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As Google and AT&T Race for Fiber-Optic Dominance, Here's Where They Might Go

Fiber fight!

Eric Johnson

Since 2012, Google has been testing high-speed fiber-optic Internet in places like Kansas City and Austin, Texas. And surprise, surprise: Here comes AT&T, with plans to bring high-speed fiber-optic Internet to places like Kansas City and Austin, Texas.

To be fair, AT&T announced it was coming to Austin a year ago, but today the telecom giant said it would attempt to expand its fiber Internet program to 21 new metropolitan areas, encompassing some 100 cities. Meanwhile, Google recently shared its own plans to expand Google Fiber to eight new cities and metropolitan areas over the next few years.

That puts both companies in a race to provide a new type of high-speed Internet to the country, and they’re starting in some of the same places. Fiber fight!

Google Fiber’s future destinations include San Antonio, Texas; San Jose, Calif.; Atlanta, Geo.; Portland, Ore.; Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Phoenix, Ariz.; and the Raleigh-Durham region of North Carolina. AT&T’s list of “candidate” locations is far greater in number, but it’s unclear how many of them will ultimately get access to the new network.

An AT&T press release said that the candidate cities are “communities that have suitable network facilities, and show the strongest investment cases based on anticipated demand, and the most receptive policies will influence these future selections and coverage maps within selected areas.” Are we having fun yet?

Both companies’ projects are set to be located all over the country. Except for Salt Lake City, Portland and Provo, many of the locations AT&T is considering cover all of the current and future sites where Google Fiber is planning to expand. As the picture above shows, it’s also looking in a few areas not on Google’s radar, particularly in the middle of the country, although it’s worth noting we used a mapping tool made by some company called Google, and cities with more than one pin are hard to discern. Here’s the same map, with AT&T’s pins on top.

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