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Google to Weave Fiber to Huntsville, Ala.

Though Google usually builds its own network, in this case it will sue city-built fiber network to carry data. The network is also open to other providers.

Mitch Wagner

February 22, 2016

2 Min Read
Google to Weave Fiber to Huntsville, Ala.

Google Fiber is coming to Huntsville, Ala., riding a city-built municipal fiber network.

Rocket City leaders announced the network in 2014, to "support an electrical smart grid and other municipal needs, plus provide the best of the Web for local families, entrepreneurs, businesses and academics alike," according to a post on the Google Fiber blog Monday signed by Jill Szuchmacher, director of the Google Fiber expansion. Google Fiber has now become the first ISP to sign up to use the network, which was built for open access.

Mostly, Google Fiber networks have been built from scratch, but the company has taken other approaches as well. It purchased a network from Provo, Utah; built its own network and used existing fiber in Atlanta; and now it's using a city-owned network in Huntsville, Szuchmacher says.

Figure 1: Rollout Plans Where to find Google Fiber. [Source: Google] Where to find Google Fiber.
[Source: Google]

Huntsville has the highest concentration of engineers in the country, and is among the best places in the US for STEM workers, Szuchmacher says.

Huntsville Utilities will design and build the network. "Once the network is built, Google Fiber -- or any other broadband provider -- will be able to bring high speed Internet service to the city," Szuchmacher says.

Fiber is part of a basic city infrastructure today, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said Monday, according to a report on AL.com. Fiber will come first to businesses -- such as the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology -- and then homes.

Figure 2: Huntsville View of downtown Huntsville, Ala. from Big Spring International Park. [Source. CC BY-SA 3.0] View of downtown Huntsville, Ala. from Big Spring International Park.
[Source. CC BY-SA 3.0]

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— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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