HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle wants the city to install internet that's 200 times the speed currently available today.
Battle announced the city is now accepting to bids to install a fiber internet network across the city. The Mayor said the network would provide residents and businesses access to at least a one gigabyte connection he doesn't want to see a "patch-work" job done. Companies have through the end of April to submit their bids.
"Right now, AT&T and Google Fiber are hitting what they call 'NFL cities.' They're going one after the other after the other because they are larger metropolitan areas that have more density. More density makes it easier to do. We're a mid-tier city. Being a mid-tier city we're going to have to be somewhat aggressive on this," said Battle.
There are only a handful of other mid-tier cities that have fiber internet including Provo, Utah and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Local businesses are already celebrating the announcement.
"Having gigabit internet really opens the door for a lot of new possibilities," said Curse Chief Technology Officer Michael Comperda. The online gaming company relies on lightning fast internet to put its products out to consumers.
In the last few years the company has more than quadrupled in size. Comperda said fiber internet will help Curse and other startups grow even more.
"Not just for businesses coming here but even just from a recruiting perspective," said Comperda. "We hire lots of engineers from all over the world. Being able to tell them that Huntsville is a "Gig City" will align the expectations of Huntsville being this really great tech city."
City leaders said they'd take two weeks to review the bids. They've already had four different groups show interest.
The City of Madison is not involved in the plans to have the fiber network extend into their city limits at this time.