The Case For Google Fiber In Pittsburgh from a Startup Perspective

The Case For Google Fiber In Pittsburgh from a Startup Perspective

I think that most of the people that read my blog are probably aware of the effort to convince Google to use Pittsburgh as one of its test cities for residential and commercial fiber connectivity (watch the video above for more details).  I wanted to take a minute to underscore the importance of this to my area of experties, the tech startup landscape of Pittsburgh.  The point of this post is to underscore the potential impact of Google’s decision (we’re not talking about making it easier to stream TV folks).  Hopefully through this post, you can become encouraged to act on one or more of the initiatives outlined at the end of this post.

Google Fiber would instantly become an asset to the community in luring startups to the area.  I’ve commented as recently as yesterday’s post.   That Pittsburgh will always trail Silicon Valley (and probably NYC) in access to funding and talent.  For this reason, it becomes important to accent our positives (and there are many such as lower cost of living, the universities, good workspaces, a community like the Pittsburgh Technology Council and more).  Winning the Google Fiber would result in the following key advantages:

  • Many startups initially rely on servers sitting under a desk connected to the local ISP for things like web and email hosting.  If the ISP is providing reasonably priced 1GBps internet access this model is significantly more sustainable.
  • Collaboration between startups (a key part of the startup community) becomes much easier with connection speeds that quick.  Entire code libraries can be transmitted instantly between companies.
  • Recruiting technical people would be easier because that high speed internet would be available for personal use.
  • As I’ve discussed, the next generation of web applications will be built on HTML 5.  These applications will require more bandwidth to develop, host and use.  A city with Google’s broadband will be a logical place to start one of these companies.

Providing these advantages to startups results in real jobs for real Pittsburghers, real tax dollars on real incomes for Pittsburgh, and real buzz nationally on the Pittsburgh tech scene.  So take it from this startup technologist, even if you’re internet connection is “fine like it is”, you can do yourself and your city a favor by getting involved in one of the following ways: