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Raleigh Area Underwhelmed With Google Fiber

October 26, 2017

google fiber

ABC 11 in Raleigh, N.C. recently sent reporter Jon Camp to examine whether taxpayer-subsidized Google Fiber had made any progress bringing high-speed broadband to the city and its surrounding areas.

Google Fiber announced its entry into the Raleigh market in January 2015 with the help of the former governor and seven mayors. At the time, the officials said they expected to “reap significant economic advantages from the high-speed network.”

Camp found little evidence that promise had been kept:

  • In the city of Garner, the company has not built any fiber lines even though the mayor says the company made a “promise” to invest there. The last communication the mayor had with Google Fiber was five months ago. Thankfully, as a city spokesperson said, “Other players in the market will fill the vacuum …”
  • Permitting has slowed down in Raleigh over the last few months. (The company has connected 22,000 homes in the city.)
  • Google Fiber hasn’t shared updated expansion plans with the city of Chapel Hill even though its permits expired or were pulled about a year ago. ABC 11 was told that, of 39 permits that Google Fiber had originally applied for, it has canceled 26.
  • Officials from the city of Carrboro have been told the company still is planning to offer service there, but have given no timeline for when that work might be started.
  • Google Fiber has done some work in Durham, but “the city isn’t aware of any Google Fiber work being done currently.”
  • In Cary, the company “scaled back its original plans of building ‘five or six’ connection points in the town down to two,” but is “signing people up and connecting homes.”

ABC 11’s Camp concluded, “It’s not the speed of the connection that’s the problem; it’s the time it’s taking for people to get connected.”