Earlier this year, Google announced that it would deploy an experimental fiber optics network offering an ultra high-speed broadband Internet connection (we're talking 1Gb/s download) to 50,000-500,000 people in select US communities. While Google still plans to follow through with that rollout, things are progressing a little slower than expected the search giant said in a blog post yesterday.

Milo Medin, who was tasked this week with overseeing the Google Fiber team as Vice President of Access Services, explained that the company needs more time to choose the initial trial cities. "We had planned to announce our selected community or communities by the end of this year, but the level of interest was incredible – nearly 1,100 communities across the country responded," Medin said.

Medin isn't kidding when he says the response was overwhelming. During the application process, many cities scrambled to gain Google's attention. Nevada City, California held a rally and interviewed local entrepreneurs for an eight-minute YouTube video, hoping to earn a position in the fiber project. Topeka, Kansas even temporarily changed its name to Google, Kansas, the capital city of fiber optics.

Although the company isn't ready to launch the full-scale trial, it has started beta testing the fiber network in 850 homes at Stanford University, which is practically just down the street from Google headquarters. Medin apologized for the delay and made sure to note that Google wouldn't be reopening its selection process. He also mentioned that the company would make an announcement in early 2011.