CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Google Fiber is expanding outside of its current uptown footprint. More expansion could be in the future as part of the nationwide infrastructure bill that was signed last year.
Google first came to Charlotte back in 2015 and city leaders were impressed with the plans they had for connecting people to fiber internet. The technology was recently added to the Hidden Valley Neighborhood and is now expanding to suburbs outside Mecklenburg County.
The internet is second nature to some. You turn on a computer and high-speed access is there, but that’s not the case for everyone. The FCC estimates more than 21 million people lack broadband internet access.
In Charlotte, that breaks down to nearly 25% of people and about 10% don’t have access to the internet at all.
The signing of the infrastructure bill last year means $65 million will be used to improve access to high-speed internet nationwide.
“Hopefully the broadband infrastructure will unlock more opportunities like that for Google Fiber and other cities, but for communities everywhere and places even where Google Fiber isn’t,” said Jess George from Google Fiber.
Google Fiber first looked at Charlotte in 2014 and a year later the service officially came online, opening an office in Uptown.
Expansion outside Charlotte has taken some time, but right now the service is being added in Matthews and Concord.
“If you think about the internet service providers that already exist, they have had their infrastructure on the ground or on our poles for decades. We are building something brand new from the ground up so it is this massive undertaking,” said George.
But what is fiber and how is it faster?
“Fiber internet service means we are using glass, not copper, not metal, not coaxed cable. That means you are getting the fastest speeds possible,” said George.
To check for fiber service, Google has set up a locator online you can access here