By Sarah de Crescenzo
High-speed access to the Internet and cable television could soon hit the hyper-fast lane in Orange County, thanks to one of the biggest names in technology: Google.
The company’s Google Fiber division announced Thursday that it has tapped Irvine, a city known for its tech industry and educated and affluent residents, for its list of possible expansion cities.
The so-called gigabit network offers blazing-fast broadband speeds about 100 times that of standard Internet service. That means downloading a movie to a computer in seconds, rather than minutes (or longer). For workplaces, it speeds communication and data transfers.
The move – Google Fiber’s first foray into Southern California – could trigger an avalanche of high-speed Internet from competitors across the county.
Next up for Irvine is the homework.
The city must provide Google Fiber a list of assurances – such as access to existing equipment and obstacle-free permitting – in an effort to persuade the company to install its network. Then city officials wait.
In other cities that use Google Fiber, the wait time from invite to confirmation was about a year. So far, no proposed Google Fiber city has been later rejected.
The tech giant’s fiber-optic network debuted three years ago in the Kansas City metro area; it soon expanded to Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah.