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Triangle in Contention for Google Fiber

February 19, 2014 | Story by: | Categories: Featured, News, Technology

triangle-google-fiber

Cary, NC — Today, the GoogleFiberBlog announced a new crop of metro areas under consideration for rollout of Google Fiber. The Triangle made the list. 

Google Fiber – Blazing Across America

What is Google Fiber? How about broadband internet that’s about 100x faster than most of us have today.

In tech-savvy Cary, most people know that the United States has pretty slow broadband speeds. According to Mashable, the U.S. is 9th in the world behind South Korea, Japan, Latvia and the Czech Republic. According to Ookla, the U.S. is 33rd.

Either way, we’re not getting the gold, silver or bronze for internet connectivity.

Many say the problem is a lack of competition in the marketplace – big providers who exercise virtual monopoly control of their territories with little incentive to innovate. Just last week, Comcast and Time Warner announced plans to explore a merger, creating the biggest broadband behemoth in the land.

But Google’s entry into the marketplace is a game changer. A few years ago, Google held a competition for the first Google Fiber city in America, igniting a frenzy of municipal pandering. Kansas City, MO won the prize and businesses flocked to the new Silicon Prairie.

Since then, Google has rolled out the fiber in Austin, TX and Provo, UT.

9 New Contenders

Today’s announcement reveals the next nine metro areas under consideration for Google Fiber:

  1. Charlotte (NC)
  2. The Triangle (NC)
  3. Atlanta (GA)
  4. Nashville (TN)
  5. San Antonio (TX)
  6. Phoenix (AZ)
  7. Salt Lake City (UT)
  8. Portland (OR)
  9. San Jose (CA)

triangle-google-fiber-2

Prices for Gigabit Internet

Here are some sample prices for Google Fiber customers in Provo, UT:

  • The Gigabit Internet plan will give you an Internet connection that’s up to 100 times faster than basic broadband for $70/month.
  • The Gigabit Internet + TV plan will give you access to hundreds of TV channels, a storage box that can record up to 8 shows at once and hold up to 500 hours of HD content, plus an ultrafast Internet connection, for $120/month.
  • The Free Internet plan will give you basic broadband speeds (up to 5Mbps download, 1 Mbps upload) for a one-time, $30 installation fee, then no monthly costs for at least 7 years.

What’s Next

Over the coming months, Google will work with municipal and regional leaders to see what’s possible in each region. From GoogleFiberBlog:

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.

We aim to provide updates by the end of the year about which cities will be getting Google Fiber. 

For more on what municipalities can do, read How communities can facilitate fiber construction.

#GoogleFiber

Some are already advocating that Triangle residents deploy a massive wave of #GoogleFiber hashtags on Twitter. They’re whistling in the wind.

During the first roll out of Google Fiber, a town renamed itself Google. And an elected official promised to name his unborn children after the founders of Google. Neither town won the prize.

What Google needs is connectivity, access to existing infrastructure and, most of all, cooperation. Google Fiber is a regional initiative. Towns and counties across the Triangle must work together and make it a priority to become fiber-ready. Gig U here in the Triangle has already built some good momentum in that direction.

What you can do is contact your elected representative (via email, Twitter, Facebook, fax, text message or snail mail) and ask for their help and leadership to bring Google Fiber to the Triangle. Let them know that this matters to you. We have a lot to offer in the Triangle, but it would be a mistake to think this opportunity will just fall into our lap.

Or, you could tweet #GoogleFiber.

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Story by Hal Goodtree. Photo by Roshan Nikam. Map via GoogleFiberBlog.

Comments

4 Responses to Triangle in Contention for Google Fiber

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  1. TJ Cawley Reply

    February 19, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    Cary Citizen suggests that new technology can help our region.
    Do you agree?
    You can let your representatives know at
    TownCouncil@TownofMorrisville.org or council@townofcary.org.

  2. Robert Campbell Reply

    February 20, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    This is truly exciting news! Getting Google Fiber in our region is certainly something worth fighting for! This represents a true LEAP in technology and will bring with it innovation and economic activity that will boost all aspects of our lives. Reading about the ripple effects in Kansas City, it’s something that can and should happen here too! With Gigabit bandwidth, you can now see a Doctor without having to leave your house, you can attend a University Course from home as well!

    And, anything at all that disrupts the monopolies of Time Warner and AT&T U-verse (the only options in my area) is a GOOD THING! For far too long the established companies have been all to happy to take in billions in profits and investing almost nothing in improving the network.

  3. Bob Hickey Reply

    February 20, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    I was traveling today and picked up this from the Phoenix, AZ newspaper in their article about this same event. “Google has a mix of underground and above-ground optic-cable lines, but it prefers above ground.”

  4. Pingback: Technology Tank | Google & Multiple Personalities

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