Charlotte Officials Working With Google On Early Stages Of New Fiber Optic Network

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by Kirk Hawkins

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Abhishek Mehta and his team at Tresata in Uptown Charlotte make up a next-generation software company that relies heavily on internet access. "If you can move data efficiently, fast, cheap, you can create innovation like none other," said Tresata CEO Mehta.


Tresata could benefit from a high-speed internet service called Google Fiber. It's already available in three cities. Google is considering offering it in Charlotte and 33 other cities across the country.

Center City Partners says the private investment in infrastructure could help with Charlotte's

competitive edge. "Bandwith, technology, light rail: all of those components make for a better, more attractive city," said Center City Partners President & CEO Michael Smith


Right now, Time Warner's fastest internet service is available for an introductory rate of $65 a month. For roughly the same price, $70 per month, Google Fiber provides broadband that's 20 times faster, and that could be big for business in the Charlotte area. "I think this could be huge. Anytime that you improve the infrastructure, it allows so many companies to take advantage of the opportunities," said North Carolina Technology Association Membership Development Manager Alan Fitzpatrick.


Proving a city of the future can be good for both technology startups and individual: "If you actually had an information superhighway, we could build a truly unique city of the world," said Mehta.


The prices quoted came from Time Warner Cable and Google Fiber's websites. After a detailed study of construction factors, Google says it will reveal if Charlotte gets selected by the end of the year.
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