CHARLOTTE - Google Fiber is coming to Charlotte and the City of Oaks after the company announced the expansion in both the Queen City and Raleigh Tuesday afternoon, offering customers another option for high speed internet.
Company officials claim the service features speeds up to 100-times faster than normal broadband speeds.
"This is a major, major win for our city ," said Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter.
In a press conference, he joined other elected officials who said they hoped the service will help continue to bridge the digital divide and one day attract new business to the area.
"We think Google Fiber will put Charlotte on par with some of the fastest cities in the world like Tokyo, Seoul, and Zurich,” said Jill Szuchmacher, Director of Expansion. “Given that the U.S. is still 14th in the world for speeds, this is a big deal.”
Szuchmahcer could not give an exact timetable for the service to be up and running.
"This is a huge step in an announcement of what the city's going to be in the next century," said Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane.
Later this year, crews will begin the complicated installation of 6-thousand miles of fiber optic cable and other infrastructure.
"Just for the network here in Charlotte, the number of route miles will have to go from here to Canada and back, so it's a very enormous effort and a lot of detail that we need to plan,” said Szuchmahcer
The combined gigabit internet and tv package will run you about $120 per month with Google Fiber.
Within the past several months, competitors Time Warner Cable and AT&T announced they were also increasing internet speeds.
"Google coming is going to lead other internet providers to really kick up their game,” said city manager Ron Carlee. “Products are going to really begin differentiating themselves and the service they provide, by their speeds and by their pricing.”
In a statement, Time Warner Cable said:
“Today, our most popular Internet plans offer consumers the best value across our entire Charlotte/Triangle service areas, not just select neighborhoods. And we’re innovating for tomorrow: TWC Maxx will bring Internet speeds up to 6x faster for every Time Warner Cable Internet customer in the Charlotte/Triangle area this year, with a top speed up to 300 Mbps. We have the people, products and local service to compete with anyone, anytime, anywhere.”
AT&T submitted submitted this statement:
“We’re excited about the initial feedback we’ve received about U-verse with AT&T GigaPower in Charlotte and our work is on track. U-verse with AT&T GigaPower’s fiber-enhanced speeds open up new possibilities for innovators and businesses, as well as consumers who want faster speeds for surfing, shopping, gaming, social networking, business transactions and more. U-verse with AT&T GigaPower provides customers access to the fastest Internet available from AT&T, featuring speeds up to 1 gigabit per second.
We’ve launched U-verse with AT&T GigaPower℠ in Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Winston-Salem, in addition to Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth, Tex.
We welcome additional competition because it strengthens customer offerings and drives innovation.