The home to Amazon, and neighboring Microsoft, Nintendo America, T-Mobile, and VALVE, Seattle is no stranger to cutting edge technology. The tech-soaked city is making sure it stays on top and has entered into an agreement with a startup called Gigabit Squared to have a gigabit broadband network implemented, bringing 1 Gbps connections across the city. According to GigaOM, the parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Letter of Intent that will allow Gigabit Squared to start raising the funds needed to create the demonstration fiber network.
According to a statement released by the city, “the plan will begin with a demonstration fiber project in twelve Seattle neighborhoods and includes wireless methods to deploy services more quickly to other areas.” The upgrade to Seattle’s existing city-owned fiber network consists of three parts: a fiber-to-home element for the 12 Seattle neighborhoods that’ll reach 50,000 homes; point-to-point wireless; and a mobile broadband service. Thirty-eight buildings in the city will be installed with fiber transmitters to supply the point-to-point coverage outside the 12 fiber-to-home areas.
Gigabit Squared took on the Seattle project as part of its arrangement with the Gig.U project, which is aimed at supplying gigabit Internet in college towns to further improve the conditions for innovation. Announced in October, Chicago was the first city the startup partnered with for Gig.U.
In addition to Seattle and Chicago, Kansas City and Bruistol, Tenn., have announced plans for gigabit networks. These locales are skipping over traditional Internet service providers and putting more control over the broadband into the hands of cities and private businesses. It seems unlikely that the telecommunications sector will quietly let this push into their turf continue, so we’ll be on the watch for their counterattack.
Image via David Herrera