(KFYI News) – Google on Wednesday announced plans to bring its ultra high speed "Google Fiber" internet service to the Valley.
Under the plan, Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale would get fiber-optic internet service with speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. That's 100 times faster than the average internet connection speed in the US, although such speeds are common in most other developed countries.
According to Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton, "Our entire country is falling behind when it comes to internet speeds. According to the World Economic Forum, we're ranked only 35th in the world when it comes to internet bandwidth."
Stanton is an enthusiastic supporter of the change, saying it will increase the chances of attracting new businesses, especially high-tech companies for whom a fast internet connection is a must. "Ultra high speed internet does accelerate economic development," Stanton told a news conference where the announcement was made.
Each of the three cities will put time and money into compiling reports and maps of each city's infrastructure that will help Google plan where it should string fiber optic cable – above ground, underground, or using existing utility poles and conduits when it can work out lease arrangements.
A Google spokesman says when the firm installed its first fiber network in Kansas City, it took about two years from initial announcement until it was up and running. Since then, a Google Fiber network has begun operating in Provo, Utah, and Google Fiber service will start in Austin, Texas, later this year.