Google looks to bring its superfast Fibre broadband to the UK

Telecoms

by Michael Moore| 18 July 2014

Search giant's network could provide up to 1GBps download speeds.

British consumers could be set for broadband speeds up to a 100 times faster than those currently available following rumours that Google is exploring ways to bring its superfast fibre optic networks to the UK.

The search giant is reportedly in talks with several companies to bring its Google Fiber network, capable of download speeds of up to 1Gbps, to the UK later this year.

Google had reportedly been in talks with a company called CityFibre earlier this year regarding a potential deal, but these broke down over concerns regarding a conflict of interest with BSkyB, which is funding a pilot fibre-optic network rollout in to 20,000 homes and businesses in York with operator TalkTalk.

Google is still understood to be interested in building its networks in the UK, however, with the country its biggest market outside of the US.

"Google historically have always publicly said they would never build fibre outside the US. But in the background they are talking to people here in the UK and looking at projects," a source familiar with the project told the Telegraph.

Such a move would be the first time Google Fiber has been implemented outside of the US, having originally launched in March 2011 in Kansas City, before expanding to Provo, Utah and Austin, Texas, in April 2013.

In February, Google announced it be expanding Fiber to a further 34 cities across the US, with the network forecast to reach 8 million U.S. homes by 2022 at an estimated cost of $7bn.

If the move goes ahead, it will put additional pressure on BT to upgrade the UK's existing broadband infrastructure, as many industry observers fear that the existing copper network will be unable to take the strain of increasingly fast speeds.

Currently, BT's network allows download speeds of up to 76 MBps, far below the 1,000 MBps threshold of Google Fiber.

Google sources confirmed that the company had held talks with CityFibre, but that they did not progress to a contract, and a British Google Fiber project is "not expected" to be announced soon.

CityFibre declined to comment.

 

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