Google Fiber Is Back on the March, Touts 16th FTTH Market in Pocatello, Idaho

Google Fiber
(Image credit: Google Fiber)

Three weeks after bringing 8 Gbps symmetrical fiber-to-the-home speeds to Mesa, Arizona, Google Fiber said late last week that it’s on now the move for the first time in Idaho, where it will debut FTTH services in Pocatello next year. 

Google didn't announce which of its FTTH speed tiers will be available in the city of around 57,000 residents — these range from the  $70-a-month 1 gigabit-per-second base plan to the high-end $150-a-month 8-gig tier. 

Google Fiber announced plans last summer (opens in new tab) to deploy 5- and 8-Gbps symmetrical services in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Idaho.

For Pocatello, Google Fiber has set up a page (opens in new tab) for residents to sign up and track progress of the buildout. 

“We’re kicking off the engineering process and working with the city to get ready for construction, which we expect to start late this year,“ Silvia Castro, Google Fiber's government and community affairs manager for Utah and Idaho, said in a blog post. “We plan to begin connecting Pocatello residents and businesses to fast, reliable internet in the middle of 2024.”

In Pocatello, which is home to Idaho State University, Google Fiber will compete with Cable One, among other telecom companies. As Light Reading noted (opens in new tab), Cable One launched gigabit-download-speed service in Pocatello back in 2016 and has plans to upgrade the area as part of its DOCSIS 4.0 “10G” rollout. 

Light Reading also has a comprehensive list of the 22 markets where Google Fiber has deployed FTTH and its multi-occupancy-building-targeted "WebPass" services. In all, Google Fiber has deployed FTTH into 16 markets across 12 states. Webpass is available in six areas across California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois and Washington. 

Back in 2016, it appeared that Google might be losing interest in fiber internet service — as it sometimes does with certain business ventures. It laid off 9% of its workforce that year (opens in new tab), paused expansion in 11 cities and completely withdrew from Louisville, Kentucky.  

But it’s on the move again.

Speaking to Fierce Telecom (opens in new tab) earlier this month, Mark Strama, general manager of expansion markets for Google Fiber, said his division is in talks with at least two municipalities in Idaho and around five in Nevada.

“We do a pretty complicated analysis of cost of construction and housing density to see whether it meets the criteria that would enable us to pay back the investment,” Strama told Fierce. “It’s when homes are sparse that you have to build lots of linear footage to get to a customer … we have to make deployment of the network affordable.”

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!