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February 06, 2013

Gigabit Internet deployments and US Prospects

Gigabit connections are available to governments, educational institutions, and large businesses, it’s difficult to get such a fast connection for regular public use. Santa Monica, California has a 10 Gigabit network, but that’s mostly allocated for business use.

Gig.U, Gigabit Squared - Seattle, Chicago and other Cities

The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project, or Gig.U, is a broad-based group of over 30 leading research universities from across the United States. Drawing on America’s rich history of community-led innovation in research and entrepreneurship, Gig.U seeks to accelerate the deployment of ultra high-speed networks to leading U.S. universities and their surrounding communities. Improvements to these networks drive economic growth and stimulate a new generation of innovations addressing critical needs, such as health care and education.

Gigabit Squared raised $200 million and so far is targeting six cities for gigabit internet deployment. Gigabit Squared has set aside $5 million for the Chicago project as part of its Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program in collaboration with partner Gig.U. The State of Illinois is kicking in $2 million, while the University of Chicago is committing $1 million now and plans to raise another $1 million in the surrounding communities.

The first phase of the project will bring gigabit fiber connections to 4,825 homes, businesses, schools, libraries and healthcare institutions in the Hyde Park neighborhood U of C calls home, as well as surrounding communities.

They will expand out over the next four years taking in more neighborhoods. Eventually the project hopes to connect 210,000 residents living in 79,000 households with a combination of fiber and Wi-Fi technologies, as well as link 10,000 individual small businesses. That’s a healthy chunk of Chicago’s south side.



The City of Seattle reached an agreement with broadband developer Gigabit Squared to develop and operate an ultra high-speed fiber-to-the-home/fiber-to-the-business broadband network. The plan will begin with a demonstration fiber project in twelve Seattle neighborhoods and includes wireless methods to deploy services more quickly to other areas in the city. The initiative, leveraging the City of Seattle’s excess fiber capacity, the expertise of Gigabit Squared, and the community leadership of The University of Washington, aims to stimulate business opportunities, spur advancements in health care, education, and public safety, and enhance quality of life for the residents and businesses of Seattle.

Gigabit Squared plans to lower the cost of deploying and operating a broadband [gigabit] network. The goal is to bring gigabit speeds to as many places as possible, and along the way they will join firms like Google, Sonic.Net, Allied Fiber and several municipalities in changing the way broadband is deployed and operated in the U.S.

Gigabit Internet Already Deploying in the United States

The FCC Chairman recently pointed out, all-fiber gigabit networks are already up and running in 42 U.S. communities in 14 states. And the technology that drives them has proven out at 10 gigabits and beyond. Only future-proof fiber can get us to the next-generation broadband that will propel our economy and boost our standard of living in the years ahead.

The Fiber to the Home Council has online case studies of the economic benefits to communites of gigabit internet

1. Kansas City, MS / MO

Google Fiber – After a long bidding process, Google selected Kansas City and has now begun deploying the first major consumer-based Gigabit network in the US. You can read more about that here and here.

2. Chattanooga, TN

GIG City – Chattanooga has dubbed itself GIGcity and is making a bug push to become a tech hub, bolstered by what it claims is America’s largest Gigabit network that serves all residents and businesses.

3. Lafayette, LA

LUS Fiber – Lafayette recently joined the ranks of super connected cities by rolling out a Gigabit fiber network after winning a long fight with Cox Cable and BellSouth, the city’s incumbent service providers.

4. East Lansing, MI

DTN Management – East Lansing, Michigan has several areas of the city where you can currently get Gigabit internet as seen on the map here

5. Bristol, VA / TN

BTES – The city of Bristol, (which sits between Virginia and Tennessee) has deployed Gigabit internet service to its residents in a 280-square-mile service area, helping make Tennessee a current hotspot for ultra high speed internet service.

6. Morristown, TN

MUS FiberNET – While Morisstown has never achieved as much recognition as Kansas City or Chattanooga, the city does offer Gigabit speed to businesses at $849 per month (residential plans go up to 20/10 according to the provider’s website).

7. Burlington, VT

Burlington Telecom – Burlington VT rounds out the list of cities that currently offer residential gigabit speeds. The muni network charges $149.00 per month for gigabit access (with a 12 month contract; $199 without a contract).

Fiber to the Home

Getting fiber optic cable to every home would be a huge factor in getting to superfast internet. The FTTH council is promoting that effort


SOURCES - Highspeed Geek, FTTH.org, google fiber, sonic,net, gigaom, gig-u

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