Update Nov 2015: In the years since tracking the deployment of Google Fiber, Google has decided to continue to expand to more and more new cities. You can see their expansion plans on this page: https://fiber.google.com/newcities/. Additionally, there may be a chance that Municipal fiber may be on it’s way to your city.

Update Aug 2011: So as you may have heard Google selected Kansas City, Kansas for the initial deployment of its fiber gigabit service. For all the other towns vying for fiber, don’t give up, they may expand to more cities in the future depending on how the first deployment goes. In the meantime, if you’re lucky enough to be in area where Fios (from Verizon) is available, http://www.defefx.com/fios-deals/ shows how you can save the most on Verizon’s fiber service.

The graph below depicts the top 15 cities measured by community support levels. The community support levels are calculated by taking the single social networking source with the largest following and dividing by the population of the city. Social networking sources include Facebook Pages (the fan count), Facebook Groups (the member count), and Twitter followers. This graph will change automatically as new data is accumulated.

Google Fiber Race: Top Cities

Recent Surges

The next graph show which cities have posted the largest increase in supporters over the past week. The supporter counts are a sum of the three social networking sources: Facebook Page fans + Facebook Group members + Twitter followers.

Movers in Past Week

Leaders by Sheer Numbers

While the Overall Leaders graph uses population to make the comparison more fair, it’s still fun to see which cities have the largest actual number of supporters, which is exactly what the next graph shows.

Total Suppoters

Social Networking as a Benchmark

In essence, the Google Fiber Optic race can be viewed in many ways. The way we have chosen to look at the race, at least initially, is by using popular social networking sites as metrics for the actual interest level in Google’s fiber optic broadband service and data gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau for population statistics.

The reason that social networking sites were used to gather honest information regarding community interest in Google’s fiber optic campaigns is fairly simple. One reason has to do with the alternative, which is online voting or polling. Well, that method can and has been easily manipulated in the past. There are numerous examples of people writing scripts or manually influencing such metrics. That is not to say that it is impossible to fool social networking sites, but the process is a little bit more difficult. Additionally, Google themselves have been monitoring the social networking scene, which tends to make it not only more relevant than a proprietary setup, but it also acts as a sort of data-police. Google already has advanced social networking/benchmarking algorithms designed to foil attempts to manipulate social networking data.

Even though the users of social network sites may not represent a large demographic of the population, we feel it is exactly the demographic that Google is interested in gauging. These users represent the first adopters of technologies like fiber-to-the-home. These are the users that would actually make use of a Google gigabit connection, and will foster the progression of next-generation web applications, which is exactly what Google has set out to do.

Population Data

When it comes to population, the U.S. Census Bureau is the definitive source, and that is where all of our population statistics come from. While some of the data is a few years old, there really seems to be no fairer metric than this. Hopefully everyone will be filling out their new U.S. Census Bureau registration cards in the immediate future. A few acknowledgments are in order, however, before continuing further.

The first is that cities with smaller populations are probably more prone to percentage based fluctuations than cities with larger populations. This is a given, but it is something that we have not found a great way of solving. The simple fact is that a town of 1000 could increase or decrease population based on the activity of employers or just particularly amorous couples much more so than a town with 100,000 residents. The other issue is that some cities have updated their U.S. Census Bureau data more recently than others. In all cases, we used the most recent data possible. Why did some cities update more recently than others? That is a good question, and one we hope to answer in the future, but ultimately these two problems should not make any large difference to our reporting for a few reasons.

The first reason is that only cities with a certain number of fans/followers/members are being tracked. This means that incredibly small towns might be left out of the equation, but that is nothing new or noteworthy; Google is looking to serve a minimum of 50,000 people. Sorry towns of 1,000, but Google will not be picking you exclusively, though there is a lot of hope that you will be served by Google picking a larger region and servicing your needs as part of that choice. For our metrics, we decided to focus more on the idea that Google would be picking larger towns and this naturally means that we had to make a cutoff in terms of population as well as a cutoff in terms of fans/followers/members. Secondly, getting back to the population vs. growth issue, these larger towns are (as previously mentioned) less prone to radical changes in population. In short, we think the Census Bureau data is reliable for our purposes.

Measure of Intent

Many people might wonder why population information was considered at all. The reason is fairly simple: desire. How bad an individual wants something can be figuratively measured by the fibers of their being, and a macro version of this is substantially more literal; how many people within a community want something bad enough to go through the minimal effort of signing into a social networking service and becoming a fan or member? It does not seem difficult, but it certainly shows intent. This intent divided by the number of people in a community should be a reasonable way to gauge the desire of that community as a whole for Google’s gigabit fiber optic service.



87 Comments

  1. Alissa Sheley

    Thanks for posting this report and providing the cool widget tracking Topeka’s progress as compared to other cities vying for fiber.

    I wonder if you’ve got or are able to obtain data showing the population of Facebook & Twitter users for each city. I think that information would be very interesting and think that metric could potentially show a more accurate view of the community support.

    Thanks again for posting!
    @AlissaSheley
    ThinkBigTopeka.com

  2. jen

    Yay go Grand Rapids!

  3. ZhahnDoe

    Go Grand Rapids!

  4. Rob Hoffman

    We like this argument in Ann Arbor and support the ideas behind it, but there should be one caveat attached to it: The definition of an urban area can vary widely. As one of my colleagues pointed out, there are residents of the (larger) metropolitan Grand Rapids area who would benefit from the fiber, so there’s a vested interest in someone from the metro area supporting the movement even if he or she doesn’t live in Grand Rapids proper. In Ann Arbor, because we are so close to Detroit, our metro area is much smaller i.e. it’s unlikely that anyone further away than next-door Ypsilanti would benefit from Ann Arbor having fiber. Therefore, the city’s social-media numbers are closer to the city’s population itself.

  5. Jacob

    Glad to see Huntsville, AL hanging in there!

  6. fiberforall

    Thanks Bruce! Gainesville will show up in the reports momentarily.

  7. Deb Hild

    Mason City…a place to grow.

  8. Lori Axdahl

    Mason City, Iowa is a great city in the heart of the midwest.

  9. David Eicks

    Anderson wants “Google” Anderson is the best site for the future of fiber and the development of new applications!!!

  10. Michael Thomas

    GO ANDERSON INDIANA!!!! :) WE WANT GOOGLE!!!! :) :) :)

  11. cynthia shackleton

    Go Mason City

  12. Joe Manzella

    I wouldn’t put too much stock into who joined who’s facebook group! There are plenty of factors that Google will take into account when they make their decision – it could be a single street, a block, a town, several towns, or some combination thereof! Stay tuned!

  13. Linette Heimbuch

    Go Mason City!

  14. Martha McCoy

    Chanute, Kansas is the one ! We want GOOGLE! We are a Main Street City that is moving to the future! Come visit us! Home of Osa and Martin Johnson Safari Museum, Octave Chanute, Chanute Art Gallery, Chanute Historical Museum and already ready for GOOGLE!

  15. Keith Kamp

    GO Austin,Minn. We need it badly for Hormel and the Hormel Institute for cancer research closeness to the world famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Mn it woild benefit more people now and in the future

  16. Pat

    Go Chanute!! We can do it!

  17. rick

    Come on GR, make a comeback to first!

  18. tiff

    Go Anderson, Indiana.

  19. Amber Eckert-Jones

    GO Anderson IN!!! I can only imagine all of the possibilities that this could bring to Anderson. We can get them here!

  20. Natalie

    Go austin Mn!! we need a better and faster internet in our community… it would also benefit Hormel and the Hormel cancer research… It would also benefit mayo clinic in rochester one of the top hospitals it the Usa!!!

  21. Michelle

    Ann Arbor is the place to be…

  22. Terri Markham

    We maybe a small community but we are mighty!!!! GO CHANUTE !!!!

  23. Larry Helwig

    Niagara County, NY will contribute $250,000 toward the build out of the Google Fiber project. Go Niagara !

  24. Terri

    Go Austin, Mn
    The possiblities would be endless.

  25. Victoria V.

    Go go google fiber Austin Minnesota! ! !

  26. Jean

    Yeah AUSTIN, MINNESOTA!!! We need better and faster internet in our community… Better and faster internet would be a huge benefit to Hormel, also for the Hormel Cancer Research Center. It would also be a huge benefit to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, which as everyone knows is one of the top hospitals in the USA!

  27. Shawn Riley

    Good morning on this fine June 10th…
    What happened to Austin Minnesota? We aren’t on the list today. Yesterday we were #12.

    Thanks!

    Shawn

  28. Koreen Klein

    Google fiber for Austin Minnesota! ! !

  29. Angela Hamrick

    AUSTIN MINNESOTA IS THE BEST PLACE!!!!!

  30. Sam Roberts

    Measuring Popular Support in this manner has some merit, the accuracy is degraded by many factors. First, the Census data used is 10 years old. Anderson, Indiana is one city who population has declined significantly during that decade with the abandonment of General Motors and it’s subsidiaries. Secondly, the popularity of Twitter is minute in comparison to Face Book and should not influence the numbers. Many of us see Twitter as a “Fad” that won’t survive. One thing that I’m certain Google is considering is climate and weather conditions. Fiber and fiber installation will have to stand the test of the elements.
    Just my 2 cents. Thanks for showing us the information you’ve collected.

  31. Chad

    No method is without its flaws. We pretty much covered why did selected the methods we used, and we stand by them for lack of a better way to measure popular support.

  32. Jan

    Spamtown USA, Austin, MN!!!

  33. Ann Williams

    We WANT GOOGLE in Anderson, IN for faster internet in our community. Anderson, Indiana is the best site for the future of fiber. We are ready; just say the word and we will run with GOOGLE!

  34. Shawn Riley

    Austin Minnesota was #12 and is #81 again… this happened and was fixed before. Is there an issue with the population side of the script you use?

    Go AUSTIN MINNESOTA!!! http://googleaustinmn.com/

  35. KB

    Where did Austin, Minn., go on the list? Is something wrong – we were #12.

  36. Quincy Fiber

    Please include Quincy, IL.

    She has 6.25% population support at the current moment.

    quincyfiber.com

  37. Valerie Shedd

    Come on Ann Arbor!!!! We can do it!!

  38. Dale K. Cochran

    Go Austin,Mn. I agree,this would help our research for cancer.And the medical fields in our area.
    Dale

  39. Jerald Jones

    Let’s Go Austin. We need this for our children.

  40. Sheri Jo Wilson

    Go Austin, MN……Spamtown USA….

  41. Josh King

    Chanute is doing a good job. Keep up the hard work, and lets GIT-R-DONE!!!!!!

  42. fiberforall

    Quincy, IL has been added!

  43. Steve Leif

    We can do it.

  44. Josh

    GO AUSTIN MN!!

  45. tragul

    go ANN ARBOR

  46. Trevor Terpstra

    Google my Grand Rapids! XD

  47. josh

    Go Ann Arbor – A2fiber!

  48. Michael Matry

    Go Grand Rapids, Go!

  49. Alex Stanton

    GOOGLE FIBER FOR GRAND RAPIDS
    LETS GO!
    I WANT GOOGLE FIBER

  50. Stephen Glaesman

    Grand Rapids!!!!

  51. Jessica

    Chanute, KS!!!

  52. lamapper

    Google Map showing current locations in the USA where you can get bi-synchronous Fiber To The Home (FTTH) connections for Internet access. My friend told me he could not wait to learn which lucky 5 cities get selected by Google as he was seriously thinking of moving to one of them. Here is the shortened URL, maybe we can share this with others and put pressure on the telco/cable/wireline/wireless/cellular monopoly to finally give us FTTH, but I will not hold my breath…: http://sn.im/1axal4

    Google map, current US FTTH bi-synchronous availability: http://sn.im/1axal4

  53. Tyler

    Go Longview, Texxas
    We want Google Fiber!

  54. Barney

    Go Chanute …. we are ready. Whatever it takes, we need you & Goggle should want us

  55. Palmtree

    GOOGLE GRAND RAPIDS!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. Craig Hoium

    We need google in Spamtown USA, Austin Minnesota!

  57. Nathen

    Go Grand Rapids! This city could really become one of the greatest with the access to an expeditious internet connection.

  58. Kathy Jones

    Chanute, KS leads the area in technology in our schools. Chanute needs to continue to provide ways for our students and adults throughout our community to be true 21st century learners. Google fiber we need you and are looking forward to your announcement soon!

  59. Martha McCoy

    WE LOVE GOGGLE! CHANUTE, CHANUTE, CHANUTE!!!!

  60. Nathan Falk

    How many of these other towns are directly linked to a Level 3 substation? How many already have over 20 miles of fiber ready and waiting? Chanute is ready.

  61. Cindy Morrison

    Chanute Chanute Chanute… WE ARE READY!!!

  62. Terri Orozco

    Dear Santagoogle: All I want for Christmas is google fiber for my community. Chanute is a community of innovation and google would put is on the map…because we are the center of google earth…I can live withoutmy two front teeth….but not without Google!!! Thank you Santa!!!

  63. Dan H

    I’m wondering why the graphs posted on this site as of 1/31/11 appear to only show Twitter followers? What happened to the facebook fan page followers?

  64. Kj

    Cancer research at the Homel Institute would benefit greatly from Google!!!…
    WE GIG IT!

  65. Santino

    Go Austin-Mn the Spam town, we are progressing!!

  66. Peter Bjorndal

    Go Austin Minnesota!!!!!

  67. Janice

    GOOGLE FIBER FOR Austin Minnesota
    LETS GO!
    I WANT GOOGLE FIBER

  68. Braun Oldenkamp

    GO AUSTIN GO!!!!
    Austin could greatly benefit from google fiber,
    and would be a great help to the Hormel Institute!!!!

  69. Janice

    Cancer research at the Homel Institute would benefit greatly from Google!!!…
    WE GIG IT!

  70. Gregg

    Hey, how come we can’t look up our community? We’re in there as Humboldt Bay.

  71. fiberforall

    Gregg, Thanks for noticing! We just added Humboldt Bay.

  72. Janice

    Yeah AUSTIN, MINNESOTA!!! We need better and faster internet in our community… Better and faster internet would be a huge benefit to Hormel, also for the Hormel Cancer Research Center. It would also be a huge benefit to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, which as everyone knows is one of the top hospitals in the USA!

  73. Shawn Riley

    Austin Minnesota is still moving! 1 year anniversary of the We Gig IT campaign is now upon us. We are still engaging the community and helping to push forward.

  74. Travis

    Anyone know what has become of this? I thought they were supposed to have chosen the cities by now…

  75. Nate

    Take IBM, The University of Minnesota Cancer Research Institute, the Mayo Clinic, the Hormel Foods Foundation and Google Fiber. Welcome to the future in Austin, Minnesota. Yes, there is an Austin in Minnesota.

  76. Lois Nelson

    You rock, Austin! Very deserving for this rcognition because of both community need andsupport. Good luck!

  77. steve arens

    The Hormel institute in Austin Minnesota has made some of the most remarkable discoveries in cancer research in recent years. They are discovering cures for cancer. Google Fiber in Austin could result in the most good for the most people. It’s like a humanitarian effort.
    Steve Arens

  78. Kerry

    I worked at the Hormel Institute from 1981 – 2005 in various positions. The Hormel Institute was an awesome place to work. The thing that I liked the most was the diversity of the people who worked there. I was able to meet people from many different countries and learn of their customs and personalities. In my opinion, the Hormel Institute is the research institution that will leave their mark in the world as the discoverers of cures for cancer and many other diseases. Google Fiber will only enhance their ability to communicate and work with other great research institutions all over the world. Please come to Austin!!!

  79. hy chen

    Go,Austin,Go

  80. Riley

    Austin Minnesota need Google Fiber! We have Hormel, the Hormel Institute, and Mayo is not far away! We could get and share information so much faster with this and it would help our schools too. Right now it is so hard to get something done at school because the internet is so slow. teachers cant load things fast enough to show us and students that dont have internet at home cant complete certain assignments on time because the internet is too slow. I have internet at home but its super slow. So something that should only take 30 minutes can take up to 2 hours. youtube videos take an hour or longer to load and it would be nice to see them way faster! Austin Gigs it!!

  81. Char

    The Austin, Minnesota community would greatly benefit from the Fiber To The Home Access to Internet. We have a wonderful school system, but this would make a huge improvement to our math and science programs in the schools. The rural areas
    around the city do not have high speed internet connections, so this would benefit this area as well as the Science Research Facilities with the University of Minnesota,
    Hormel Institute in association with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. It would be a Win-Win situation for everyone!!

    We all thank you,
    Char

  82. Kj

    Hormel Institute Cancer Research! Need we say more?

  83. Lon Krueger

    Google Austin for fibre Progressive Community for a progressive organization. What a fantastic opportunity for Google and for Austing, Minnesota WE GIG IT IN AUSTIN!

  84. russ

    Austin, TX could greatly benefit from google fiber, and would be a great help all around

  85. Mike

    So all these communities rallied support to compete for the selection and they chose a city not even in the top 15? Something smells.

  86. Ero

    hey. i guess you got tired of tracking since we now have an explosion of google fiber and the gigabit movement . lol its understandable.


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