Google Fiber Asheville : Official Website


Looking to history for examples of the benefits of Google fiber

Google’s fiber network, once built, will serve the community years and years to come. Here are a few examples of the economic benefits of similarly sized projects.

Consider how much it might cost to set the network up in Asheville and compare that to public spending in the past. If Google spends $1000 each to wire 50,000 homes in our area, they spend $50 million. Many think the costs to install would be much higher (this is the part that Google would pay). If it costs $4000 each and they wire 50,000 homes, the cost jumps to around $200 million.The Biltmore House construction costs are roughly equal to what Google proposes

When was the last time a private entity spent 200 million on a single project in our town? Easy. 1895. The Biltmore House is estimated to have cost around $10 million in 1895 dollars. Adjusted to the value of today’s dollars, that equals about $250-300 million. The Biltmore Estate is a priceless treasure now, of course, that has added billions to Western North Carolina’s regional economy.

If you think that kind of investment can help Asheville, and that Asheville can help the world, please nominate Asheville. It requires a gmail account but it is worth the effort. Today is the last day you can nominate and the deadline is 8 PM Eastern.

Here are two other interesting examples from a 2006 study of fiber networks and their potential to improve the economies of US cities, by Wayne Caswell of CAZITech Consulting. The first is railroad construction and the second is the installation of an optical fiber network:

The first example contrasts the growth of two large cities during the emergence of railroads. Up until about 1870, the main means of transportation was through rivers and canals, and that drove the economies of Chicago (on Lake Michigan) and St. Louis (on the Mississippi River). While St. Louis passed laws prohibiting railroad bridges over the river to protect precious waterways, Chicago embraced the railroads, and that made all the difference.

A more modern comparison is between sister cities in Iowa – one that installed optical fiber and one that upgraded their cable system instead. Cedar Falls was the smaller of the two, with a population of just 36,000, but it’s the one that chose fiber. Waterloo was nearly twice as large, with population of 68,000. After Cedar Falls installed fiber, new construction outpaced that of Waterloo and needed fewer taxes to fund that growth.

-Clark Mackey

This article is part of a series. You might also enjoy:
What is Google Fiber?
Why is Google building a fiber network now?
18 reasons Asheville is a perfect match for Google Fiber

Creative Commons image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/judybaxter/338390508/


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I love the more modern comparison. Innovation and pushing the envelope is how we will grow. It took faith for Cedar Falls to take that step, but the proof is there now. This is certainly the right direction.

Comment by ttolle

Thanks for this information, Clark. Excellent material.

Comment by sandymaxey




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