The lowdown: Seattle mayor Mike McGinn today announced an agreement with broadband developer Gigabit Squared to operate a high-speed fiber network in Seattle in 12 neighborhoods using the city’s unused “dark fiber” network. We’ve updated the story below, including more detailed information about the test project.
Here’s the full press release.
The network is called Gigabit Seattle and there will be 12 “demonstration fiber projects” in neighborhoods around the city that includes three parts: fiber directly to homes and businesses in the 12 neighborhoods, broadband connections to multifamily housing and offices around Seattle, and next generation mobile wireless internet.
McGinn ended his announcement by talking about how Bill Gates and Paul Allen got their start by sneaking into the UW and using the latest computer technology that no one else had, which gave them ideas to eventually build a software empire.
“What ideas will we get now?” McGinn asked. “I still believe the next big thing will come out of a spare bedroom or garage somewhere in Seattle.”
Here’s the full press release:
Hi Byron — Can you do the folks in the neighborhood a favor and call the city to find out what the boundaries of Area 3 are? Still trying to figure out whether my house is included or not.
Mark me confused. I have no idea what this means personally to me. Does it mean I ‘can get’ the higher speeds if I pay? Does it mean my current provider can use it for free and I continue to use them? Does it mean public hotspots?
As far as I can tell from the website, it means that you can get higher-speed Internet service from Gigabit as an alternative to DSL or whichever cable provider owns your area. My guess is that it will be more expensive and much faster. For me the fastest DSL connection available is 12mbps and the fastest cable is 50mbps at $125/month a la carte. There’s a company that offers 100mbps service in some downtown condos for $60/month and I’m betting this will be comparable.
What I’m looking forward to is the possibility of dealing with a locally-based service center, at least until they expand more. I used to use a local DSL provider and they had excellent support, in contrast to CenturyLink which has a call center outside the US. It took them several extra days to install our service because they didn’t think to ask how old our house was, and as soon as they sent a local technician in person he told us it’s common that the no-tech install fails on older buildings with more convoluted wiring.
I am curious also, as I don’t have any complaint regarding my DSL internet service (I would love to pay less.). Over the years, the main complaint in the area seemed to be about cable TV service and the internet associated with it. What does this mean for residents and businesses?