Louisville Metro Council committee approves fiber Internet franc - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Metro Council committee approves fiber Internet franchises

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Ted Smith, Louisville Metro Ted Smith, Louisville Metro
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three new franchises allowing companies to string up fiber Internet lines in Louisville were approved by a Metro Council committee on Tuesday.

As WDRB reported last month, two of the proposals have the potential to offer Louisville residents super-fast Internet connections similar to what Google is bringing to a select few cities through its fiber program. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration sought proposals after being passed over by Google.

However, the location, timing and extent of the companies’ deployment of fiber lines in Louisville all remain unclear. If the Metro Council approves the three franchises as expected on Thursday, the companies will gain access to the public rights of way, but no taxpayer financing.

Ted Smith, chief of civic innovation for Louisville Metro government, said the hope is for Louisville to become a “gigabit city” to keep up with competitor cities for tech jobs.

“I can tell you we have heard through back channels that it has become something that is now on the table in attraction opportunities… We are asked, why aren’t we a ‘gigabit city’ like Nashville or Charlotte?” Smith told the council’s Public Works, Bridges & Transportation Committee on Tuesday.

Earlier: Sunday Edition | Pipe dream? A closer look at Louisville’s push for fiber Internet

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