Gigabit internet is awesome. And elusive.
Gigabit ethernet speed is equal to 1,000,000,000 bits per second or 1,000 Mbps. For comparison: “fast ethernet” is considered to be 100 Mbps, which is still much faster than standard internet service that’s normally 10 Mbps (like the kind you’d get from Time Warner or Comcast cable), or even 3 Mbps which are found at the lower & cheaper (and most common) tiers of internet service.
While such crazy fast Gigabit connections are available to governments, educational institutions, and large businesses, it’s difficult to get such a fast connection for regular public use. For instance Santa Monica, CA has a 10 Gigabit network, but that’s mostly allocated for business use. There are a few places in America, however, where gigabit internet connections are starting to pop up – and ones that are accessible to regular internet surfers like you and me. This post is an attempt to hunt down all the places in America that have such connections (or are currently getting them installed).
A lot of cities across America are taking matters into their own hands and starting to install their own Gigabit networks as part of economic development initiatives and as way to attract the tech industry and companies that can use that advantage for competitive purposes.
To read more about how some of the cities managed to develop these Gigabit networks check out Broadband at the Speed of Light and their PDF report. There’s also a handy community broadband map to see which areas offer community fiber broadband.
It’s an exciting time to see so many communities across the US fighting to deploy next generation Gigabit networks to help make America a leader in high speed connectivity.