Today, Mayor Jim Baskett announced that Decatur is on a short list of cities working with Google to explore the possibility of bringing the ultra high speed Google Fiber broadband network to the city.
Improving broadband speed and choice for our residents has been a priority for Decatur for years, including applying for Google Fiber in 2010. Today’s average American broadband speed is 9.8 Megabits per second. In contrast, Google Fiber could bring Decatur residents access to “Gigabit” Internet connections up to 1,000 Megabits per second—or up to 100 times faster than basic broadband.
“The City of Decatur is proud to be on Google’s short list,” said Mayor Baskett. “Decatur is known for being forward thinking in our commitment to sustainable, long-term planning. We now have the opportunity to demonstrate that we are fiber ready and future ready. Our entire community of homes, schools and places of worship would benefit from Google Fiber’s unbelievably fast internet speeds, in ways we can’t even imagine. We look forward to Google’s building the infrastructure for this technological investment in our community.”
“Communities with abundant high-speed Internet grow stronger because there’s greater potential to create jobs, drive economic growth, and help students and families get access to essential resources” said Kevin Lo, General Manager for Google Fiber. “The Decatur City Commission is stepping up to see what they can do to make their city ready for the fiber-optic networks that are the future. We look forward to working with the City of Decatur in the coming months to see if we can build the next chapter of the Internet together, on gigabit speeds.”
There is huge consumer demand for faster Internet speeds, because no one likes to wait on the web. Unfortunately, many of the things people love to do online (like gaming, watching movies, video chatting) require a lot of bandwidth, which means that, using today’s connections, consumers often get stuck waiting for pages to load or for videos to buffer. Statistics show that people walk away from slow-loading sites. And gig networks aren’t just about meeting today’s speed needs. The next 100x leap in broadband speeds — to gigabit Internet — will lead to innovation that’s unimaginable today, just as the shift from dial-up to broadband did.
Starting this week, Google will work closely with city leaders and staff on a joint planning process to explore what it would take to build a brand new fiber-optic network capable of delivering these gigabit speeds throughout the city of Decatur. Google will begin compiling a detailed study of local factors that might affect construction plans. Simultaneously, city officials will begin meetings with Google to discuss what it would take to plan and prepare the city for a fiber project of this scale.
Google will provide an update on which cities will get Google Fiber by the end of this year. Google Fiber is an Internet and TV service that provides Internet connectivity that is up to 100x faster than the basic broadband, along with hundreds of HD TV channels. Google Fiber is currently available in Kansas City, Kan., Kansas City, Mo. and Provo, Utah and will be available in Austin, Texas later this year. For more information about this announcement, visit the Google Fiber blog.
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