The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

Google to the rescue: Fiber optic network would be boon for area

he ability to stream “Avatar” in high definition while Skyping a friend in Hong Kong at the same time on Franklin Street might no longer be impractical if the community and the University band together to help bring Google’s experimental fiber optic network to the Chapel Hill and Carrboro areas.

Google states that its new network will be able to deliver the Internet at speeds of 1 gigabit per second, which would be more than 100 times faster than normal broadband.

If Google installs this infrastructure in our community, it would not only provide high-quality Internet to the town but would also help it retain valuable talent and businesses.

Brian Russell, owner of Carrboro Creative Coworking and creator of a Facebook group encouraging involvement in the process, believes that Google’s new network will prevent local “brain drain.”

Ideas that have been developed locally as a result of the strong intellectual culture in the Chapel Hill area will stay here.

Thus, more businesses will be created in the area, supporting the local economy. Commercial tax revenues would increase for the town, allowing for a decreased tax burden on local residents.

Google would also open up its network to several service providers. Residents in the area should benefit tremendously, enjoying better Internet at more competitive prices.

There is no doubt that Google’s investment would be good for the town and its residents. But Google will only select certain communities for initial tests of its new network.

Chapel Hill and Carrboro have already expressed great interest in pursuing the network. The University should be sure to collaborate with these local governments to attract Google.

A united community effort would most likely stand out in a crowded field of competitors.

Residents should also get involved by filling out Google’s “Request for Information” form that can be found on its Web site. Increased demand from residents for Google’s services will only increase the odds for the company to select our community.

We can ensure that Chapel Hill area remains at the forefront of commercial and intellectual progress with access to the next generation of Internet capabilities.

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