We were recently invited to speak to the IT team at National Gypsum, providing an update on the Gigabit Internet deployment in Charlotte. National Gypsum is a company based in Charlotte, and well known for drywall gypsum boards. It has 21 gypsum board plants in the US.

The Gigabit presentation described the faster Internet speeds being deployed by Google Fiber, AT&T, and TWC, along with timelines and experiences observed in Charlotte thus far. (Here is one Charlotte user's experience with AT&T GigaPower.) The new ISP infrastructure removes the bottleneck from the local connection, and the user now has to consider if their premise equipment (modem, router, device) is prepared for the speed.

Faster Internet connections allow for a new generation of software applications. It is anticipated that Online Education, Tele-medicine, Video collaboration, and Online Gaming are going to be some of the early apps taking advantage of the bandwidth. We don't really know all the potential applications that will result from having faster Internet, but based on other cities with Gigabit infrastructure we anticipate that Charlotte will have an uptick in economic development, foster more entrepreneurship, and increase our ability to attract talent to the area (particularly developer, UI/UX, web design, and video talent). * Note: In order to achieve gigabit internet speeds you need to have a computer, modem, and AC wi-fi router that support the speed. We recently purchased a gigabit wif-fi router for less than $100 (TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router) and have been pleased with the results.

We also discussed the city's focus on Digital Inclusion, including a steering committee which meets bi-weekly, and a quarterly meeting which brings together 50+ community organizations across the city. Charlotte is fortunate to have a full-time Project Manger position, Bruce Clark, funded by the Knight Foundation and based at Queens University. Charlotte also has two full-time Fellow positions funded by Google and NTEN, Announced in the Charlotte Observer July 14, Jessica Washington will collaborate with the Urban League of Central Carolinas, and Ruben Campillo will work with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to help people who have limited digital access.

We concluded the session by letting the team know how to stay informed. A simple method is to sign up for our monthly newsletter (link below). We also encourage Twitter users to follow @CltHeartsGb for regular posts on upcoming events and articles of interest.

If you would like someone from Charlotte Hearts Gigabit to speak to your group, contact us via email: info@charlotteheartsgigabit.com.

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