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Google Fiber could be coming to Chicago soon

Google Fiber store, Austin
Photograph: Wikimedia Commons Google Fiber store, Austin

Chicagoans could soon have access to Google Fiber, the super-fast Internet service that's already available in Kansas City; Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah. The technology giant announced in a blog post today that it's inviting Chicago to explore bringing the service to the city, which should bring tears of joy to residents who are stuck with Comcast and the awful service that comes with it. 

"In Chicago, fiber Internet will help bolster a fast-growing startup scene by fueling incubators like 1871, venture capital funds like Chicago Ventures and hundreds of small businesses," the company said. Google is planning on working with city leaders, and hopes that offering faster Internet speeds will help bolster Chicago's booming tech scene.

But don't cancel your Comcast account just yet. The city has to fulfill a checklist of infrastructure and permit needs before Google can come in install its fiber-optic network across town. That includes examining right of way easements, existing underground utility routes and infrastructure maintenance plans. With Google opening a new headquarters in the West Loop, it makes sense that the company is looking to bring fiber here.

Fiber-optic communications have been around for decades, but have just recently started to be widely installed. Google's service provides Internet download and upload speeds of up to one gigabit per second, which is more than six times what Comcast currently offers in Chicago. But what should really get your excited is that Google Fiber is incredibly affordable. In Kansas City, Austin and Provo, basic Internet service from Google is available for free (with a $300 construction fee). It's gigabit Internet is available for $70 per month, which is what a lot of Chicagoans are already paying for Comcast's crummy service. 

So, buckle up Chicago. In the near future, you may be able to say goodbye to buffering for good.

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