Gigabit Screwed: Missing out on Seattle’s high-speed Internet pilot, just barely

We at GeekWire were excited to hear Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announce plans to expand the Gigabit Squared super-fast Internet pilot to two more areas of the city, West Seattle and our home turf of Ballard, bringing the total to 14 neighborhoods.

Then we looked at the map.

The southeastern edge of the Ballard pilot area ends about one block from GeekWire HQ. To make matters worse for me personally, on the other side of the neighborhood, the boundary is literally three doors away from my house. So close!

Yes, I know — file this under first world problems. I’m not seriously complaining, and we’ve been having a good laugh around the office about our luck, or lack thereof. That said, our building next to the Ballard Bridge is also the home to other tech-oriented companies, so maybe the city will find a way to shift that boundary a bit?

Following the initial deployment next year, the service is expected to expand to more areas over time.

You can check the map here to see if your address is included. Here’s an excerpt from McGinn’s State of the City address in which he talked about the project.

We’re working hard to build out the next generation of our internet infrastructure and provide people with better choices. Last year Council approved our plan to leverage our unused “dark fiber” to companies who would use it to give people better internet services.

In December we announced an agreement with Gigabit Squared to begin building fiber to the home, with service levels up to 1 Gigabit per second in demonstration neighborhoods across Seattle. And I have some good news for people living on the west side of the city – Gigabit Squared has now added central Ballard and the West Seattle junction to their demonstration project, bringing us to a total of 14 neighborhoods to start.

Here’s where things stand. More than 3300 people have signed up with an interest in using Gigabit Squared services, along with more than 130 businesses and numerous apartment buildings. If you want to help speed this along to your neighborhood – contact them!

Gigabit Squared has secured the funding they need to begin detailed engineering. By April they intend to have an updated business plan. That will include an estimate of how much it will cost to lay fiber to the first 14 neighborhoods, what the service tiers and their costs will be, more precise service boundaries, and when we can start to light this fiber up.

If their business plan succeeds as we hope it will, we can leverage our remaining fiber to bring better service to the entire city.

Previously: Mapping Seattle’s gigabit Internet plans: Are you in or out? 

  • http://giftguy.co/ Stephen Medawar

    2000 feet of cat5 could fix your problem. :)

    • http://geekwire.com Todd Bishop

      I like the way you think, Stephen!

    • Arlington Albertson

      All well and good, however I think you might run into an issue with that length of CAT5E. Perhaps bump it up to CAT6? Or better yet, if you want to do it cheaply like this, put some switches at each house then just daisy chain it between those “three doors” and you’ll have fixed the rest of the neighbors problems, along with GeekWires. :)

  • http://orcmid.myopenid.com/ Dennis Hamilton

    I’m in, so long as Area 13 doesn’t take too long. Depending on how this is delivered, my living less than two blocks from the nearest CenturyLink switching center probably doesn’t hurt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vqnguyen2 Viet Q. Nguyen

    Wonder if the city is waiving or reducing lease costs for telephone poles for this project. Can’t imagine that trenching is going to be an economical solution.

    • Arlington Albertson

      It definitely needs to follow the model of FiOS where they string it on the poles. That’s how I get my FiOS in Redmond.

  • Donald Tripp

    I’m just up from you on 14th, so in the same boat. We should form a petition or storm the capital or something.