Information about GRUCom's new gigabit network in the Innovation District

GRUcom's gigabit network is currently in construction in the Innovation District. Gigabit connections are the latest in networking technology and allow for a faster, more instantaneous connection. The Innovation District will be a hub for science, research and technology development and other business innovations.Visit our website to learn more about available office space in Gainesville's Innovation Square.

By Ganiesville Regional Utilities l GRU

  1. What is a gigabit network? How will it work in the Innovation District?

    A gigabit network provides broadband connection speeds of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) to other ports on the same network. Gigabit connections are among the fastest in the world, allowing network users to exchange information almost instantaneously.

    The gigabit network GRUCom is constructing in the Innovation District will be a Wide Area Network (WAN), offering ultra high-speed connections between business and residential ports within the district. The network also will provide gigabit access to the University of Florida's network, thanks to a network peering arrangement between GRUCom and UF.

    Like all GRUCom telecommunications services, the Innovation District network will be designed and supported by a team of experienced IT professionals and run entirely on fiber-optic cables, making it easy for GRUCom to add additional bandwidth in the future without compromising quality or service.

  2. What can I do with a gigabit of connectivity?

    GRUCom's all-fiber-optic gigabit network will deliver broadband connections up to 100 times faster than standard DSL or cable services. For customers in the Innovation District, this means accelerated uploads and downloads, seamless video streaming, high-definition video conferencing, premium Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and lightning-fast data transfers between users on the network without the slowdowns and interruptions often associated with other networking technologies. It also means direct access to an interactive online community comprising technically innovative researchers, companies and entrepreneurs who are working to develop and share their discoveries.

    With a gigabit of connectivity, residents, businesses, students, faculty and service providers who are connected to the network can exchange information at ultra high speeds without traversing the Internet or making arrangements for separate, private-network connections. This allows for a faster, more reliable, lower-latency exchange of data and a more enjoyable overall experience for users.

  3. Why is GRUCom building a gigabit network in the Innovation District?

    Gainesville Regional Utilities has been actively involved in the design and planning of all utilities within the Innovation District. When completed, the Innovation District will be a hub for science, research and technology development and will be home to many cutting-edge businesses, forward-thinking residents, and UF offices and laboratories. Offering the latest in networking technology to this segment of customers simply makes sense and will help create a gateway to learning and creation.

  4. Where is the Innovation District, anyway?

    The Innovation District is located in Gainesville, Fla., near the UF campus and downtown. GRUCom generally defines the Innovation District as the area bounded by W. University Avenue to the north, SW 8th Avenue to the south, SW 6th Street to the east and SW 13th Street to the west.

    Please note: Each GRU utility defines the Innovation District differently for the purpose of providing service. This map represents GRUCom's service area only.

  5. What is Gig.U? How does it relate to the Innovation District and GRUCom's gigabit network?

    The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project, or Gig.U, is a nationwide effort supported by more than 30 leading research universities, including the University of Florida. Gig.U's goal is to accelerate the deployment of ultra high-speed networks to leading U.S. universities and their surrounding communities in order to drive economic growth and stimulate innovations addressing critical needs, such as health care and education.

    GRUCom is bringing gigabit service to the Innovation District as part of a cooperative effort with UF in support of the Gig.U initiative. Students, faculty and staff who are connected to the network will enjoy remote access to university digital content services provided both locally and through UF's connections with the Florida LambdaRail, National LambdaRail, Internet2, and research and education networks worldwide.

  6. How do I get access to the gigabit network? Do I have to be a GRUCom customer?

    The gigabit network is an optional service for business and residential customers in the Innovation District. You must have a GRUCom account in order to connect to the network. To learn more, or to open an account, please call 352-334-3200.

  7. How much will it cost?

    Access to GRUCom's Innovation District network will be available to residents for an introductory price of $99 per month plus tax. This introductory price includes a 1 Gbps connection to other users within the district and 50 megabits per second (Mbps) Internet service for connections to outside networks and the World Wide Web. Business rates are determined by several factors and will be quoted on an individual basis.

  8. Does the price include Internet?

    Yes. In addition to gigabit connectivity within the district, introductory pricing includes 50 Mbps fiber-optic Internet service for fast, easy connections to users and websites outside the network. Upgraded Internet speeds are also available for an additional cost.

  9. When will the service be available?

    The service is expected to be available to business and residential customers in Innovation Square, a segment within the Innovation District, on a limited basis starting in June and will be extended to other parts of the district as the area develops. Requests for early deployment will be considered based on customer demand and feasibility.

  10. I am a third-party service provider. Can I get access to GRUCom's gigabit network to promote my services?

    Yes. Third-party providers may join the gigabit network and make their services available to GRUCom's entire online community of residential and business customers. Third-party providers wishing to promote their services across the GRUCom network should call 352-334-3200 for additional information.

  11. I don't live or work in the Innovation District. Can I still get gigabit connectivity for my home or business?

    Currently, gigabit connectivity is not available for residents outside the Innovation District. For businesses, GRUCom has been providing reliable, private-line gigabit connectivity in limited areas since 2005. To find out how you can get gigabit service for your business, please call 352-334-3200.

  12. What if I have additional questions?

    If you have additional questions about GRUCom's gigabit network in the Innovation District, please call 352-334-3200. Media inquiries can be directed to GRU's Media Line at 352-334-2677 or the University of Florida at 352-392-0186.

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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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