Google Fiber Coming to Huntsville, Ala.

Google plans to bring Gigabit-speed internet to transform the city.

by Lee Roop, Alabama Media Group, Birmingham / February 10, 2017

(TNS) -- Google Fiber representatives met with more than 100 young entrepreneurs Wednesday night to talk about how their lives might change in the soon-to-be Gig City of Huntsville, Ala.

When it came to specifics about Google's plan to bring Gigabit-speed Internet to Huntsville starting this year, information was shared, but limited. Check our website for updates, the crowd was advised.

"No big announcements, no news," Google's Caroline De Gantes said while opening her presentation to Huntsville's Coworking night. That was accurate, but the company did offer a few tidbits about how it will operate there.

1. Google will run fiber to the home from main fiber lines laid by Huntsville Utilities, and a Google installation technician will also run fiber into the home after consultation with homeowners about how they use the Internet.

2. Google will serve Huntsville first before considering any other out-of-city addresses.

3. De Gantes said Google Fiber's service is different from what other providers are now promising locally because of the company's "excellent customer experience." The choices now being offered locally are because Google Fiber is coming, she said.

4. Another Google representative said homeowners can expect a $5,000 increase in their homes' value if they add fiber optic cable.

De Gantes' presentation was about what life in a Gig City might be like. She discussed the potential for small businesses to handle large amounts of data easily and share content with customers and collaborators. The experience is different in different cities, she said, adding, "We can't wait to see what you do with it."

To demonstrate the possibilities, De Gantes played a video showing a concert recorded live with musicians in two different cities and vocalists in a third. The even ran seamlessly with "no lag time, no latency," in De Gantes' words.

Expect Google Fiber to be active in the community and in the schools, De Gantes said. As an example, she pointed to Thursday night's sponsored screening of the film "Hidden Figures" at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center for kids from local Girl Scout troops, Girls, Inc., and Boys and Girls clubs.

Wednesday night's presentation was to Huntsville's weekly Coworking night for young entrepreneurs at Real Estate Row on University Drive. Coworking creator Chris Beaman said the event averages 550 people monthly who meet to network and work on startups.

©2017 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.