Thu07242014

Mountain View on the Move

Google plan may provide fiber-optic network

The city of Mountain View and Google Inc. have joined forces to offer residents a new connectivity plan.

Over the next few months, city leaders and Google officials will explore the possibility of bringing Google Fiber to Mountain View homes. In the meantime, Google will provide new, free, public, outdoor Wi-Fi to the downtown corridor and will offer a $500,000 technology grant to the city.

As part of the long-term proposal in the connectivity plan, Google will work with city leaders to determine the feasibility of building a brand new fiber-optic network throughout Mountain View that is capable of delivering gigabit Internet connections. The Mountain View City Council was scheduled to vote on the proposal Tuesday, after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

“Communities with abundant high-speed Internet grow stronger because there is a greater potential to create jobs, drive economic growth and help students and families get access to essential resources,” said Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Fiber. “We look forward to working with Mountain View in the coming months to see if we can bring Google Fiber to our hometown.”

According to Akamai Technologies’ latest “State of the Internet” report, the average American broadband speed is 9.8 megabits per second.

In contrast, Google Fiber could allow Mountain View residents access to gigabit Internet connections (1,024 megabits per second) – or up to 100 times faster data-transfer speeds than basic broadband.

Google will notify residents at least 60 days in advance of shutting down the current Google Wi-Fi system to make way for the new downtown corridor hotspot.

The city has initially earmarked the grant to provide Wi-Fi at public facilities with services that narrow the digital divide, including free outdoor Wi-Fi at Rengstorff Park and free indoor Wi-Fi at the Mountain View Public Library, Senior Center, Community Center and Teen Center.

“We need to provide the tools of success for every one of our residents in this connected world. With this connectivity plan, we have the opportunity to make a significant leap forward by upgrading the Wi-Fi in key areas of Mountain View,” said Mayor Chris Clark. “This city is demonstrating readiness for innovative services like Google Fiber.”

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