When It Comes To Google Fiber, Atlanta’s In It Together

At last night’s Decatur City Commission meeting, Decatur’s Environmental Resource Coordinator Lena Stevens gave the commission an update on Google’s efforts to bring Google Fiber to the Atlanta metro.

Among a few other interesting tidbits, Ms. Stevens and City Manager Peggy Merriss made it clear that obtaining Google Fiber wasn’t a competition between other Atlanta cities also on the list, which includes Atlanta and Avondale Estates.  In fact, the opposite is true.  As Ms. Merriss stated, “They won’t start a build in Decatur, until all the metro Atlanta partners are ready to go.”  Google has said they will make determinations on whether to move forward with Fiber in various selected cities by year-end, but according to city staff, if Google feels like a metropolitan area is “ready to go”, they won’t wait to start.

There was then some discussion positing that if Atlanta and some of the smaller cities were ready, whether Google would give the go-ahead to start anyway.  But the answer was unclear and the Mayor made mention of a meeting he will be involved in during the coming days to express the city’s desire to bring Google Fiber to Decatur.  All the commissioners expressed support of the effort.

Other Google Fiber related items of interest included…

  • Decatur will be working with Google over the next two months.
  • Google has a checklist to streamline the process.
  • Google isn’t looking for financial incentives or for the city to waive any fees.  Google will take the most cost-effective route to bring Fiber into the community.  “So if aerial works for them, go across poles, that’s exactly what they want to do.”, according to Ms. Stevens.  However there might be areas of the city where Google would need to consider alternative delivery methods, so Google wants to have conversations with the city over the next couple of months of how to best to do that.
  • Decatur is organizing a grassroots campaign for residents to “do more” to help bring Google Fiber to Decatur/Atlanta.  Look for that in the coming weeks.

Decatur are some neighboring cities produced the video above back when Google Fiber was first announced in 2010 to attempt to attract them to the area.

15 thoughts on “When It Comes To Google Fiber, Atlanta’s In It Together”


  1. so let me get this straight: this Google Fiber thing is all about making Decatur more regular?
    sounds a bit nanny stateish to me, but i like it!

  2. Wow, I don’t know what this is but I’m totally sold after seeing this video. But not quite sure how Emory fits in–it’s not in any of these cities is it?

  3. Does anyone have background information on the video? Bill Floyd hasn’t been the mayor for a while now, and Eddie Owen moved to Duluth some time back. Just curious. Regarding Emory, I think the main point is that their doctors (and some patients) would benefit greatly fromj having this kind of service available at home. From what I’ve read, this particular project is aimed at residential installations.

  4. While I may have been interested in this years ago, I have now reached the tiping point with Google and will pass. I have decided to start to pull my life out of the Google cloud.

    They read my email (gmail) , they track what I am looking for (search), they know where I am going (google maps) they know where I am (android phone). I am not going to let them know every thing I have at home that is connected to the internet and all the internet services I consume.

    I have been amazed how far I let them invade my privacy and I am putting a stop to it!

    1. I’m with you. Heard Julia Angwin on the radio recently, then read this: httpCOLON DOUBLE SLASH wwwDOTnytimesDOTcomSLASH2014SLASH03SLASH04SLASHopinionSLASHhas-privacy-become-a-luxury-goodDOThtml

    2. And your alternative is, what, exactly? Comcast? AT&T? Any other ISP? They’re just as likely to subject you to the same indignities you lay at Google’s feet.

      So unless you’re bidding the Internet adieu completely (and given that you’re posting here, I suspect that isn’t your endgame), you’re fighting a losing battle.

      1. My alternative is to not let one company dominate and track every aspect of my interactions with the rest of the world. I can still get comfortable with the fact that I am being tracked in various dimensions (email, search, isp, calls/txts, location) but I don’t like that one company can thread all of them together and know me probably better than I know myself.

        So I will use Clear for internet access, Windows for my phone, search on google (damn its good), and probably pay for my own email hosting in the not too distant future.

  5. A question for anyone who knows the answer: Several years ago some company ran buried fiber optic cable all over the place in Decatur (I know, because they hit a water main and flooded my basement). Will that cable be used to serve adjacent homes if this initiative goes through? Also, how would the homes be connected to it? Are they actually planning to retrofit all these old houses with fiber optic cable? I’m having trouble understanding how this could be economically and logistically feasible. Please enlighten me.

    1. I don’t know, so this is just a guess. I understand that pre-commitments are a big part of the process and that joining later can be pretty expensive for individuals. That is because the initial wiring comes under a city-wide permit that covers all homes that sign the precommitment, making it possible to economically wire an entire neighborhood quickly, whether through overhead cable or underground conduit. I think Google wants to use existing infrastructure wherever possible, another way of keeping expense under control. What should make Decatur attractive is our status as the most densely populated city in Georgia. If an operation like Google can blitz down streets like mine, connecting a fair percentage of homes to their service in a single pass-through, the numbers appear to add up just fine for them.

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