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Google Fiber Construction Begins Across The Triangle

Google Fiber, Google, Internet Construction
Google Fiber
Construction crews have begun digging up and putting down the infrastructure for Google Fiber in the Triangle.

Folks in the Triangle cheered when Google announced it was bringing ultra-high-speed internet and TV service to the area.  Google officials say now it’s time for patience as they start digging up and building new infrastructure to accommodate the technology.

A lot of lobbying and planning went into the Triangle and Charlotte being chosen for Google Fiber, which can deliver data 100 times faster than your basic Internet service.

Governor Pat McCrory was one of the biggest cheerleaders at the announcement five months ago.

“This is great news for North Carolina!” shouted McCrory before a crowd at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

Now, it’s time to get to work.

Erik Garr is the head of Google Fiber in the Triangle.  He says their initial design is complete, including a detailed map of where to put thousands of miles of fiber.

“We have a lot of work to do because we’re building our network from scratch," said Garr.  "It’s a big job that requires hundreds of crews, thousands of man hours and enough fiber optic cable to stretch to California and back.”

There has been some digging and limited construction but nothing like what’s about to get underway.  The community where the bulk of the construction will begin is in the Town of Morrisville.

“Morrisville is closest to our internet point of presence and it’s centrally located and making it easier to extend our network to the rest of the area," said Garr.

While there have been cheers as Google Fiber made announcements across the country, there have also been complaints, like how construction crews have plowed through landscapes to lay down new fiber optic lines.

Garr says they will be especially careful in the Triangle.

“Our crews will work quickly and when they’re done they will return the construction area as they found it.  This means anything from patching holes that we had to dig, re-paving streets and even planting new grass when needed," said Garr.

Garr won’t say when all this new construction will be complete or how much residents will pay for Gigabit internet access. 

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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