Mayor Mike McGinn discusses the Pioneer Square broadband project with City of Seattle CTO Bill Schrier

A few weeks ago, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn stood on First Avenue and asked Internet service providers to step up to help bring high-speed Internet to the Pioneer Square neighborhood. Now, one of the biggest providers in the state, wants to help deliver.

Comcast said today that it has submitted an application to bring high-speed Internet to the historic neighborhood, home to a number of fast-growing gaming and Internet companies.

“Our fiber-rich network provides reliable, scalable capacity that will meet the bandwidth needs of the growing number of Internet startups in the neighborhood for many years to come,” said Len Rozek, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Washington Region, in a statement. “We are excited about the opportunity to not only help these businesses grow, but to help the city’s economy grow as well by offering Pioneer Square businesses access to Comcast’s industry leading IP network.”

The City of Seattle would still need to approve Comcast’s application, and the bidding may get competitive for the project given the number of high-tech businesses establishing offices in the area.

Zynga just announced a branch office in the Washington Shoe Building, and Isilon Systems plans to move its headquarters to First Avenue South later this year.

High-speed Internet access in the neighborhood is notoriously bad, and it is a problem that Mayor McGinn wants to solve.

“We want take advantage of our existing fiber optic cable, and our ability to connect companies up to it that need it,” McGinn said late last month.

If no Internet service providers emerged, McGinn suggested that the city would pursue the build out itself. In addition to Comcast, Seattle-based Spectrum Networks has expressed an interest in the Pioneer Square project.

Previously on GeekWire: Broadband: Does the city of Seattle really need to step in?

Comments

  • http://twitter.com/billnordwall Bill Nordwall

    Last time a Comcast rep came through my building on 1st & Jackson, they wanted $950/month for a 10 down/up fiber line. Last I checked, that was almost 20x what I pay for a 20mbps line from home… from Comcast.   

    I’d love to see a local company get this business. Throw your hat in the ring, Spectrum!

  • Tony

    I wish the Seattle Comcast monopoly would end…. we need more options for high speed internet. Especially options with better customer service…

  • GuestToo

    NO NO NO NO NO. No more City endorsed corporate monopolies. For crying out loud.

  • I_hate_comcast

    Gosh I hope they DON’T get the contract.  Comcast is the problem, not the solution. They’re a monopoly… there simply is no other choice.

  • http://twitter.com/CaissonTech Brian Wade

    Ethernet Over Copper is a great symmetrical high bandwidth solution for this area and can be provisioned over existing copper infrastructure.  Also Level 3, Above Net, Qwest, tw telecom and Integra Telecom are all extremely interested in speaking with building owners and business tennants in regards to lighting up buildings  with fiber connectivity.

  • http://twitter.com/CaissonTech Brian Wade

    Ethernet Over Copper is a great symmetrical high bandwidth solution for this area and can be provisioned over existing copper infrastructure.  Also Level 3, Above Net, Qwest, tw telecom and Integra Telecom are all extremely interested in speaking with building owners and business tennants in regards to lighting up buildings  with fiber connectivity.

  • http://twitter.com/heydtrain Darren Kochansky

    I just hope Comcast gets the deal, and then the person responsible for city approval accepts a senior level position with Comcast.  Oh wait, that’s the other Washington!

    Seriously though, it would be great if there could be some fiber usage by someone other than a franchise operator.  I mean, as a part of my first startup, I participated in a fiber to the home, and to businesses project in downtown Palo Alto – in 1999!

  • cls

    I HATE COMCAST!!!!!!!!! Why do people put up with their “ma bell” attitude???

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