HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville city leaders announced Monday that Google is bringing high-speed fiber optic Internet and television service to the area.
Mayor Tommy Battle was flanked by Google representatives and others during the announcement at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Battle said he expects faster Internet speeds to boost the local workforce and help provide more opportunities for residents to work from home.
Huntsville Business Relations Officer Hunter Diamond said gigabit Internet service also is expected to help lure entrepreneurs to the city.
Huntsville Utilities President and CEO Jay Stowes said the city-owned utility is building the network and leasing excess fiber to Google to provide the service.
Google Fiber Expansion Director Jill Szuchmacher said it's too early to estimate monthly service costs for Huntsville.
Huntsville's move comes six years after EPB brought America's first citywide gigabit-per-second Internet service to Chattanooga. Both EPB and Huntsville Utilities are municipal power distributors for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
An EPB-commissioned study by UTC's Department of Finance last year estimates EPB's smart grid and fiber optic network has helped add at least 2,800 jobs and pumped an extra $865.3 million into the local economy by cutting power outages, improving data connections, lowering power bills and attracting businesses to the self-described "Gig City."