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So close, yet so far: Google Fiber available in some parts of Atlanta

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So close, yet so far: Google Fiber available in some parts of Atlanta

The setup at the Google Fiber "Fiber Space" at Ponce City Market. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
The setup at the Google Fiber "Fiber Space" at Ponce City Market. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

The setup at the Google Fiber “Fiber Space” at Ponce City Market. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

If you live in Piedmont Heights and Midtown East, you can sign up for Google Fiber internet and TV services starting today, Aug. 9.

If you live in Virginia Highland, Morningside, Lenox Park and Old Fourth Ward, you  can sign up for fiber service pending completion of construction.

To find out if Fiber is available in your neighborhood, visit:


But if you live anywhere else in the Atlanta area, including Decatur and Avondale Estates, the long wait for Google Fiber continues.

“We have no specific timelines to announce today,” Google Fiber Associate City Manager Jonathan Love said. “Our goal is to provide high speed internet access to as many people across the nine cities of Atlanta as possible. In order to do that, in order to have affordable reliable high speed internet, we’re having to lay thousands of miles of fiber, and that’s thousands of miles of fiber to individual homes in and throughout the different cities, and that does take some time. Considering the amount of construction that’s taking place, things are actually going very quickly, but it will obviously feel slow if you’re not in a city that has fiber.”

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In January 2015, Google Fiber announced plans to expand to the Atlanta area. The planning and build out phase for nine cities – Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs and Smyrna – was expected to take at least two years. Fiber service already is available at some Atlanta-area apartments.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed officially tests Google Fiber's speed. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed officially tests Google Fiber’s speed. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Google Fiber on Aug. 9 gave a demonstration of its internet and TV services at its Fiber Space in Ponce City Market on the Beltline. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was also on hand and made some brief remarks afterward.

“As we head into the future, Google Fiber’s super fast internet service will unlock a new wave of innovation across our city, and I’m excited to see where we’re going to go together, because that’s exactly what today is all about,” Reed said. “It’s a landmark day for our city because world class internet speeds are essential for our growing tech and startup industry, and we’re hearing announcements about that industry every single day. Google Fiber gives Atlanta another powerful asset for attracting new businesses and helping individuals and companies chase their dreams.”

Patti Ellis, who lives in Midtown, is one of Google Fiber’s first single family residential customers.

“It’s awesome, first of all,” Ellis said. “When you go somewhere else and you have to hook into someone else’s internet, and you find out how awesome it really is, because you forget. You get spoiled really easy with what you have at home.”

Google Fiber also announced it is launching a $15 a month broadband plan targeting low-income residents.

Fabiola Charles, Community Impact Manager for Google Fiber, said the plan will allow residents to access internet speeds of up to 25 megabits per second. There will be no construction fee, no installation fee, and no contract, she said. It is currently available for some residents in the Old Fourth Ward area, she said.

“There is no income requirement,” Charles said. “Essentially what happens with that plan is we’re leveraging publicly available data … to track areas of low digital adoption. Those areas will auto-connect, so as soon as residents put in their address into our fiber website, it will auto-populate. So there’s no income qualification, no income verification, no application process, and it’s just internet.”

People can see if they qualify by visiting, https://fiber.google.com/about/

Comcast, one of Google Fiber’s direct competitors, released a statement following Google’s press conference.

“Comcast already offers Internet speeds that are twice as fast for consumers and up to 100 times faster for business across the entire metro Atlanta area, not select neighborhoods,” spokesperson Alex Horwitz said. “Our gigabit service runs over our existing network and is basically a plug and play modem; our Wi-Fi service is fastest in- and out of home, we have the most hotspots in town, and we offer much more live and on-demand TV content. Nobody else is delivering the capacity and speed we do on a widespread basis, and any newcomer would need to build an enormous network capable of delivering video and data to provide what we have already invested heavily to build.”

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