Google Fiber’s recent announcement that it plans to work with the cities of Raleigh and other nearby localities has many in Holly Springs wondering if they’ve been overlooked. In fact, the Town is on track to complete construction of its own fiber optic network over the next few months.
The Town Council and the Information Technology Department recognized years ago that developing advanced network infrastructure would enable the Town to provide world-class government services, promote economic development, and ensure that broadband service in Holly Springs evolves over time to meet the needs of its residents, businesses, and public institutions.
With that goal in mind, the Town completed an extensive business case study in 2013 that established the feasibility of installing fiber optics to serve the Town government, local schools, and public safety agencies.
Construction crews broke ground last December and plan to complete the Town’s state-of-the-art fiber network around the end of April.
The Town’s Fiber Project website also has project status updates, links to an interactive map of the construction progress, and other details.
“We are proud of the network that we are constructing and the services we will be able to provide,” says Jeff Wilson, the Town’s IT Director. “We will continue to seek out opportunities to expand broadband options for our residents and businesses.”
Although state law prohibits the Town from directly offering broadband services to its residents, the fiber project was specifically designed to enable a private company to offer advanced services to homes and businesses in the future. The network includes substantial amounts of spare fiber optic strands and underground conduit space that can be leased by a competitive provider.
Indeed, Google may yet decide that Holly Springs offers an ideal environment for one of its fiber network deployments.
In the meantime, as the Town completes its network, Google Fiber is at a much earlier phase in its potential development in Raleigh and 33 other cities nationwide. The company announced that it seeks to partner with those cities, but at this point a partnership means only an extensive period of investigation.
Google will ask the cities to complete a lengthy checklist to show how ready they are for fiber construction—with no guarantee that the company will actually build fiber in any of them.