The following announcement was received at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, by the editors of CharlotteAreaNews.com, owned and operated by Lawrimore Inc. We are excited to share this news with our readers and followers.
A few minutes ago, Google announced that Charlotte is one of nine metro areas around the country that might get access to Google Fiber, an ultra high-speed fiber network that lets customers use the web at speeds that are up to 100 times faster than basic broadband.
It takes a lot of collaboration with cities to build a new network. So that’s why, over the next few months, Charlotte will be working closely with Google on a joint-planning process, to determine what it would take to build a new fiber-optic network in the area. Later this year, Google will provide updates on which cities will get Google Fiber. You can read more about this announcement — and about Google Fiber — on the Google Fiber blog.
Google chose to work with Charlotte because there are many business-savvy and tech-friendly entrepreneurs in the area, and Google would love to see what these innovative Charlotte residents could do with a gigabit network like Google Fiber.
Over the last few years, gigabit Internet has moved from idea to reality, with dozens of communities working hard to build networks with speeds 100 times faster than what most of us live with today. People are hungrier than ever for faster Internet, and as a result, cities across America are making speed a priority. Hundreds of mayors from across the nation have stated that abundant high-speed Internet access is essential for sparking innovation, driving economic growth and improving education. Portland, Nashville and dozens of others have made high-speed broadband a key pillar of their city plans. And Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, declared in June that every school should have access to gigabit speeds by 2020.
We have long believed that the Internet’s next chapter will be built on gigabit speeds, so it’s fantastic to see this momentum. And now that we’ve learned a lot from our Google Fiber projects in Kansas City, Austin and Provo, we want to help build more ultra-fast networks. So we’ve invited cities in 9 metro areas around the U.S.—34 cities altogether—to work with us to explore what it would take to bring them Google Fiber.
We aim to provide updates by the end of the year about which cities will be getting Google Fiber. Between now and then, we’re going to work closely with each city’s leaders on a joint planning process that will not only map out a Google Fiber network in detail, but also assess what unique local challenges we might face. These are such big jobs that advance planning goes a long way toward helping us stick to schedules and minimize disruption for residents.
We’re going to work on a detailed study of local factors that could affect construction, like topography (e.g., hills, flood zones), housing density and the condition of local infrastructure. Meanwhile, cities will complete a checklist of items that will help them get ready for a project of this scale and speed. For example, they’ll provide us with maps of existing conduit, water, gas and electricity lines so that we can plan where to place fiber. They’ll also help us find ways to access existing infrastructure—like utility poles—so we don’t unnecessarily dig up streets or have to put up a new pole next to an existing one.
While we do want to bring Fiber to every one of these cities, it might not work out for everyone. But cities who go through this process with us will be more prepared for us or any provider who wants to build a fiber network. In fact, we want to give everyone a boost in their thinking about how to bring fiber to their communities; we plan to share what we learn in these 34 cities, and in the meantime you can check out some tips in a recent guest post on the Google Fiber blog by industry expert Joanne Hovis. Stay tuned for updates, and we hope this news inspires more communities across America to take steps to get to a gig.
We will be your local contacts for getting in touch with the folks at Google Fiber going forward, so please let us know if you have any questions. If you are interested in Fiber updates, signup here.
Billy Warden / 919.412.0630