Viva Las Vegas! Google Fiber heads for sin city

Google Fiber (GFiber) is ramping up the rollout of its Nevada network to include the City of Las Vegas.

Nick Wood

May 17, 2024

3 Min Read

The Internet giant made its first foray into the Silver State in February, when authorities in Clark County – which covers much of the Las Vegas metro area – approved a franchise agreement, paving the way for its network deployment there.

Google clearly felt sufficiently spurred on by this, because it is now negotiating a similar deal with the city itself.

"The Las Vegas City Council is currently considering an agreement that will enable us to bring fast, reliable internet to Las Vegas residents," wrote Ashley Church, general manager, west region, GFiber.

It is due to vote on the matter on 5 June.

"Once that is in place, we can get to work on the permitting process with city staff," said Church. "GFiber plans to begin construction in the City of Las Vegas early next year and serve our first customers in 2025."

GFiber isn't currently sharing specifics when it comes to the finer points of where exactly it will deploy its network. If it opts to completely blanket both Clark County and Las Vegas, then it will increase its addressable market by more than 3 million people.

According to the US Census Bureau, Clark County had a population of 2.34 million as of last July, up from 1.95 million in 2010, while the City of Las Vegas is home to nearly 661,000 residents – not including the tourists flooding in to try their luck at the casinos, of course.

"Over the past decade, Las Vegas has been one of the fastest growing cities in the country, attracting new people and businesses daily," said Church. "GFiber is looking forward to connecting this vibrant community to great Internet service, with symmetrical speeds up to 8 gig, as it continues to grow."

Usually, GFiber focuses its retail broadband efforts on underserved areas, so it might appear strange that it has targeted a location that is as seemingly well-developed as Vegas.

However, a quick tour of the major ISPs reveals that AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have yet to offer fibre there, and cableco Comcast is conspicuously absent. Cox's network serves some but not all of the city, as does CenturyLink's fibre network.

In short, there isn't a whole lot of overlap, and GFiber clearly feels sufficiently confident that Vegas isn't awash with competing FTTP providers, otherwise it would probably give it a swerve.

GFiber's Nevada network is part of an expansion plan announced in August 2022 that encompasses five states in all – the others being Arizona, Colorado, Idaho and Nebraska.

Since that announcement, GFiber has kicked off initiatives in no fewer than 11 locations across those other four states. These will soon join the other 26 GFiber cities that are either currently being rolled out or are already commercially available – heavy footfall places like Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, San Diego Seattle, and all being well, Las Vegas.

GFiber doesn't come cheap – prices start at $70 per month for symmetric 1-Gbps broadband. But its ever-increasing reach, coupled with the high performance of its network, means that slowly but surely, Google is becoming something of a heavyweight in the US fibre market.

About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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