and the City Council recently agreed to develop a master plan to explore the expansion of fiber to the premise.  Today’s average American broadband speed is 9.8 Megabits per second. In contrast, Google fiber could bring Palo Alto residents access to “Gigabit” Internet connections up to 1,000 Megabits per second – or up to 100 times faster than basic broadband.

“Communities with abundant high-speed Internet grow stronger because there’s greater potential to create jobs, drive economic growth, and help students and families get access to essential resources” said Kevin Lo, General Manager for Google Fiber. “City leaders are stepping up to see what they can do to make their cities ready for the fiber-optic networks that are the future. We look forward to working with Palo Alto in the coming months to see if we can build the next chapter of the Internet together, on gigabit speeds.”

There is huge consumer demand for faster Internet speeds, because no one likes to wait on the web. Unfortunately, many of the things people love to do online (like gaming, watching movies, video chatting) require a lot of bandwidth, which means that, using today’s connections, consumers often get stuck waiting for pages to load or for videos to buffer. Statistics show that people walk away from slow-loading sites. And gig networks aren’t just about meeting today’s speed needs. The next 100x leap in broadband speeds – to gigabit Internet – will lead to innovation that’s unimaginable today, just as the shift from dial-up to broadband did.

Starting this week, Google will work closely with Palo Alto city leaders on a joint planning process to explore what it would take to build a brand new fiber-optic network capable of delivering these gigabit speeds throughout Palo Alto. Google will begin compiling a detailed study of local factors that might affect construction plans. Simultaneously, City Manager Keene and city leaders will begin meetings with Google to discuss what it would take to plan and prepare the city for a fiber project of the scale.

Google will provide an update on which cities will get Google Fiber by the end of this year. Google Fiber is an Internet and TV service that provides Internet connectivity that is up to 100x faster than the basic broadband, along with hundreds of HD TV channels. Google Fiber is currently available in Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri and Provo Utah, and will be available in Austin, Texas later this year. For more information about this announcement, visit the Google Fiber blog.