After months of speculation, Google confirmed Tuesday that its ultra-fast Internet service will soon be coming to four more cities — Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Those regions, along with more than a dozen cities in their immediate vicinity, will be the latest to benefit from high-speed Internet provided by the search giant.
Google Fiber already sells Internet service with download speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second — roughly 100 times faster than the national average — for $70 a month in other cities, such as Provo, Utah.
Google had been considering expanding to as many as nine metropolitan areas. In a blog post Tuesday, Google said it was still in talks with five of those cities — Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Jose and Portland, Ore. — and would decide whether to expand into those regions later this year.
Construction in Atlanta and the three other cities named Tuesday will begin in a few months, according to Google.
The announcement marks the latest salvo in a growing battle between Google and more traditional Internet providers for the next generation of Web users. It also comes on the heels of President Obama's call to promote broadband in cities that are unserved or underserved by large commercial providers.
Google Fiber has already deployed in places such as Kansas City, and it is now taking sign-ups in Austin, where the arrival of Google's Internet service has sparked an arms race among providers of high-speed connectivity. That includes companies such as AT&T, which has said it's considering as many as 100 cities for an expansion of its own gigabit fiber service.