Gigabit Seattle will provide lightning-quick internet to these 12 neighborhoods

After Seattle mayor Mike McGinn announced an agreement Thursday with broadband developer Gigabit Squared to operate a high-speed fiber network in Seattle throughout 12 neighborhoods, most tech people in the area had a simple question: Am I in or am I out?

It’s a big deal: Internet surfers in these 12 neighborhoods will be able to use broadband that’s up to 1000 times faster than what’s available now. The “demonstration” neighborhoods are part of Gigabit’s test project in Seattle that takes advantage of the city’s unused “dark fiber” network to offer fiber-optic broadband service to the area. Service is planned for a Fall 2013 debut.

These are the 12 coverage areas, which are highlighted above: Area 1: the University of Washington’s West Campus District, Area 2: South Lake Union, Area 3: First Hill/Capitol Hill/Central Area, Area 4: the University of Washington’s Metropolitan Tract in downtown Seattle, Area 5: the University of Washington’s Family Housing at Sand Point, Area 6: Northgate, Area 7: Volunteer Park Area, Area 8: Beacon Hill and SODO Light Rail Station and Areas 9-12: Mount Baker, Columbia City, Othello, and Rainier Beach.

Gigabit is also building a broadband wireless umbrella around the city, as well as a wireless neighborhood cloud in the 12 coverage areas.

Gigabit president Mark Ansboury said he plans on having fiber lines pass to 6,000 to 10,000 homes in the 12 neighborhoods, with just 8 to 12 percent of those households using the service. By the end of 2014, Gigabit plans on offering the service to 100,000 residents.

Pricing has not been announced, but Ansboury said his company plans on offering a competitive price that’s under $100 per month.

Gigabit is asking those interested in the service to sign up here. “The more interest we get from your neighborhood, the more likely your neighborhood becomes priority one,” the page reads.

Previously on GeekWire: Mayor Mike McGinn announces plan to develop “ultra-fast broadband network”

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  • Guest

    This is fantastic news! I really appreciate the attention being paid to my and other high-impact neighborhoods. Gigabit networking to my home will be a real game-changer.

  • 509

    Wow! Well, over a decade later Seattle will have the same Internet speeds as counties in central Washington.

    • Glenn Fleishman

      That’s a soundbite, but conservative elected officials have fought battles in many states against any sort of municipal involvement, along with incumbents spending millions or more in advertising (against ballot measures) and in legal campaigns to prevent such.

      Thus, it had to come to an abject market failure to create the political will to bring something faster than what the cable companies offer (in parts of town).

      This is what drove Tacoma to build Click over a decade ago. US West and TCI basically threw up their hands in the late 1990s about ever upgrading systems for television, broadband, and phone service. The city’s power utility jumped in. Many cited Click as a “failure” when, in fact, it became a model for networks around the country. They opted for fiber/coax. Today, fiber to the home makes sense.

  • Forrest Corbett

    Out. I can’t even get DSL in Seattle, but a mile away is one of the neighborhoods getting Gb.

    • Daniel

      Just buy a 1 mile ethernet cable.

  • Just missed

    According to the current maps I’m just a few blocks outside one of the areas. For that kind of speed I’d be willing to snake some weatherproof cat6 cable through a few neighbors’ backyards to a convenient spot just the other side of the line.

  • Aaron Bird

    I’m in. Although, good luck competing with my current provider (, with 100Mbs down and up for $60/month.

    Note that the area on the map labeled “Area 8: Beacon Hill and SODO Light Rail Station” does not include the SODO light rail station, but rather (what looks like) the Stadium Light Rail Station. The SODO Light Rail Station is on Lander between 4th an 6th – west of I-5 and south of the small area highlighted on the map as Area 8.

  • skippertom

    Frankly, I’m disgusted with Comcast’s Internet service here in Seattle. I’m disgusted with their intermittent connectivity, I’m disgusted with their (lack of) customer service and I’m disgusted by their refusal to acknowledge their shortcomings. As a professional network engineer, I am expected to provide cutting-edge Internet consulting services to corporations, hospitals and businesses all over the northwest, and most of the time my service to my home office is marginal at best. The monopolistic practice of Comcast and their poor response time to service outages is apalling! Seattle is NOT Mogadishu. I’ve had better Internet connectivity at sea via satellite! It’s time that Comcast had their franchise revoked. Comcast, you SUCK!

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