St. Louis is Hungry for Gigabit Internet

Right now there is a widespread collaborative effort among economic planners and officials in St. Louis to provide affordable gigabit service throughout the city.

What’s the allure of gigabit Internet? In short, it’s much, much faster and therefore capable of facilitating connections to businesses with lower latency—which over the next few years will be critical as more connected devices come into use.

As Govtech recently explained, to put things in perspective, with just a gigabit 25 songs can be downloaded in a single second.

Right now, some businesses in St. Louis already have private gigabit Internet access. The problem, though, is that gigabit Internet costs thousands of dollars per month, and most businesses cannot afford it.

Officials are looking to mirror the gigabit model offered in places like Kansas City, Missouri, where Google currently provides affordable gigabit Internet connections for residents and businesses. The hope is that by offering affordable and easily-accessible gigabit Internet infrastructure, St. Louis will become more attractive for businesses.

In an effort lure ISPs to St. Louis, city planners are now looking to offer direct access to dark—or unused—fiber lines and also utility poles. Right now the plan—which is still under development—would call for gigabit Internet construction starting downtown, and then expanding into other areas of the city.

Local operators should take notice of this development, which could impact business down the road. Operators should start planning for possible future gigabit Internet migrations to stay competitive. While this will not be an overnight initiative, momentum could pick up speed quickly.

According to Govtech, large ISPs like AT&T and Charter are currently eyeing gigabit expansion in St. Louis.