By Tyler England

Google Fiber Comes to the Rocket City: An Update and Webcast

 

Google Fiber is coming to Huntsville!
Tune in tonight to the podcast for more information!

By now you’ve heard the news: Google Fiber is coming to Huntsville, Alabama.

Thanks to the hard work by Huntsville City officials and the support from Google, Huntsville will finally soon be a Gig City! As announced by Tommy Battle today at the Space and Rocket Center, Google Fiber will soon be coming to town, offering the same lightning quick services as cities like Austin or Nashville. Tonight at 8:00PM Central, join Tyler, Terryn, and Daniel as we host a special broadcast to talk about the Google Fiber project. We’ll talk about what has brought us to this point, as well as what to expect in the future as the project progresses. A downloadable MP3 will be available soon after as well.

Check back later today right here to watch the podcast and listen to what we have to say!

 

Launch Fiber – Progress, Patience, and Promise

Hello Launch Fiber Community!

Before I go any further, I’d like to take a second and thank each and every person that has called, e-mailed, tweeted, Facebooked, written, and met me in person. Each and every person, business, and special interest group has given me knowledge, insight, and continued passion to push forward and I am so deeply appreciative of everyone. Thank you. Without you, there would be no Launch Fiber.

Now, on to the good stuff!

I’ve titled this newsletter “Progress, Patience, and Promise” because those are the three key items I want to touch on. A lot has happened in the last few weeks, and I hope this newsletter gets everyone caught up and revitalizes your desire to see fiber internet in our community.

Progress

noun: 1. forward or onward movement toward a destination.

Forward movement toward a destination. Something we’ve certainly seen since I started this push back in February of this year. Since then, we’ve had almost 1,000 signatures on our petition, hundreds of tweets, likes, and shares on our social media pages, two news interviews (here and here), and several online articles featuring our work. We’ve met with local businesses, been to meetings and will even be presenting at a local BarCamp this fall. We’ve also met with Mayor Tommy Battle and Huntsville Utilities CEO Jay Stowe to discuss fiber internet, progress, and obstacles.

Even as recently as this week, we’ve seen progress. Huntsville Utilities, partnering with a Las Vegas firm dedicated to researching Broadband expansion feasibility, plans to announce their findings within 90 days. It takes a lot of work to do this, and I’d say that is much progress from February of this year, when fiber internet wasn’t even on the table as an issue to be solved.

Progress is great, but we must not stop here. With progress comes challenges, but we will overcome these challenges like our community has time and time again.

Patience

When I started this movement, I was like many of the people I’ve spoken with since: I wanted faster, more reliable internet NOW. I was fed up with slow speeds, unreliable service, poor customer service, data caps, and high prices. I didn’t care about the feasibility of such a monumental task, I didn’t care about the cost. I wanted things to be better.

When I was young, my grandfather told me “Son, if you want something done, do it yourself. But do it right, or you’ll look like a fool.” I can see now the wisdom in that saying. What it takes is Patience. To do this right, we must all be willing to give due time to research, learn, and design the right way to create and expand a multimillion dollar public utility such as this. It will not happen overnight. We must all be willing to sit back and wait as progress is made behind the scenes.

Don’t mistake patience for “do nothing”. Rest assured, the gears are always turning. Every week since I started this movement I have met with, written to, or done something to help further Launch Fiber and our push towards a gigabit community. The gears are always turning, but sometimes it takes a long time to move a big wheel.

 

Which brings me to my last point…

Promise

As many of you may know, I’m a full time Electrical and Optical Engineering student at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. My studies are my passion, and I dedicate myself to succeeding at the collegiate level daily. I also have a passion, however, for my community. I love Huntsville and Madison County, and I want nothing more than to see it become the beacon of technology and innovation that I know we can be. It is with that passion that I have pushed so hard to make this coalition relevant and to see progress in our actions.

I promise to keep working hard, until the day comes when our community has the fiber internet I feel we deserve. I have never, and will never, ask for monetary compensation. I don’t do this for fame or fortune. I do it because I love Huntsville and Madison County. It’s my home, and always will be. And I feel it’s my duty as a responsible citizen to work as hard as I can to make my home a better place not only for myself but for everyone around me. And I sincerely believe, along with the thousands of others out there like me, that fiber internet is a way to achieve that goal.

Thank you everyone for your interest, dedication, and even those who have donated time and resources to help me as I continue down this road. I hope to have more progress to show you, in time. Be patient with me, and I promise to not disappoint you.

 

If YOU want to get involved, it’s easy! Visit out website at www.launchfiber.com and click the ‘Sign The Petition’ link. Share this with your friends and family, too! The more signatures we have, the more power we have to get things done. If you own or work with a business that would be interested in partnering with us, just visit our Partners page by clicking here.

 

Thank you all so much!

 

Tyler England

Executive Director – Launch Fiber

www.launchfiber.com

Huntsville Utilities explores feasibility of offering super-fast Internet

From AL.com,

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Huntsville Utilities’ interest in possibly creating a high-speed, fiber-optic Internet network just got a little more serious.

At its meeting Thursday night, the City Council gave the utility permission to hire a Las Vegas-based consultant, The Broadband Group, to study the feasibility of getting into the ultra-fast Internet business.

Spokesman Joe Gehrdes said Huntsville Utilities currently has a small fiber-optic network for its own data needs. The $47,490 study will help decide if it makes financial sense to expand that network to also serve commercial customers.

“We are not talking about fiber to the home at this point,” said Gehrdes.

Laying miles of new fiber-optic cable would require a “significant investment” by the city-owned utility, said Gehrdes. The Broadband Group will help pinpoint the exact cost.

Mayor Tommy Battle said it is crucial to take a serious look at citywide, high-speed, fiber-optic Internet service, whether it is provided by Huntsville Utilities or a private company. Dozens of U.S. cities are already wired for speed, including Chattanooga and Opelika.

Battle called high-speed fiber “the infrastructure of the future” and said it will eventually be as important as roads, water and sewer lines.

In a recent poll, AL.com readers voted high-speed Internet the most exciting countywide improvement project leaders could pursue.

Website Launched

Hello everyone! Welcome to www.launchfiber.com, a single point of contact for the community that will be the main voice to bring gigabit fiber to Madison County!

 

We have officially brought the site live, along with our social media sites. Please like, share, retweet, and spread the word. Don’t forget to sign the petition and get your family & friends to do the same.

 

Thank you everyone!