We just returned from Light Reading's first Gigabit Cities Live event in Atlanta and were blown away by the excitement over Gigabit Internet! Attendees came from all over the country. Some cities already have Gigabit Internet, others like Charlotte are waiting for ISP deployments, and yet others are still trying to get an ISP interested in building in their city.
The conference had two tracks - 1) network infrastructure and 2) economic development.
ISPs Comcast and Cox gave keynote presentations highlighting their intentions to expand services to Gigabit and beyond. Several Gigabit wireless equipment providers were also in attendance, including Mimosa and Ruckus. In the vendor area we had the opportunity to try out gigabit apps with Orange Telecom - their demos were amazing! Online gaming, immersive virtual reality applications, and Kubi, the telepresence robot were some of the highlights. ((* 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.))
Two of my favorite panels were the Gigabit City CTO/CIO roundtable (Seattle and Atlanta) and The Role of Gigabit Ecosystem Development for Innovation panel (with US Ignite, ThinkBigKC, Cisco, and Orange Telecom). Both panels did a terrific job in describing how the future will look. As Herb Sih from ThinkBigKC put it the conversation has changed from "Do we need it?" to "What's Possible?"