Last week’s announcement of Google Fiber expanding in the Triangle is a significant milestone for our region’s economy and future. Google’s fiber, which is 100 times faster than basic broadband, will provide a critical form of connectivity for our communities which Governor McCrory noted, in the press conference announcement, is just as important as roads, highways and other infrastructure.
Google’s expansion comes on the heels of the December 2014announcement of AT&T rolling out its 1-gigabit, high-speed Internet service in the Triangle as a result of an agreement with the towns and universities that make up the N.C. Next Generation Network (NCNGN). Raleigh is now one out of only two communities to land work with both Google Fiber and AT&T GigaPower, other than Austin, Texas, and the Triangle is two out of only four regions in the country where Google has chosen to expand their Gigabit Internet service. Last year, when Google started looking into expanding, seven municipalities in the Triangle applied for the service and all seven were selected.
So, why did Google choose our region?
As a company, Google is similar to the Triangle in that they value smart, educated talent; rich diversity; open culture and collaboration; entrepreneurship and innovation; and a rich quality of life.
Recent praise given to the region supports why Google would want to expand here:
- The Research Triangle region is a top tech hub
- Raleigh is the second most educated city in America
- Raleigh is the #3 best large metro in America for STEM professionals
- Inc. magazine names Raleigh one of seven cities better than Silicon Valley for startups
- Raleigh is ranked the #2 best place for business and careers
Wake County Economic Development (WCED) worked closely with the City of Raleigh, Wake County and NCNGN to host bi-monthly meetings over the past year to discuss the deployment of next generation broadband networks in North Carolina. The goal of the collaboration is to encourage private sector providers to deliver ultra-fast bandwidth at highly affordable prices to ensure our regions and state remain competitive and at the forefront of developing the next-generation applications essential to all sectors of the economy. In October 2014, WCED’s Michael Haley also moderated a panel on fiber in partnership with NCNGN, the City of Raleigh and Wake County. The panel discussed how fiber will impact our region, economic development, education and healthcare.
What does Google Fiber mean for the future of the Triangle?
Now that the Triangle will offer the advanced broadband infrastructure needed to support a fast-paced ecosystem, our region will be able to lead the way in technology advancement. Also, the benefit spans all industries and can help our region move the needle forward on almost every measure of economic success: education, job creation, quality of life and talent attraction.
A better connected future means that we are well-positioned as a global community that can be a magnet for companies eager to start up or relocate to the area. Overall, Google Fiber means more innovation and more productivity for the Triangle.
For more on what Google Fiber will mean for our region, read “What Google Fiber May Mean for North Carolina, NC State and R&D” via NC State University.