SAN FRANCISCO — In what would be its largest and most ambitious expansion to date, Google Fiber is exploring the possibility of bringing its super-fast Internet service to two major metropolitan areas: Chicago and Los Angeles.

The announcement reflects growing broadband competition, coming a day after AT&T said it would expand its own super-fast Internet service into 38 more cities including some areas of Los Angeles.

Google Fiber says it’s in an exploratory phase with officials in both cities.

“Today, we’re inviting Chicago and Los Angeles to explore bringing Google Fiber to their cities. As we’ve explored bringing Fiber to other metros across the U.S., we’ve worked to refine our checklist and prepare for building our network in different places. Now, we’re ready to use that same process to work with two of the biggest cities in the country,” said Jill Szuchmacher, director of Google Fiber expansion. “Home to a combined 6+ million people, Chicago and L.A. are the two largest metros we’ve engaged with to date. And with the help of gigabit Internet, Chicago and L.A. can boost their creative cultures with Internet speed to match their size.”

Google Fiber is currently available in Kansas City, Provo, Utah and Austin, Texas. It’s preparing to roll out in six more cities including Nashville and Atlanta. The service offers speeds of 1 gigabit per second, about 100 times faster than the typical Internet connection.

Google Fiber is now a division of Google parent company Alphabet whose ambitions stretch well beyond Google’s dominant search and advertising business to new big bets from smart devices for the home to wearable devices. These businesses are now run as separate units from Google.

Follow USA TODAY senior technology writer Jessica Guynn@jguynn

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