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Google Fiber bringing ultra-fast Internet to Triangle

Life in the Triangle is about to get faster – at least online.

Google officials confirmed Tuesday that Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Morrisville, Garner and Carrboro are among the latest U.S. cities to be outfitted with Google Fiber, which promises Internet speeds 100 times faster than existing connections and a high-definition television service.

“This kind of fast Internet is awesome, especially this time of year, when it helps you stream ACC basketball on ESPN without any buffering,” Michael Slinger, director of business operations for Google Fiber, told a cheering audience gathered for the announcement. “More importantly, truly great things can happen when a community upgrades to a gigabit network.”

Research from the Fiber-to-the-Home Council Americas, an industry group that promotes faster Internet in U.S. homes, says access to gigabit speeds increases per-capita gross domestic product by 1.1 percent, which translated into an extra $1.4 billion in GDP in the 14 communities studied.

“As a hub of creativity (and) technology and as one of the fastest-growing areas of America, this is the perfect place to show us what’s possible with the gig,” Slinger said of the Triangle.

Google officials said they will spend the coming months mapping where to run thousands of miles of fiber – enough to stretch from the Triangle to London and back, according to Slinger – using existing infrastructure where possible. No time frame was given for when actual construction of the network would occur or when Google Fiber would come online locally.

“It’s going to take hundreds of construction crews and hundreds of installers,” he said. “It may be a while before we get to your neighborhood, but we’ll keep you in the loop.”

During construction, Slinger said, Google officials will meet with area community, business and civic leaders to better understand community priorities and find ways for Google Fiber to speed achievement of those goals.

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