Durham leaders approve agreement for AT&T fiber network

06/12/2014 4:46 PM

06/12/2014 5:02 PM

AT&T and the city of Durham reached an agreement Thursday for the telecom giant to expand its fiber network, increasing Internet speeds for residents and businesses.

The company plans to bring its GigaPower service, which has Internet speeds that are up to 20 times faster than most broadband connections, to small businesses, multifamily residential developments and public "hotspots" in the city

AT&T’s agreement with Durham is designed to streamline the permitting process required to lay additional fiber. Construction of the network is set to begin in the coming weeks. The new fiber will be installed both above and below ground and will exist as a new network, said AT&T representative Josh Gelinas.

Durham is part of an alliance known as the N.C. Next Generation Network – which also includes Cary, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Winston-Salem and four major universities – that agreed on the terms of the contract in April.

A similar agreement has been approved by Cary and Winston-Salem officials, and the other members of the alliance are expected to ratify it in the coming months. Google is inking similar deals with Triangle municipalities as it considers expanding its Google Fiber service to the region.

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