TEGA CAY, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Slow download speeds and unstable internet connections from only one internet provider don’t make many people happy.
Tega Cay neighbors say they’ve been having those issues for a while now. But soon, they’ll have the option to try another service out because Google Fiber is coming to town.
“I’m really excited to have another option,” said Ember Byrd.
Neighbors in Tega Cay will have two options for internet providers: their current service provider, Comporium, or Google Fiber.
City leaders now have a long-term contractual partnership with the company, making it South Carolina’s first community to have two choices.
“We do a lot of filming here and a lot of streaming stuff like that. And so, the speeds aren’t great, and the speeds are not great, so we haven’t been able to have another option. So, when I heard about this, I was like, ‘Oh yes’, because it’s perfect for us,” said Byrd.
Google Fiber is only available in 13 cities across 10 states. It provides internet access to about 4.1 million people; Tega Cay will be the 14th city.
Byrd runs “Women of Fort Mill Podcast” with her cohost Christina “It’s the women of Fort Mill telling the women’s stories. And it’s going to be great. We’re hoping to have it out by Thanksgiving,” Byrd said.
They’ve been recording all day, dealing with many upload and download issues. Slows speeds sometimes prevent her from having a smooth work experience.
“It can delay everything. It can also it can change everything. Because when you lose footage and you lose something, you’re uploading if it’s not saved. There have been times when I have been trying to do something and I completely lost it. And it’s frustrating when you put hours into something,” she said.
Tega Cay Mayor Chris Gray says the partnership will upgrade the city’s technological infrastructure. He believes competition is healthy, especially when it could make his constituents happier.
“Residents, it’s been a it’s been a point of contingency for a while. But our residents, you know, yes, they would like another choice. Yes, we would like to have somebody else come in, you know, and for years, nobody has wanted to come in and bring that infrastructure in because there is such a cost to doing so. Now, with the technologies that we have—directional boring machines—we’ve got plows that they can plow it in, and it’s becoming easier to install that kind of that kind of ductwork. And, the wire and everything. Fiber has come a long way as well. Used to be a bend radius on fiber was only about a foot and a half. Now you can bend fiber almost on itself and it won’t break, but it’s come a long way. So the price has come down as far as fiber goes. Fiber counts, all that good. It’s come down substantially. So now it’s more feasible as far as an economic standpoint for companies like Google to come in. And once they get here, I doubt they’re going to stop in Tega Cay,” he said.
The city still has at least two more votes before bringing the company to town. Mayor Chris Gray says it will be at least three to four years before Google Fiber is permanently installed in the city.
Governor Henry McMaster and Google Fiber officials will be in Tega Cay on Wednesday to formally announce the company’s entry into the state.