Updated Jan. 28 to include statements from competing internet providers
A few minutes before noon Tuesday at Nashville’s Entrepreneur Center, a wall partition lifted and revealed a sign on stage: “Nashville, Fiber is coming.”
Google Fiber’s long-anticipated announcement brought a flurry of excitement from Nashville entrepreneurs, who hope it could thrust the city’s technology industry into the spotlight.
Google Fiber enthusiast Mark Montgomery, who founded a music tech company, predicts the announcement will bring more than just the fast internet.
“Google has a tendency to invest in a market. If they like the results they get, they invest further,” he says. “So this is the beginning, I think, of the next level of engagement of this obviously enormous global presence.”
Down the hall in the Entrepreneur Center, Jared Barrett, vice president of a healthcare technology startup, says the development is also likely to bring more investors in general.
“Having Google’s stamp of approval here will allow a lot of tech startups to come here seeing opportunity that wasn’t always present,” he says.
Future Of Fiber
Google Fiber hasn’t given a timeline yet, but the company’s general manager says residents will see hundreds of crews over the next couple of years installing cable lines, one neighborhood at a time.
But unofficially, Nashville residents could follow the progress in Austin, Texas, to get an idea of the timing and pricing. Google Fiber announced it was expanding to Austin nearly two years ago and has since rolled out in
five neighborhoods in the city limits. Internet advertised as “up to 1 gigabit” costs $70 a month there, or $130 with TV service.
AT&T announced last July it would be installing its gigabit-speed Gigapower internet in Nashville. The company hasn’t given a timeline for the product, but released a statement yesterday saying their work is “on track.” It continued: “We’re in the process of adding resources to help take us further down this path.”
Comcast, meanwhile, recently said it would start providing gigabit speeds this year, although didn’t mention any specific cities.
In a statement, Comcast noted that it currently offers internet advertised at 500 mbps — half of a gigabit per second: “We have a great track record for staying at the technology forefront and delivering the fastest speeds to the most homes and businesses. …
We believe that offering our customers a variety of choices at affordable rates is the best value that we can provide.”