Ever since Google Fiber launched late last year, everybody’s been wondering when and if Google would bring it anywhere else. The company has been somewhat mum on the topic by only offering vague statements that seem to imply it is looking into it. That all changed yesterday when Google CEO Larry Page offered the first real concrete statement on the company’s plans for Google Fiber.
During Google’s fourth-quarter earnings call yesterday, the topic of Google Fiber came up. Page said that “it’s been great to see the success with the initial roll-out.” That being said, he emphasized that the product is still in early stages, but that Google is excited about the possibilities it brings to the company. He further clarified his statement by saying that Google Fiber is “not a hobby” and that Google “should be making a good business with this opportunity.”
Google CFO Patrick Pichette also spoke on Google Fiber during the call by saying that it’s “what people are dying to get everywhere.” Before expanding, however, the company will continue its progress in Kansas City with “debugging” and improving the overall experience for consumers. Besides, the company still has a ways to go before it connects the entirety of both cities to its fiber network.
So, how likely is it to see Google Fiber expand? All Page offers is a statement that says Google will “continue to look at the possibility of expanding.” It’s non-committal, but it’s better than past statements from the company that flat out denied any plans for expansion.
It should be noted that our chances of seeing Google Fiber expand may be helped along with support form the FCC. The Commission announced over the weekend a challenge to local government that would see at least one gigabit network in each state by 2015. It doesn’t sound like the FCC is ready to put up funding just yet, but it did say it would work in freeing up dark fiber and utility poles around the country. Google could take advantage of this for an inexpensive expansion into other mid-size city markets across the country.[h/t: LA Times]