The two companies announced a joint venture today aimed at bringing broadband internet to underserved communities, a major advance for a fledgling industry that faces mounting competition from incumbent ISPs.
Google Fiber, the nation’s biggest broadband provider, plans to roll out high-speed broadband service across the U.S. by the end of 2020.
The company is seeking $500 million in public investment to bring broadband to every American.
Google has long been an advocate for internet access for underserved populations.
Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, recently told the Wall Street Journal that Google Fiber would “not only help bring high-quality broadband to underserviced communities, but also give access to all Americans.”
The move comes as the tech sector has faced mounting pressure to build out broadband services for underserving communities, particularly in the U,S.A., and as the federal government has made clear it plans to allow states to opt out of its Lifeline program.
Google is also expanding its efforts to build broadband into rural communities, including through its Fiber network in Austin, Texas.
The Austin network will be used for small- and medium-sized businesses and households in the city.
The Google Fiber announcement comes as Comcast has announced it is launching a network of 4G LTE, a new generation of broadband technology.
Google and other tech giants are hoping to use the network to help bridge the gap between high-tech and rural America.
Google says the new network will offer faster speeds than 4G mobile internet service offered today, but it will also include a higher level of customer privacy and security.
The new service will be available in 25 markets and be priced at $70 a month.
Google also says it will be rolling out a new suite of applications and features, including Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and more.
“Google Fiber is a significant step forward for our future in delivering high-performance internet to those who are most in need,” Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive of Google, said in a statement.
“We will be building a network to connect all Americans, not just those with a home Internet connection.
Our fiber will bring faster speeds, faster speeds for more people, and a faster path to the Internet of the future.”