Google testing high-speed fiber network at Stanford

Google has reached an agreement to build its first ultra-high-speed broadband network near Stanford University, the search giant announced on Thursday.

Google announced plans to build super-fast fiber networks earlier this year in a small number of U.S. communities. The agreement with Stanford means the university's residential subdivision will be the first place to test Internet speeds of up to one gigabit per second, more than 100 times faster than the typical broadband connection in the U.S. The plan is to break ground early next year.

Initially the new fiber network will serve 850 faculty- and staff-owned homes on campus. Product manager James Kelly said Google will learn from the small deployment how to scale the Google Fiber program effectively for larger communities. The goal is to provide fiber connections to between 50,000 and a half-million people. Communities will be selected before the end of the year.

Kelly said Stanford was selected because of its openness to experimenting with new fiber technologies, the neighborhood's layout and the small number of homes. The location just a few miles away from Google will also make it easier for engineers to monitor progress.