we announced our plans to build and test ultra-high speed broadband networks in a small number of American communities. Since then, a team of Google engineers has been hard at work experimenting with new fiber optic technologies. And following a series of tests we've run on Google's campus, we're excited to announce the next step in our project.
We've reached an agreement with Stanford University to build an ultra-high speed broadband network to the university's Residential Subdivision, a group of approximately 850 faculty- and staff-owned homes on campus. Through this trial, we plan to offer Internet speeds up to 1 gigabit per second—more than 100 times faster than what most people have access to today. We plan to start breaking ground in early 2011.
To be clear, this trial is completely separate from our community selection process for Google Fiber, which is still ongoing. As we've said, our ultimate goal is to build to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people, and we still plan to announce our selected community or communities by the end of the year.
Stanford's Residential Subdivision—our first "beta" deployment to real customers—will be a key step towards that goal. We'll be able to take what we learn from this small deployment to help scale our project more effectively and efficiently to much larger communities.
Why did we decide to build here? Most important was Stanford's openness to us experimenting with new fiber technologies on its streets. The layout of the residential neighborhoods and small number of homes make it a good fit for a beta deployment. And its location—just a few miles up the road from Google—will make it easier for our engineers to monitor progress.
We're excited about this beta, and we look forward to announcing our selected community or communities for Google Fiber in the coming months.
Gmail Blog update: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/help-keep-your-account-safe-with-gmail.html