Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon announced Wednesday that the Queen City is on a short list of three dozen cities selected as Google Fiber broadband network exploratory markets.
Starting this week, Google will work closely with Mayor Cannon 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 gigabit speeds throughout Charlotte.
Google will begin compiling a detailed study of local factors that might affect construction plans. Simultaneously, Mayor Cannon 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.
"The Internet has literally rewired how we work and live, and it still has so much potential," said Cannon in a news release from the city.
"Faster Internet speeds drive innovation and have been linked to economic development. We look forward to exploring the possibilities when the Google Fiber Team visits in a few weeks."
Today's average American broadband speed is 9.8 Megabits per second. In contrast, Google Fiber could bring Charlotte residents access to "Gigabit" Internet connections up to 1,000 Megabits per second—or up to 100 times faster than basic broadband.
"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" said Kevin Lo, General Manager for Google Fiber. "City leaders like Mayor Cannon are stepping up to see what they can do to make their cities ready for the fiber-optic networks that are the future.
Google will provide an update on which cities will get Google Fiber by the end of this year. Google Fiber, an Internet and TV service that provides Internet connectivity up to 100x faster than the basic broadband, is currently available in Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri and Provo Utah, and will be available in Austin, Texas later this year.