Google Fiber will begin rolling out gigabit internet services in Louisville after years of city officials attempting to woo the company.
Mayor Greg Fischer announced the news Wednesday, saying the company soon will begin construction of its internet infrastructure. “This next step toward bringing Google Fiber’s super-fast internet network to Louisville demonstrates our city’s commitment to the type of forward-looking innovation that creates opportunities for businesses and families,” Fischer stated in a press release.
At the urging of the Fischer administration and in an effort to further entice the company, Metro Council passed a “one touch ready” ordinance last year that allows Google or other broadband service provider to rearrange the equipment of other companies on utility poles. However, the delayed announcement and changes in leadership and strategy at Google Fiber — in addition to a lawsuit filed by AT&T against this ordinance, which is ongoing — led many to wonder if this day would come
In a video posted on Facebook Wednesday morning, Fischer said the announcement “really puts an exclamation point to the economic momentum that we’ve got in the city right now. We’re really going like a renaissance like we haven’t seen in quite some time. And it sends another strong message to the world that we have an innovative-based economy here, we expect it to grow more jobs, create more opportunity.”
Fischer’s press release stated that Google Fiber will announce details of its services in Louisville “at a later date,” but those interested can sign up for updates. The release added that Google Fiber expects to soon file its first permit to build its network, the construction of which will be done in phases to “allow a more efficient build and reduce disruption.” The initial build-out “will focus on a handful of communities and neighborhoods.”
In response to questions about the construction timeline and which parts of the city will get fiber service first, a Google Fiber spokesperson sent IL the following statement: “The start of construction is an exciting moment for Google Fiber in Louisville. Building a new fiber network is a big job, and we’re grateful for the continued patience and support of the city’s residents and leaders. Working with our partners, we can’t wait to continue to develop creative ways to bring super fast connectivity to Louisville.”
According to the mayor’s press release, Google Fiber also “plans to test innovative new ways to deploy super-fast Internet, such as the microtrenching technique already approved by the city.” The release states that Google Fiber is working on advancing wireless capabilities, though it did not specifically announce a switch from an entirely broadband infrastructure to an entirely wireless infrastructure, as the company has signaled in the past.
The announcement of Google Fiber was praised by Metro Council leaders of both parties.
“Google Fiber’s commitment to constructing a gigabit fiber optic network in Louisville is exciting for both our people and businesses,” said Metro Council President David Yates, D-25. “The infrastructure will provide a platform for further economic development and technological investment into our community. The welcome increase in competition for both television and internet will improve the quality and cost of these services throughout our city, positively impacting every customer in this market. Our city has invested much in bringing Google Fiber from Silicon Valley to the Ohio Valley. We are excited to begin seeing the return on that investment for our citizens.”
“I thank Google for making the decision to invest in Louisville,” said Councilman Kevin Kramer, chair of the Republican Caucus. “We have worked hard to express our interest as a city, and believe this expansion will aid the many families, businesses, and organizations who yearn for speedy and reliable access to the internet.”
“High speed internet is a necessity for any growing city and today’s announcement is another step toward more jobs and economic growth,” said Councilman Bill Hollander, chair of the Democratic Caucus. “Mayor Fischer’s pursuit of Google Fiber, with the support of Metro Council and our suburban cities, has already led to more competition, which means better service and pricing for our entire community. I look forward to more of both.”
This story will be updated.