OKLAHOMA CITY – Good news, Oklahoma City! Google Fiber may be on its way!
On Wednesday, Oklahoma City leaders announced that they will begin working with Google Fiber to explore the possibility of building a brand new super fast broadband network in the city.
“In a way, it’s like getting an NBA team in that people know that the NBA doesn’t choose its cities randomly. They don’t just fire a dart and say we are going to choose that city. So when they chose Oklahoma City, it shows something is going on here,” said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.
Google Fiber is known for providing super fast Internet and cable television to markets where it is available.
“Something that may have taken a few minutes to download before would be done in an instant,” said Cornett.
There are three options that customers can choose from, including a free basic internet option, Gigabit Internet and Gigabit plus TV.
Currently, Google Fiber is only available in a Kansas City, Provo and Austin.
However, there are plans in place to install Google Fiber in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City and San Antonio.
Oklahoma City is one of three new cities selected by Google Fiber for this partnership, a venture that could deliver cable and Internet speeds up to 85 times faster than in most American cities.
— Google Fiber (@googlefiber) October 28, 2015
“What attracted us to Oklahoma City was a couple of things. There is a thriving business community and it’s one of the top cities to start a business, that’s something that is attractive to us. Also the leadership here; you absolutely have to have strong leadership for this type of venture,” said Jill Szuchmacher, Director of Expansion with Google Fiber.
Google will now begin compiling a detailed study of local factors that might affect construction plans, while Mayor Mick Cornett and city leaders will begin meetings with Google to further discuss the plan.
— Sheldra Brigham (@SheldraBrigham) October 28, 2015
“Over the next few months, we’ll work with Mayor Cornett to see what [Google Fiber] would look like,” Szuchmacher said.
For the next few months, Google with meet with city staff to evaluate things like existing infrastructure, permitting standards and construction standards.
“We really want to learn a lot about Oklahoma City so we can determine if we are going to be able to build a network here,” she said.
“We’re very excited to be at this point in the process. We’ve had ongoing conversations with Google since 2012 and today we are moving forward with a game-changing opportunity to enhance broadband access in Oklahoma City – both in terms of speed and access,” said Mayor Cornett.
Oklahoma families will also benefit from the economic boost and additional job opportunities.
“A new job or a better job is the best thing you can do for any family in Oklahoma City,” said Cornett.
It’s hard to put a timetable on installing the fiber from start to finish, but it’s taken a year of longer in other cities.
Governor Mary Fallin says she is excited about the potential partnership.
“Today’s announcement that Google is exploring bringing Fiber to Oklahoma City is further validation of the success of our ongoing efforts to bring and keep high-tech companies and entrepreneurs to our great state,” said Fallin. “Google has been an Oklahoma company since 2011, when it invested more than $700 million in its data center in Mayes County. Google employees know firsthand what makes Oklahoma attractive to businesses looking to relocate or expand. More than 1,000 communities have sought to attract Google Fiber in the past, so for Oklahoma City to be an early prospect for this transformative initiative speaks volumes.”