Cities across the country are clamoring for Google Fiber to come to their city, and the company has recently named Charlotte as one of only nine cities in which it hopes to introduce its ultra-fast fiber optic network. Google is currently working closely with city planners and officials to evaluate the feasibility of the operation, and competing broadband companies are keeping a close eye out for the results.
Google Fiber uses fiber optics – tiny glass tubes that transmit data using light – instead of the copper cables that currently transmit data throughout the city’s networks. This means that it is capable of moving data exponentially faster, resulting in a city-wide Internet upgrade that’s appealing to both residents and businesses.
In fact, businesses stand to gain the most from the deal, and Kansas City has proven that having Google Fiber can attract companies that may not have otherwise moved to the city. This attraction is one of the main reasons that Charlotte’s city officials are so willing to work with Google; however, the city may have to pay for the opportunity.
With thousands of cities looking to lure Google Fiber to their area, many are willing to make huge concessions in the effort. According to the Charlotte Observer Kansas City’s development agreement with Google gave the company a free pass to dig up city streets and climb up utility poles during the network’s installation. The city also guaranteed to consider all permit applications within five days, and gave the company access to dedicated city staff and some city facilities.
While the city’s officials may have their eyes on the economic potential of having Google Fiber in Charlotte, the city’s residents have a lot to gain as well. Blazing fast Internet speeds – up to 100 times faster than traditional broadband – are just the beginning. Competing broadband companies will have a lot on their plates if Google Fiber comes to town.
When the company announced its plans to establish its Kansas City network, existing broadband carriers went to great lengths to keep their customers from moving to the new service. They increased the speeds of some of their own services, offered free Wi-Fi to their customers, and more. Indeed, in another article, the Charlotte Observer notes that Google’s announcement of its plans to introduce Google Fiber service to Austin, Texas, AT&T almost immediately launched its own gigabit service through its U-Verse in the city.
It’s not all superfast downloads and high-speed video streams for customers, though. Google needs to lay down new lines for new customers, and there is a fee for the construction. In Kansas City, the company offered it for a lump sum of $300, or an extra $25 for the first 12 months of the contract.
Overall, most people agree that bringing Google Fiber to Charlotte has more benefits than drawbacks. WFAE 90.7 reports that Kansas city has even had its credit rating upgraded since the introduction of Google Fiber. The attraction that Google Fiber offers in terms of drawing startups and data companies to the city are simply undeniable.
Many residents and business owners are excited to hear the results of the ongoing evaluation. As Google’s team has already arrived in Charlotte, they won’t likely have to wait much longer.