I've been on kind of a whirlwind Gigabit Cities tour since I started reporting on this topic for Light Reading last July. It's so far taken me (both virtually and in person) to the more obvious places on the US gigabit map -- Chattanooga, Kansas City and Austin, to name a few -- and to the far less obvious, like Sebewaing, Mich., Longmont, Colo. and Bemidji, Minn.
One of Light Reading's most anticipated stops for 2015 is Atlanta, where we're hosting our inaugural Gigabit Cities Live event on May 13 and 14. And it was gratifying to see that Google Fiber Inc. agrees with us: Atlanta is an important component of its broadband services strategy and Google intends to build out its ultra-high-speed network there. (See Google Continues Gigabit Expansion.)
We picked Atlanta as the host city for our event because, like several other major US cities, it is a competitive hotbed of gigabit network development. Before Google set its gigabit sights on the city, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) named Atlanta as a target for its GigaPower network expansion. Cable operator Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) provides service in the region, and Cox Communications Inc. makes its home in Atlanta. Experts from all of those companies, along with representatives of the City of Atlanta and dozens of other service providers, municipalities and technology innovators, will be sharing their insight at Gigabit Cities Live.
It's that breadth that makes our event stand out in this important sector: It will be inclusive of the entire Gigabit Cities ecosystem -- not just leaders of cities, service providers, utilities, technology vendors and app developers, but all of the above. Gigabit Cities Live transcends competitive boundaries, bringing together telecom and cable operators and builders of municipal networks -- all groups that don't exactly see eye to eye traditionally -- to discuss and debate all aspects of this important topic.
Everyone involved in the decisions, strategies, investments, deployments, operations and successes of Gigabit Cities will be there, examining best practices, exploring the pros and cons of public/private partnerships, looking at lessons learned, analyzing the unique needs of different communities and highlighting the most effective business models for any company or municipality.
Beyond network deployment and technology strategies, the business of gigabit applications is also paramount, and you'll see that breadth reflected in both the conference agenda and the wide range of expert speakers and partners we're assembling to add intelligence to Gigabit Cities Live. We'll cover everything from entrepreneurial development in cities to the importance of anchor institutions to the advent of applications and services that make cities smarter -- and how gigabit networks drives all of that.
Gigabit Cities Live isn't just another industry event or trade show. It's an extension of and enhancement to the Gigabit Cities ecosystem -- a forum for exploring and debating the challenges and business approaches, a lens through which to compare and contrast the successes and failures, a living laboratory for examining the underlying technologies and envisioning service and application innovation and an assembly point for forging the partnerships and affiliations that will make the ecosystem thrive.
Google is bringing its gig to Atlanta, and so is Light Reading. We hope to see you there.
— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, Light Reading