More coverage of Greenlight as Google mulls fiber location

Our small city has benefited from all the talk about Google’s fiber optic initiative. Wilson’s Greenlight was recently mentioned in the San Jose Mercury News in a column by Chris O’Brien as well as several other regional publications.

Two things:

First, one of the intial questions is always, “how many people have signed up?” As of last week, we had about 4,700 subscribers. A subscriber means a home, a business or some other property. That’s roughly 23.4% of Wilson. Why is that important? Our business model says Wilson will be cash flow positive if Greenlight reaches 30% penetration after three full years. It’s been less than two years since the first residential subscriber signed up and we’re most of the way there. I hope this does away with the notion that people are happy with 20th century bandwidth.

Second, I hope Google’s initiative also emphasizes that fiber optic technology will remain the gold standard for a long time. Can you imagine Google spending millions (or billions, depending on the size of the town) on outdated technology?

The cable company is doing everything it can to stop municipal broadband, but Wilson continues to operate one of the fastest all fiber optic networks in the nation.

Wilson already has what other cities are begging for

Hats off to Topeka, Kansas, a.k.a. Google, Kansas. The city believes so strongly in faster broadband speeds that they have unofficially changed their name to attract Google. Google Fiber for the Communities hopes to: “test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country.” Fiber brings speeds that blow away the old copper stuff.

Before I say anything else, I need to remind you that Wilson already has what Topeka wants; fiber to the home. Wilson’s slowest residential speed is 10M down and 10M up. You can go all the way up to 100M, if you choose. And, Greenlight is owned by the community.

Now, back to Topeka. Here’s an excerpt from a story at CNN:

The company has said U.S. Internet speeds are falling behind the global standard, and it wants to fix things itself by installing new broadband cable. (Mayor) Bunten hopes the proclamation, which he read at a special City Council meeting on Monday, will catch Google’s attention and make the Internet company decide to use Topeka as its guinea pig. The document renames Topeka as “Google, Kansas — the capital city of fiber optics.”

Good luck, Topeka. Fiber optics are a wonderful thing. If you ever want to try out some true broadband speeds, we’d be happy to show you in Wilson.

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