Google is looking at possibly expanding its Google Fiber network in Nashville, which would offer an Internet connection that is 100 times faster than traditional broadband service. City officials believe that this would raise the city’s technology profile if chosen and also boost economic activity through increased Internet connectivity.
For Nashville residents, having service with a data transfer speed of 1 gigabit per second could mean better video streaming, video conferencing, and gaming capabilities. It could also mean more software developers and entrepreneurs would look to Nashville as a place to build an app or run a company.
Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Fiber, thinks Nashville could do some amazing things with the gig. He says that there is a strong health care industry here and the music tech scene is outstanding.
So far Google Fiber is offered in Kansas City and Provo, Utah, and construction has begun in Austin, Texas. They are exploring expansion in ten U.S. metropolitan areas, including Nashville, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Atlanta, San Antonio, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Portland and the San Jose and South Bay area. They expect to announce which cities move forward with fiber plans later this year.
Whether or not Google commits to Nashville will depend on how easy it is to establish a local fiber network. A large scale construction project, including adding infrastructure both underground and on poles, would need to be put in place. Google is currently looking into how the network would be established and what hurdles exist in the metro area. If there are too many obstacles then Google would most likely decide not to move forward.
It could be several months until residents can access the fiber network if Nashville is approved since Google announced it was bringing fiber to Austin in April 2013 and the service will be available to residents by the end of this year.
We are excited about the possibility of this opportunity though and what it could do for our city!