Google announced today that it is expanding its high-speed gigabit internet service, Google Fiber, to Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham. The network is already running in parts of Provo, Utah; Austin and Kansas City.
Google Fiber’s gigabit service offers speeds about 100 times faster than the average speed available in the U.S.
Speaking with business, tech and civic leaders at a Nashville midday news conference, Kevin Lo, director of Google Fiber business and operations, highlighted the relationship between music and technology in Nashville as two deciding factors making the city the right place for super high-speed service.
With a music scene “like no other,” and a strong commitment to technology and entrepreneurship, Nashville has “all the right ingredients to do transformative things,” Lo said. (Google is a sponsor of Nashville’s new music-tech business accelerator, one of its many areas of involvement in the city.)
While the four Southeastern cities know that Google Fiber is heading their way, “the hard work is just beginning,” said Lo. The installation of the fiber network could take up to two years to engineer and deploy. “You’ll see hundreds of crews around the city installing the network,” he said.
Nashville is the second city in Tennessee to get gigabyte speed internet service. Chattanooga created one of the nation’s first high-speed services using a public utility model and earning the city a new nickname, Gig City.
AT&T Stays on the Gig Speed Sideline
After Google signaled it was taking fiber into new cities across the country, AT&T announced similar plans to 100 cities it already serves. But then, last November, AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson announced the company is going to hold off on their plans because President Obama encouraged the Federal Communications Commission to regulate AT&T more like public utilities–as part of his support for net neutrality.
In today’s announcement, Google’s Lo did not mention any competitors or net neutrality, except to say in a veiled reference to the issue that Google Fiber would be able to stream Netflix movies with no buffering.