The Chapel Hill Town Council last week voted unanimously to approve an agreement with AT&T to bring ultra-high-speed Internet installation to Chapel Hill.
While the dominant provider of Internet service throughout the area is currently Time Warner Cable, Chapel Hill is now working to provide greater interconnectivity for many town facilities and schools.
“We have a partner, AT&T,” announced Town Manger, Roger Stancil. “We are recommending a master network agreement as a major action that needs to be taken.”
This agreement with AT&T will mean an increase in Wi-Fi hotspots for public use and a decrease in the costs of Internet service for the community.
Chapel Hill plans to work alongside five surrounding cities, Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Carrboro, and Winston-Salem, and their respective universities, to make these networking goals possible.
“This has been very much a collaborative effort amongst all of those entities, the cities and the universities together,” says Stancil, “and in my knowledge the first time that such a venture has occurred.”
Upon the completion of the project with AT&T, all public housing units in the town will receive free Internet service for five years, and free Wi-Fi hot spots at local community centers for up to seven years.
The deal does not rule out possible future collaboration with Google. The tech giant is considering appropriate locations across the Triangle to establish future Internet hubs.