Updated Feb. 1, 2017 at 6:44 p.m.

Google Fiber expands to North Hills, opening service center in Raleigh

Published: 2017-02-01 00:01:00
Updated: 2017-02-01 18:44:13

Google Fiber begins offering ultra-fast Internet, phone and TV service in Raleigh's North Hills as of Wednesday. Plus, GF is opening a customer and retail center in Downtown Raleigh while also preparing to provide service to The Oaks community.

However, GF declined to comment when asked several other questions about deployment plans and other possible technology offerings in the future.

Wednesday's news reaffirms GF's commitment to continue expanding its fiber network in the Triangle after declaring last October that it was pausing fiber construction in several cities around the country.

Erick Garr of GF pointed out the services to be offered:

  • Fiber 1000+TV- our classic Gigabit internet connection paired with a robust television offering featuring all of the channels you love to watch
  • Fiber 1000 - our superfast Gigabit service — perfect for those who are ready to cut the cord
  • Fiber 100 - a very fast and reliable connection perfect for budget conscious access to the Internet
  • A new, fourth option, Fiber 100+TV. Enjoy all of the same channels from our current TV offering paired with our more modest connection speed.

GF began offering service in some parts of Morrisville last September. It first began offering service in North Carolina in Charlotte last July.

Its new customer and retail center is located at the former 518 West Cafe in Raleigh. The center opens its doors at noon on Wednesday. And GF is wasting no time using it.

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"The first community event will be this Friday — to celebrate Black History Month we will host a Raleigh First Friday event, exhibiting the artwork of Victor Knight, III—who lives right here in Raleigh," Garr explained. "Playing DJ will be the Triangle’s own Grammy-winning artist, 9th Wonder."

The Raleigh expansion comes a day after GF announced further expansion of its Webpass service which provides high-speed net access to buildings that have been wired with Ethernet networks.

GF would not comment as to whether Webpass might be coming to the Triangle.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane said GF is the way of the future.

"High speed broadband really is our next key piece of infrastructure. How we are going to connect with the world," she said.

The company wouldn't comment about where GF stands in its possible experiment of a wireless network which it hopes to test. The Triangle has been listed as a market where GF might roll out a wireless option.

GF is reaching out to address the "digital divide," a reference to underserved communities. The first Gigabit Community will be centered on The Oaks.

"Gigabit Communities is a Google Fiber program that brings free gigabit Internet to residents in select public and low-income housing properties," Garr explained.

"Google Fiber knows that digital literacy is an important component of any inclusion program, so they’ve been working closely with nonprofits across the Triangle, including Code the Dream, The Forge Institute and ThinkHouse, and to support digital inclusion fellows at the Kramden Institute and the Triangle Literacy Council."

GF also recently named two "Digital Inclusion" fellows for the Triangle to help lead outreach efforts.

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