Seattle, University of Washington and Gigabit Squared to Build Fiber Network

  • Gig.U
  • Gigabit Seattle
  • Gigabit Squared
SEATTLE – The City of Seattle has reached an agreement with broadband developer Gigabit Squared to develop and operate an ultra high-speed FTTX broadband network. The plan will begin with a demonstration fiber project in 12 Seattle neighborhoods and includes wireless methods to deploy services more quickly to other areas in the city. The initiative, leveraging the City of Seattle’s excess fiber capacity, the expertise of Gigabit Squared, and the community leadership of The University of Washington, aims to stimulate business opportunities, spur advancements in health care, education, and public safety, and enhance quality of life for the residents and businesses of Seattle.

The City, the University and Gigabit Squared have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Letter of Intent that allows Gigabit Squared to begin raising the capital needed to conduct engineering work and to build out the demonstration fiber network. The project is the second city project announced by Gigabit Squared as part of its multi-million dollar Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program. Gigabit Squared will collaborate with the City of Seattle and the University of Washington to initiate a process for sharing information and soliciting input on the project from members of the affected communities.

The network, called Gigabit Seattle includes three pieces:

1. Fiber to the Home and Business
Gigabit Seattle plans to build out a FTTH/FTTB network to more than 50,000 households and businesses in 12 demonstration neighborhoods, connected together with the excess capacity that Gigabit Seattle will lease from the City’s own fiber network. Gigabit Seattle’s technology intends to offer gigabit speeds that are up to 1,000 times faster than the typical high-speed connection.

The initial 12 neighborhoods include: 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.

2. Dedicated Gigabit to Multifamily Housing and Offices
To provide initial coverage beyond the 12demonstration neighborhoods, Gigabit Seattle intends to build a dedicated Gbps broadband wireless umbrella to cover Seattle providing point-to-point radio access up to one Gbps. This will be achieved by placing fiber transmitters on top of 38 buildings across Seattle.

These transmitters can beam fiber Internet to multifamily housing and offices across Seattle,
even those outside the 12 demonstration neighborhoods, as long as they are in a line of
sight. Internet service would be delivered to individual units within a building through existing
wiring. This wireless coverage can provide network and Internet services to customers that do
not have immediate access to fiber in the city.

3. Next Generation Mobile Wireless Internet
Gigabit Seattle will provide next generation wireless cloud services in its 12 neighborhoods to provide customers with mobile access.

This is the first demonstration project of Gigabit Squared’s Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program
(GNGP), which will bring other projects like this to promote gigabit network innovation in six selected university communities across the country. The $200 million broadband program was developed inpartnership with The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project (Gig.U).

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