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Google Fiber’s first service area opens for North Huntsville residents

Published on May 23, 2017

Huntsville’s transformation into a “Gig City” has taken a major step. Customers in North Huntsville are now able to sign up to begin receiving phone, internet and television service through Google Fiber, Mayor Tommy Battle announced Tuesday morning.

Battle’s initiative to see that Huntsville became a Gig City, with ultrafast internet speeds, began in 2014. It was solidified when the City of Huntsville and Huntsville Utilities announced a partnership to build out a fiber network that could be leased by service providers.

“The model created by Huntsville is true innovation and Google is proud to be a part of it,” said Greg McCray, CEO of Google Fiber.

Google Fiber will be participating in Saturday’s “Splash Bash” at the Dr. Richard Showers Recreation Center. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., residents may register for Google’s service. They may currently do so through the Google website established for Huntsville customers: fiber.google.com/cities/huntsville.

The initial rollout is for residents who live east of Pulaski Pike and north of I-565 and Highway 72, stretching into Chase. Huntsville Utilities expects to have every area it serves fiber-ready by 2020.

“The City of Huntsville is committed to a vision of a vibrant, growing community,” Battle said. “In order to maintain our quality of life while we grow, we need to stay ahead of our infrastructure needs.

“We need roads, we need utilities and we need sewer. But we also need the infrastructure of the future, and that is connectivity to the digital world. Roads connect you from point A to point B, but telecommunication infrastructure allows our citizens to go from point A to anywhere.”

Battle noted the importance of fiber service for a workforce that increasingly works remotely, with many Huntsville residents living here but working daily for companies in distant cities, and for smaller businesses to enhance their global outreach.

Other companies have expressed interest in leasing Huntsville Utilities fiber, which Battle says will provide “a healthy competition that will keep prices affordable for everyone.”

McCray acknowledged Huntsville as “a city on the rise. It’s a national leader in science and technology … a destination for a diverse, creative and entrepreneurial sets of minds.”

The presence of Google Fiber will “help grow the economy more,” McCray said, pointing to studies that show cities building for a fiber future increase their GDP by one percent, something he said that could benefit Huntsville by $250 million a year.

The first Google Fiber sign-up event will be at the North Huntsville Splash Bash this Saturday, May 27. At the event, North Huntsvillians will be among the first to sign up for Google Fiber service.

The family-friendly event will also feature food trucks, giveaways, and spokespeople from Google Fiber to speak with residents about their services. More information about the Splash Bash can be found here.