Google has taken another step toward bringing high-speed fiber-optic internet to Nashville. But Fiber fans shouldn’t get too excited by the news: It’s still not a binding commitment.
Google Fiber recently filed an application, along with a $5,000 application fee, to do business in Tennessee. It’s part of a routine process for telecommunication companies — they have to obtain a certificate from the Tennessee Regulatory Authority to run cable lines and build new infrastructure in public areas of a city.
The company’s application says it intends to provide internet services within two years of getting the state’s approval. But that doesn’t mean they will: There’s no penalty for backing out, according to the University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service.
The application also includes a state-mandated plan to “actively solicit” contracts with businesses owned by minorities — including African Americans, people with disabilities and women.
A Google spokeswoman says this application just one of many steps Fiber is taking to explore the “possibility of expanding” to Nashville. It may make an official announcement by the end of the year.
The company’s update comes shortly after AT&T announced it was holding off on its plan to provide gigabit-speed internet in Nashville.