On June 17, 2015 the City of Charlotte issued Council-Manager Memo #44 which included highlights of recent activities on broadband Internet. This month the city highlighted Google Fiber’s official start of construction, and the city’s decision to join Raleigh and the 100 other member cities in the Next Century Cities coalition.

Google Fiber Construction

Staff Resource: Kruti Desai, CDOT, 704-353-1795, kdesai@charlottenc.gov

Google Fiber has begun construction of its new high speed fiberoptic network for Charlotte. Construction is beginning in the Highland Creek area in northeast Charlotte (District 4). Google plans to begin with two crews and increase to fourteen crews by mid-August, peaking at approximately 150 crews. Charlotte Department of Transportation right of way staff permits and inspects all work in the City right of way. Google’s contactor will place residential door hangers prior to construction in neighborhoods, which will include general information and a 24/7 Google Fiber Construction information line (877) 454-6959. Citizens can also sign up for updates at https://fiber.google.com/cities/charlotte/support/.

Next Century Cities Program

Staff Resource: Tom Warshauer, NBS, 704-336-4522, twarshauer@charlottenc.gov

With Charlotte poised as a gigabit city that seeks to bridge the digital divide, being able to readily connect with other communities to share expertise and learn best practices will be invaluable. Next Century Cities (NCC), a national 501(c)3 provides this forum across more than 80 member cities of all sizes. The City of Charlotte is a member city. Below is additional information about NCC.

NCC supports communities and their elected officials as they seek to ensure that all residents have access to fast, affordable, reliable internet. It helps equip cities to meet key challenges and obstacles in developing broadband strategies, and it elevates the importance of broadband adoption nationally. There are over 80 participating communities with which Charlotte can form city-to-city learning opportunities. The non-profit is supported by the New Venture Fund, the Ford Foundation, Knight Foundation, the Open Society Foundation, Google, and other donors. There is no cost to be an NCC member.

Deb Socia, the Executive Director of Next Century Cities, is no stranger to Charlotte. She was one of the panelists at the recent CBJ Global Charlotte conference (read our recap of the event), was a speaker at one of the city’s Digital Inclusion meetings, and spoke at the Best Minds Conference at Queens University in March.

Next Century Cities just released Connecting 21st Century Communities: A Policy Agenda For Broadband Stakeholders (read here). The Charlotte Hearts Gigabit initiative is highlighted as a best practice in the Community section.

There is no doubt that Charlotte is focused on becoming the Crown Jewel of Gigabit Internet cities!

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