City leaders consider options to streamline 'Google Fiber' insta - WDRB 41 Louisville News

City leaders consider options to streamline 'Google Fiber' installation in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The push to bring ultra-fast internet to Louisville could take a big step forward this week.

Louisville Metro Council is considering two proposals at its meeting Thursday night to help make Louisville a more attractive and easier option for companies wanting to bid on fiber internet installation.

“It's vital for the community that we have this option,” said Councilman Bill Hollander (D-District 9).

Louisville is on the short-list of cities Google is considering to install its ultra-fast internet and television service. The service would boost upload and download speeds for homes and businesses by as much as 100 times.

“Increasingly, many kinds of jobs have either a remote work, telecommuting dimension to them,” said Chief of Civic Innovation for Louisville Ted Smith. “Many kinds of businesses are started out of homes.”

In Jefferson County, there are 83 different suburban cities (Shively, Indian Hills, Jeffersontown, etc.). In order to bring Google Fiber to the whole county, Google would have to negotiate contracts with each of those cities individually. 

That would be difficult and time consuming.

So Metro Council will vote on a measure Thursday that would consolidate all of those cities to negotiate as one entity.

“It's a big deal that we're a streamlined, easy-to-do-business-with government,” Smith said.

Hollander is the sponsor of another piece of legislation that would ease the burden of physical installation of fiberoptic cable.

“Instead of having every person who is on a utility pole come and move their line around,” Hollander said. “That's called 'make ready.' One entity could do that.”

He says it will also make for safer installation in neighborhoods.

“Instead of having three or four trucks stop at that pole, it would be one,” Hollander said. “It slows things down it also disrupts traffic.”

Both measures have already cleared Metro Council’s public works committee.

City leaders have long championed for fiber internet as a great economic driver for the future.

“I can do a better job of answering the question of what it means if we don't get it,” Smith said. “It means there will be less companies that could function in Louisville.”

While Google has yet to commit to bring service to Louisville, AT&T has said it plans to bring similar service to Louisville this year.

“It's very, very important that we get this done,” Hollander said.

Metro Council will vote on both measures at 6:00 p.m. Thursday. 

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