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Google delays decision on local fiber networks

Around 1,100 U.S. towns and cities applied for Google's high-speed fiber networking project, and the company needs more time to sort things out.

Around 1,100 towns and cities expressed interest in the Google Fiber project.
Around 1,100 towns and cities expressed interest in the Google Fiber project. Google

Google has delayed the selection process for its Google Fiber project to bring fast wired networks to a few lucky communities in the U.S.

When it first announced the program earlier this year, Google had hoped to make a decision by the end of the year but isn't ready to pull the trigger, said Milo Medin, Google's new vice president of access services, in a blog post. Google now hopes to inform the winners in "early 2011," he said, noting that submissions are still closed.

Google's project involves building high-speed broadband infrastructure at speeds "more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections." Only one project has gotten underway, a limited trial in Stanford, Calif. for Stanford University professors and their families.

Around 1,100 communities submitted applications to Google, Medin said. Some got quite creative in their quest to grab Google's attention, perhaps best exemplified by the decision of Topeka, Kansas to name itself Google for a day.