Google Fiber extends fiber optic internet service to Des Moines
Google Fiber plans to extend its fiber optic Internet service to Des Moines.
In March, the company began offering its one- or two-gigabit service, which is about 100 times faster than the average broadband connection, to residents of West Des Moines. At the time, West Des Moines was one of 17 metropolitan areas nationwide, and the only one in Iowa, to have access to its service.
Andy Simpson, general manager of the company’s central region, said more customers than expected signed up in West Des Moines, so moving to Des Moines made sense. Simpson refused to give a number of West Des Moines customers to sign up.
“Des Moines (has) been on our to-do list for a while,” Simpson said. “It was timely from where we were as a company and a team. It’s an area we knew wanted fast, reliable internet.”
Google Fiber’s goal is to begin construction this year, Simpson said. It didn’t have an estimate of when the service might go live in Des Moines, and Des Moines City Manager Scott Sanders said Google didn’t tell the city where it had intends to install its fiber optic cables.
“We don’t know how much of the community they’re actually going to integrate,” Sanders said.
The company is still determining where it will offer the service, Simpson said.
“Our goal is to provide service to as many residents and addresses as possible,” Simpson said. “But it’s still very early days and we need to design the main roads and then get into the specific neighborhoods,” Simpson said.
West Des Moines paid $40 million to build fiber optic conduits and gave Google Fiber temporary exclusive use of those conduits. The company will build its own conduits in Des Moines, according to Sanders.
“They will be responsible for the entire conduit and fiber investment as they pass through Des Moines,” he said.
Indiana-based MetroNet began offering fiber-optic internet service in Des Moines about a year ago. MetroNet also offers service in Davenport, Bettendorf, and Ames, with networks under construction in nearly 20 other Iowa cities, including Carlisle, Grimes, Iowa City, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, and Urbandale.
West Des Moines-based Mediacom offers fiber optic internet service in Des Moines, and CenturyLink offers the service in parts of the city.
Sanders said another fiber optic internet provider is welcome in the city, and he hopes more competition will bring prices down to make superfast internet available to more people.
“Affordability is the next hurdle the city is concerned about,” he said.