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Dallas May Be the Next Stop for Google Fiber

Google has already brought its Fiber high-speed Internet service to six cities across the U.S., but it may soon add Dallas, the home turf of AT&T, to its list of deployment targets. In a blog post earlier today, Google announced that is “exploring the possibility” of rolling out its Fiber service in Dallas.

AT&T, which is headquartered in Dallas, is already offering its high-speed GigaPower Internet service across several major cities in Texas, and has plans to expand the service to many other parts of the state and the country. Just last week, the company announced that it was launching new GigaPower connectivity in El Paso, in addition to its current service areas in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.

Google will begin working with local leaders in Dallas to assess the area’s existing infrastructure and examine factors that could affect the deployment of Fiber in the region, according to today’s announcement. The company uses a checklist of best practices recommended by several organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, to help with the Fiber planning process in different markets.

Google Fiber Could ‘Attract More Tech Talent’

Noting that Dallas is already a significant tech industry market, Jill Szuchmacher, director of expansion for Google Fiber, wrote in a blog post today that “Google Fiber will help Dallas attract even more tech talent, and push the city further toward the future.”

Dallas is one of the 10 best cities in the U.S. in which to be a tech worker, according to a survey released in September by the financial technology company SmartAsset. Noting that the region is sometimes called the “Silicon Prairie,” SmartAsset said around 4 percent of all employees in Dallas work in the tech industry.

“Building a fiber optic network through a dense and complex urban environment like Dallas is challenging,” Szuchmacher wrote, adding that its current discussions with Mayor Mike Rawlings and other city leaders “will help us deploy our network efficiently and responsibly.”

Regional Skirmishes over High-Speed Projects

Originally launched in 2010 as an experiment to “help make Internet access better and faster for everyone,” Google Fiber is currently available in Austin; Kansas City; Provo, Utah; Nashville and Atlanta. Google is also in the process of rolling out the service to several other cities, including San Jose; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; Huntsville; Charlotte; and Raleigh-Durham.

In Dallas, there’s already a “Google Fiber for Dallas” page on Facebook, and several of its more than 1,000 followers today posted positive comments about Google’s announcement.

If Google decides to deploy Fiber in Dallas, it won’t mark the first time the company has gone head-to-head with a competitor like AT&T. Earlier this year, for instance, AT&T filed suit against the Louisville city government after officials there adopted an ordinance aimed at streamlining the deployment process for broadband Internet connectivity.

Louisville’s “One Touch Make Ready” ordinance would make it easier for Google to attach its Fiber equipment to local utility poles, but AT&T’s complaint said the city has no jurisdiction over such infrastructure.

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