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Day After AT&T Announcement, Google Fiber Says It's Coming to Its Two Biggest Cities Yet

L.A. and Chicago get on the Google Fiber docket.

Gilles Mingasson | Chicago

Get ready for the fiber fight.

Yesterday, AT&T unveiled a list of 38 new cities where it pledged to bring high-speed Internet. Missing from that list are most of the markets claimed by Google Fiber, the competing broadband service that has nudged the telco to speed up its services.

Not to be outdone, Google Fiber declared this morning that it is also adding cities — its biggest yet. Chicago and Los Angeles now join 15 other U.S. cities the broadband and cable service, now a division of a separate Alphabet subsidiary, has in its sights. Thus far, Google Fiber has stuck to medium-sized cities across the south and west coast, where it can more readily lay down its fiber pipes. The unit fiddled with a larger metropolis, San Francisco, but opted not to pursue it after too many hiccups and hurdles.

In a blog post, Google Fiber cited the entertainment industry in L.A. and (very budding) startup scene in Chicago as the rationale for their selection. “Whether it’s filmmaking or entrepreneurship or more abundant bandwidth at home, Chicago and L.A. are the perfect cities to show us what’s possible with gigabit Internet,” wrote Jill Szuchmacher, head of Google Fiber’s expansion.

AT&T also declared it would be coming to Los Angeles. Worth noting: These declarations from both companies are merely that — statements that the companies have begun talks with the cities about rolling out the expensive gigabit network. The hard part is actually doing it.

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