Google Inc. is bringing its high-speed broadband service to Chapel Hill and Carrboro, town officials announced today.
Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt joined council member and other town officials today for the long-awaited announcement. Chapel Hill and Carrboro will be among a handful of towns and cities across the nation taking advantage of Google’s 100-times faster Internet connectivity, officials said.
Google also chose to bring faster broadband to Cary, Durham, Garner, Morrisville and Raleigh. The Triangle community will join three U.S. cities with Google Fiber service: Provo, Utah; Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri; and Austin.
“Google Fiber has chosen Chapel Hill to advance its latest technologies, which is an honor and a promise about our community's capacity as a tech and innovation hub,” Kleinschmidt said. “As a community of creative minds and innovators, we can’t wait to show the amazing things we will do with a gig.”
Improving broadband speed and choice for Chapel Hill residents has been a priority for years. Chapel Hill was among 1,100 communities that applied for the new service in 2010. Google Inc. has had an office in Chapel Hill since its acquisition of Skia Inc. in 2005. Last year, the team opened an office on Franklin Street that has played host to several community events and local college interns.
Google Fiber, a Gigabit Internet service, offers connection speeds for homes and businesses up to 100 times faster than today’s average broadband, as well as TV service with hundreds of high-definition channels.
The average American broadband speed is 11.5 megabits per second, compared to “Gigabit” Internet connections of up to 1,000 megabits per second.
“We are here because of the hard work, passion and commitment of the town and its leaders,” said Kevin Lo, Google Fiber’s director of business operations. “The next chapter of the Internet will be written at gigabit speeds. These new networks will lay the foundation for a wave of innovation and economic growth. Chapel Hill is the perfect place to show us what's possible, and we can't wait to see what Chapel Hill will do with Fiber.”
Google will work closely with local communities to build the fiber-optic network capable of delivering the service, starting with design and planning. It could be several months before Google Fiber and Chapel Hill begin building the thousands of miles of fiber network.
The service is expected to serve business, education and health care communities, as well as accelerate Chapel Hill's burgeoning Launch Chapel Hill business incubator and a planned technology hub for Rosemary Street. The 1789 Venture Lab on East Franklin Street, and UNC also are expected to benefit from the new service.
Google Fiber will keep the local community updated as the work progresses. Sign up at fiber.google.com/newcities to get the latest information.