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Google Fiber bringing ultra-fast Internet to Triangle

Posted January 27, 2015

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— Life in the Triangle is about to get faster – at least online.

Google officials confirmed Tuesday that Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Morrisville, Garner and Carrboro are among the latest U.S. cities to be outfitted with Google Fiber, which promises Internet speeds 100 times faster than existing connections and a high-definition television service.

"This kind of fast Internet is awesome, especially this time of year, when it helps you stream ACC basketball on ESPN without any buffering," Michael Slinger, director of business operations for Google Fiber, told a cheering audience gathered for the announcement. "More importantly, truly great things can happen when a community upgrades to a gigabit network."

Research from the Fiber-to-the-Home Council Americas, an industry group that promotes faster Internet in U.S. homes, says access to gigabit speeds increases per-capita gross domestic product by 1.1 percent, which translated into an extra $1.4 billion in GDP in the 14 communities studied.

"As a hub of creativity (and) technology and as one of the fastest-growing areas of America, this is the perfect place to show us what's possible with the gig," Slinger said of the Triangle.

Charlotte, Atlanta and Nashville, Tenn., also will receive Google’s ultra-fast service, officials said Tuesday. Kansas City, Mo., Provo, Utah, and Austin, Texas, already have the service.

But Google isn't the first firm to promise ultra-fast Internet in the Triangle. AT&T started offering a similar service in Raleigh recently, and Frontier Communications is laying a fiber network in Durham.

Local officials said the competition could help drive down access costs for residents and businesses.

Gov. Pat McCrory and seven area mayors on hand for the announcement were giddy over the potential of super-fast Internet.

"Ultra-high-speed broadband is vital for our residents to participate in today's global economy," Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane said, adding that having the network across the Triangle "is opening the door for future regional collaborations and partnerships that may have not been possible or as easily accessible in the past."

Advanced technology is a selling point to attract business to the region and will benefit Triangle schools and universities, McCrory said, adding that powerful broadband connections will be as important to North Carolina's economic future as highways have been in the past.

"This is a form of connectivity, and that connectivity will bring more jobs and economic prosperity," he said.

Raleigh business owner Ray Malouf is counting on fast connectivity to drive sales and profits. He said half of the business for nüvonivo, his children's clothing shop on Hargett Street, is done online.

"We'll be able to upload content faster, before the other, bigger guys maybe," Malouf said. "We get to ride the coattails of Google, so to speak."

Google officials said they will spend the coming months mapping where to run thousands of miles of fiber – enough to stretch from the Triangle to London and back, according to Slinger – using existing infrastructure where possible. No time frame was given for when actual construction of the network would occur or when Google Fiber would come online locally.

"It's going to take hundreds of construction crews and hundreds of installers," he said. "It may be a while before we get to your neighborhood, but we'll keep you in the loop."

During construction, Slinger said, Google officials will meet with area community, business and civic leaders to better understand community priorities and find ways for Google Fiber to speed achievement of those goals.

137 Comments

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  • Michele McIntosh Jan 28, 2015
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    The Triangle is a metropolitan area that includes Holly Springs, Knightdale, Wake Forest, etc. It is not accurate for Google to claim they're bringing their service to "The Triangle" while leaving out these communities. I'm also wondering what parts of Raleigh, Durham, and maybe Chapel Hill will be left out. Google includes this statement, on their website about the project where they're asking people to sign up: "We use the data shared with us to create a map of where we can build (such as existing utility poles) and areas we should avoid." So, apparently they will be AVOIDING some areas. It doesn't sound like they're really going to be providing the service to everyone, as stated in their marketing campaign.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 28, 2015

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    Technology allows people to find out the truth...about religion, about their leaders, about other countries, about other customs, etc. Censorship is the opposite of The Internet and a powerful tool in keeping the masses ignorant. Censorship is for those are too weak to stand on their own.

  • GK N.Ral Jan 28, 2015

    HIP! HIP! HORRAY! If this is true goodbye TIME WARNER CABLE! TWC has raped for years, and now payback!

  • douglively919 Jan 28, 2015

    YAY! I'm glad to see Google Fiber coming to the triangle. We've all been crammed into a very narrow bandwidth box fora very long time. Once we have expanded bandwidth and faster speeds we'll all see a huge spike in personal productivity. I can't wait!

  • xhidden99 Jan 28, 2015

    All of this is besides the point. Raleigh is a city where nothing ever gets done. We all know that the planning phase will take 10 years and the permits alone to dig up streets will take decades. This is Raleigh after all where it takes a 2 or 3 man crew 3 full days to replace a street sign that isn't even anchored through the sidewalk. Can you imagine the speed at which The City of Oaks is even going to consider to address this? And, after all. TW pays a 15% kickback, I mean 'access fee' for exclusive access. Who's going to risk the bribe, I mean fee or their so called exclusivity. And let's face facts, that nothing internet-wise ever gets done in Wake county unless you can spin it 'for the chilllllldrennn!' The schools will be lining up 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in line to get theirs first which you will pay for before you get yours, if you ever do at all.

  • wufpaker Jan 28, 2015

    For the vast majority of residential customers, Gigabit speeds are nothing more than hype by Google and our government. Realistically most folks don't needs speeds like that. Businesses? Absolutely and maybe some high-end folks that work from home - very occasionally. We all know we are getting raped price-wise by the incumbent carriers. Maybe Google's entry into the market will put TWC and ATT on notice.

  • glarg Jan 28, 2015

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    Or The Google plans on monitoring all your personal data, packaging it and reselling it.

    Their cost of running a physical network isnt less than AT&T, Vz and the cable companies so they fact that they are charging less means they plan on monetizing their subscribers in another way.

    Thats their evil plan- fine for them. But I dont see any reason why our politicians should be celebrating that.

  • Prog Jan 28, 2015

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    Yeah, it's $120 a month for gigabit and TV and $70 a month for internet. AT&T Poo-verse is charging us $160 for sub-par internet, some random service fees, and awful customer service.

    Why is new technology so scary to people?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 28, 2015

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    Umm...my examples showed the lies that are perpetuated by the Right. Your examples were... I'm not sure what your examples showed.

    As gov't handouts, are you saying that you don't accept any? You don't get your "free" mortgage interest deduction? You don't use gasoline...that actually costs us $10-$15 per gallon? You don't drive on roads that get $600 billion in gov't subsidies because gas is subsidized? Do you have any idea about all of the things that you get? ...things that others (often poor people) don't get?

    http://www.progress.org/tpr/true-cost-of-gasoline-artificial-subsidies/

    http://www.dylanratigan.com/2011/08/03/whats-the-real-cost-of-gas-in-america/

    http://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/do-roads-pay-themselves

  • realmmmdonuts Jan 28, 2015

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    THE GOOGLE has deep pockets. So either the cable-comm margins are crazy big or they are hugely inefficient companies or a little of both and THE GOOGLE is taking a hit on operating costs to make money with the user data. Or THE GOOGLE is pulling an Chinese Steel/OPEC move to hurt the competition and adjust pricing later. Fiber for business is higher priced at $100 and subject to change after 1 year so that gives them some wiggle room.

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