Google has chosen Charlotte as one of the new locations for its super-fast Internet service, an industry source told the Observer on Tuesday.
The announcement has been expected since last week when Google began inviting local officials and others to an evening reception on Wednesday in Charlotte. Local officials surmised that the invitation was related to a Google Fiber announcement.
Members of the media have been invited to join “local leaders and Google” for a news conference Tuesday at 1 p.m. “to hear more about what’s in store for the people of Charlotte.” The invitation said Google could not share any more details, and a spokeswoman declined to comment.
Officials in the Raleigh-Durham area last week also received invitations to a similar event, The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported. And in November, a representative of the Moore & Van Allen law firm in Charlotte incorporated a North Carolina entity for Google Fiber, according to N.C. secretary of state records.
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The Wall Street Journal late Monday reported that the Mountain View, Calif.-based technology company was preparing to announce that it’s bringing its high-speed Internet service to Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Atlanta and Nashville in “coming days,” citing sources familiar with the situation.
Google announced last February that it had picked Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham as two of nine metropolitan areas where it next hoped to deploy its Google Fiber networks. In December, the company said it would update cities on its plans early this year.
Landing the new network would bring faster Internet speeds to customers, add a major competitor to the market and potentially mark the city as a tech hub poised for future growth.
Google first built a fiber network in Kansas City, has bought an existing one in Provo, Utah, and has started offering service in Austin, Texas. But the deployment hasn’t been problem-free: In Kansas City, some residents raised concern over decades-old trees that were cut down and gas leaks inadvertently caused by construction crews, according to news accounts.
Google Fiber features speeds up to 100 times faster than broadband. Time Warner Cable and AT&T have announced plans for similar services in Charlotte.