Welcome to the Friday Gigabit Roundup. With so much gigabit news on the wires, a weekly roundup seems only fitting. In this week's edition, Google heads south; Detroit finds a gigabit benefactor; 22 Massachusetts towns aim for an Internet upgrade.
Reports are filtering in from Atlanta and Research Triangle Park in North Carolina that construction is underway to bring Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s gigabit broadband service to both regions. The news follows similar reports in recent months from Charlotte, Nashville and Salt Lake City. There are also reports that Google Fiber Inc. may land soon in Portland, Oregon and San Antonio, with job listings for a potential rollout posted in both cities. Google Fiber is currently operational in Kansas City, Provo, Utah and Austin. (See Portland Leapfrogs Google's Gigabit Queue – Report.)
Far from the streets of the south, Detroit is also on its way to acquiring gigabit broadband service. The founder of Quicken Loans and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, has formed an ISP with fellow Quicken employees called Rocket Fiber. The Rocket Fiber team aims to bring gigabit service to the city, and has already laid nearly seven miles of fiber in the downtown area. The plan is to extend that network across 12 miles and 32 buildings by the end of 2015.
Dozens of communities in Massachusetts are also taking matters into their own hands. With the formation of a cooperative called WiredWest, 22 regions across the state have begun to raise money for fiber deployments to enable gigabit broadband service. A total of 44 Massachusetts towns are participating in WiredWest. The co-op's network costs are ultimately expected to reach $79 million.
The ISP Empire Access is taking a novel approach to building out gigabit service in Western New York. The company is using nonprofit infrastructure from Southern Tier Network and Axcess Ontario. It launched its first gigabit offering in Naples, New York in March.
Over on the west coast, citizens of Brentwood, California are now enjoying gigabit service through a city partnership with small ISP Sonic Solutions (Nasdaq: SNIC). The high-speed service is already available to more than 8,000 local residences.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading