Charlotte has been promised the almost magical-sounding Google Fiber, with super-high-speed Internet access and a free option. Now, the company has to actually install the fiber infrastructure.
Plans submitted this week to the city’s online Accela system show Google is moving ahead with installing “fiber huts,” which are network nodes needed to run the fiber system.
Plans for a site in north Charlotte show a fiber hut situated on city-owned land used for a Charlotte Fire Department station on Ridge Road.
“Google Fiber – CLT 104 Hut. This project consists of installing a new unmanned shelter on a new concrete pad at grade,” the description reads. In all, it will take 21 of these “huts” to get Charlotte’s Google Fiber network up and running.
Google is leasing the sites from the city for $2 per square foot annually over a 20-year period, leases that are expected to produce about $56,000 each total.
It’s worth remembering that behind all the wiz-bang marvel that goes into a service like Google Fiber, there will be crews digging trenches, pouring concrete and pulling miles and miles of wire. The next iteration of the Internet – which seems so immaterial – will be run, in part, from a small hut sitting quietly on a concrete pad behind a north Charlotte fire station.