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As Google Fiber expands to Olathe, Kan., millions of Americans still offline

Google's announcement Tuesday that Google Fiber, its ultra-fast Internet service, is launching in a new city has drummed up excitement that the search giant could expand the product even further.

Google Fiber was unveiled in July 2012 in Kansas City -- over 600 communities had applied to be part of the experiment. The service offers 1 gigabit Internet speed, which is about 100 times faster than the broadband choices available to the rest of America.

Kansas City customers pay a $300 installation fee, and can choose to pay $70 a month for Internet. There is also a cable-like service that costs an additional $50 a month.The $300 fee is waived for customers who purchase a bundle.

The Kansas City Star reported that the Olathe City Council voted unanimously to approve an agreement for the search giant to bring Google Fiber to the city, which is located within the developing tech region dubbed the "Silicon Prairie."

"Olathe has become one of the fastest-growing cities in Kansas, and has attracted an influx of new businesses and residents -- they've all noticed what a great community Olathe is, and so have we," a Google spokesperson told CBS News via email.

"This is one of the reasons why we're excited to bring Fiber here, and we think that widespread Internet access here will help to create jobs, grow local businesses, and make Olathe even stronger as its grows."

It is still unknown as to when the search giant might offer the service to the citizens of Olathe, as the program is still being rolled out in several cities in the Kansas City area.

So will the rest of the country see Fiber anytime soon?

A spokesperson for Google told CBS News that the search giant is interested in talking to other communities about Fiber in the future, but that the company has nothing to announce at the moment.

The possibility of ultra-fast Internet is exciting, particularly as the United States lags behind other nations in terms of broadband speed and accessibility.

A report release by the Federal Communications Commission in August 2012 said that in respect to speeds purchased and experienced by customers, the United States ranks 24th out of 38 countries.

In a separate report released weeks later, the FCC said that approximately 18 million Americans still lack access to broadband. Some 14.5 million of those people are in rural areas, and in many cases, the FCC says there isn't a business case to offer broadband to those potential customers.

The FCC says it has taken steps to expand access to those areas by implementing programs to promote broadband deployment. For example, the Connect America Fund provides $115 in funding to bring broadband to areas not currently served.

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