Tampa one step closer to coolness, er, Google Fiber

Tampa could get internet and cable service that's nearly a hundred times faster what the average internet provider in the U.S. offers.

The service Google Fiber, obviously a product of internet behemoth Google, has been showing up in cities like Austin, Kansas City and Provo, Utah, where it's up and running already and is slated for Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Nashville, Salt Lake City and San Antonio.

And it looks like Tampa might be next, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced Wednesday afternoon.

“Today is a big day for the city,” said Buckhorn said in a media release. “We have a responsibility to embolden the entrepreneurial spirit, help our businesses compete on a global scale, and make it easier and faster to turn new ideas in to new enterprises. Our digital infrastructure is just as crucial to our economic future as our transportation infrastructure —it is how we connect to the world. And Google Fiber, along the many other projects emerging in Tampa, will help us lead the way in global competitiveness.”

Given how the cost for service would compare to others already operating in the area, Google Fiber could also make providers already established in the area work harder to retain customers.

In Kansas City, the residential rate for a gigabyte a second is $70 a month, but it's free for subscribers at one-twentieth the speed, five megabytes per second. A premium internet-cable bundle is $130 per month.

“Abundant high-speed Internet can help communities grow stronger, laying a foundation for innovation and economic growth,” Jill Szuchmacher, Google Fiber's director of expansion, said in a press release. “City leaders like Mayor Buckhorn have taken a big step to see what they can do to bring superfast fiber networks to residents and businesses. We look forward to working side-by-side with Tampa in the coming months to explore the possibility of bringing Google Fiber to the city.”

But it'll take some time before it gets up and running, and there is a chance that the service can't be incorporated into the city's infrastructure. City and Google employees are expected to take a "deep dive" in the coming months to determine whether and how Google Fiber can work in Tampa.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.