There is a push underway for communities across the United States to ramp up Internet speeds by connecting residents to fiber networks with speeds up to 100 times the speed of a typical broadband connection. This campaign became popular when Google began a competition to award one U.S. city the opportunity to become a ‘gigabit city’ by installing this highspeed fiber connection. Kansas City ultimately won the competition, and the city has realized economic, social and cultural innovations that would not be possible to achieve with the city’s old broadband networks.
Unlike networks made of copper wires, which use electricity to deliver data, networks made of fiber wires are able to transmit data much faster by using beams of light. These fiber optic lines are made of thin strands of optically pure glass which are arranged in a way that they can transmit light over long distances and at speeds much faster than traditional lines.
Cities across the U.S. are taking notice of this new technology and have begun making plans to install fiber networks. One of these cities is Jasper, Indiana, which has unveiled a plan to rewire the entire city with fiber networks. Jasper hopes to have these networks built within three years. There has also been a push for this technology right here in Florida. The Jacksonville City Council has just announced that it will establish a committee to investigate establishing a fiber network within the city.
The benefits of these fiber optic networks are endless, and there is no reason why Gainesville should not strive to become a gigabit city. GRUCom, a multi-service utility owned by the City of Gainesville, has announced that it will begin building a fiber network in the area known as Innovation Square. This is a good start, but the campaign for these highspeed networks should be citywide. Fiber access for Gainesville businesses will help to stimulate economic development and continue to magnify a rapidly growing city.
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