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Posted on: February 19, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Avondale Estates on Google Fiber’s Metro-Atlanta Short List

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City to work with web giant to explore bringing residents Internet access up to 100 times faster than basic broadband speeds

Mayor Ed Rieker today announced the City of Avondale Estates is on a short list of nine metro Atlanta cities working with Google to explore the possibility of bringing the ultra-high-speed Google Fiber broadband network to the City.

“We are excited to be working with Google Fiber to potentially bring ultra-high-speed Internet access to Avondale Estates,” Mayor Rieker said. “Implementing abundant, high-speed broadband access will encourage economic development and allow the City to become a test bed for new technology and ideas that have the potential to improve our daily lives.”

Today’s average American broadband speed is 9.8 megabits per second. In contrast, Google Fiber could bring Avondale Estates residents access to “gigabit” Internet connections up to 1,000 megabits per second—or up to 100 times faster than basic broadband.

Avondale Estates in April 2010 passed a resolution to respond to Google’s “Think Big With a Gig” challenge, which invited U.S. cities to tell Google if they’d want the company to build a new, gigabit-speed network in their community. Avondale Estates joined with four other cities under the name of “Atlanta Urban Area Partnership for Google Fiber” to craft a joint response and collectively bolster their chances of bringing the technology to the area. Watch a video about the partnership.

As a Fellow working directly with technology startups at Flashpoint and the new Center for Startup Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Mayor Rieker recognizes the value of Google Fiber. “Having access to communities with reliable, gigabit Internet access allows startup teams to explore, develop and implement new ideas, technologies and products that shape the next generation of meaningful services delivered on the Internet,” he said. “Avondale Estates could be on that forefront.”

Kevin Lo, general manager for Google Fiber, commended local leaders such as Mayor Rieker who are stepping up to see what they can do to make their cities ready for the fiber-optic networks that are the future. “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,” Lo said. “We look forward to working with the City of Avondale Estates 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 Mayor Rieker and City leaders 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 Avondale Estates. Google will begin compiling a detailed study of local factors that might affect construction plans. Simultaneously, Mayor Rieker and City leaders 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, along with hundreds of HD TV channels. It’s 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. Residents interested in obtaining Google Fiber if it does come to the City of Avondale Estates may enter their addresses on the Google Fiber site.

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