Town leaders expect to sign an agreement soon with Google to approve a site for its central command center for Google Fiber in Garner.
The center is called a “fiber hut,” and will be on Spring Road.
Spring Road is a neighborhood road that dead ends. It became a dead end when Timber Drive was built.
One hut in Garner can provide service for 20,000 residents, Interim Town Manager Rodney Dickerson said.
The structures, which are 28 feet long and 9 feet tall, will be the backbone for the Google Fiber high-speed Internet network.
A fiber ring will be built around the town. The fiber-optic cable will run from the fiber huts, underground and through existing poles.
Google announced its plans to install Google Fiber in Garner last year. But it is unclear when they will start building.
“We’re just kind of waiting for them to tell us when,” Dickerson said.
Dickerson said that the super-fast Internet service will only venture into neighborhoods where there is enough interest.
“They don’t want to invest that type of infrastructure if there are not enough homes to tie on,” he said.
Google will put up fiber huts, or tents, similar to a block party and invite people to sign up. If enough people sign up then Google Fiber will be installed in their neighborhood. Residents can also go to the website at https://fiber.google.com/cities/raleighdurham/.
Garner will be among five other cities – Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Chapel Hill and Durham – in the Triangle to get the service.
The service is targeted to residential customers only. No businesses will benefit unless it is a home business.
Google promises service that is 100 times faster than most broadband speeds. It will also offer cable TV, but won’t offer telephone service. Dickerson said representatives from Google Fiber have told them the plan will cost somewhere between $120 to $130 per month.
Construction crews plan to lay more than 5,700 miles of fiber-optic cable and install 26 fiber huts that will allow connections between smaller areas and the broader network. Fiber will be attached to roughly 50,000 telephone poles.
And, as always, Google will have competition. AT&T, which is deploying a similarly speedy GigaPower service, already is providing free service to a number of community centers.
Two weeks ago, Greenfield Parkway became the first business park in the Triangle to be AT&T Fiber Ready. The Fiber Ready designation means the Greenfield South Park, which is located near U.S. 70 and Interstate 40, has access to the bandwidth needed to support data intensive services such as video, collaboration, cloud and other services.
The businesses will have access to 1-gigabit speed, which is also about 100 times faster than routine Internet speed.
“It gives the public another choice and people like choices,” Mayor Ronnie Williams said.