Almost exactly a year ago, I posted that Charlotte was being eyed for a Google Fiber expansion. And just last week, it was announced that Google Fiber is, indeed, on its way to Charlotte! This is fantastic news in and of itself, but it did bring about some questions from folks. For instance…
When will Google Fiber be available in Charlotte?
Right now, reports are pretty vague on the timeline, but it’s looking like we’re about two years out. The plan that’s being reported is that 2015 will be spent designing a 6,000-mile fiber optic cable line and getting the proper permits for construction of the network. Around 2016, we’ll see the actual construction taking place, with neighborhoods being connected in late 2016 or early 2017.
How fast is Google Fiber?
Reports are that Google Fiber is 100 times faster than Internet service currently available in Charlotte homes. That means that streaming music or movies would be almost instantaneous and downloading an entire hi-def movie should only take a few seconds. AT&T has announced that it’s bringing U-Verse with GigaPower to Charlotte, offering 1-gigabit service to residential and commercial customers in competition with Google’s service. Time Warner Cable has announced that it’s also bringing its super-fast Maxx service to Charlotte as well, though it does not reach the gigabit speeds of Fiber or U-Verse with Gigapower.
Will this bring jobs to Charlotte?
Yes and no. Google, itself, is only hiring a small sales and marketing team. But given the amount of construction that will be required, it’s not a far stretch to see that more construction and utility folks will be needed.
What else does this mean for Charlotte?
While Charlotte was already pretty well-known in the technology space, putting Google’s brand here REALLY puts Charlotte on the map. That, in turn, leads to more technology companies and jobs possibly coming to the city. And while Fiber is a residential service right now, Google has said that it’s piloting a Fiber program for small and mid-size businesses, which means even more companies and entrepreneurs could be eyeing Charlotte for their startups and expansions. Good news for the city’s growth!
Google has put up a Charlotte-specific Google Fiber page where folks can get more information and request updates on when Fiber will be available in their neighborhoods. And if you’re looking for a reason to move from the suburbs into Charlotte proper, this may be it – Google has announced that the focus is on bringing the service just to the city right now. Let me help you get ahead of the curve and find your Charlotte home!