What Chapel Hill is working on: The Town of Chapel Hill continues efforts to increase the number of service providers and quality of broadband service in the community. This includes membership in the North Carolina Next Generation Network, a regional partnership that in 2014 produced a master development agreement with AT&T to bring gigabit service to the member communities. These efforts also led to Chapel Hill’s inclusion in Google’s January 2015 announcement of the next metro areas to receive Google Fiber service.
In addition to working with private providers, Chapel Hill maintains 34 miles of municipal-owned fiber, which connects and serves the Town’s public facilities. Public Wi-Fi hotspots are available throughout downtown Chapel Hill and in most Town buildings. Computer hardware and technical support are provided to several Town-run computer labs that serve children, teens, and low-income families. The Town is currently exploring several methods of delivering free Internet service to families in the Town’s public housing communities, through its own means and through partnerships with private providers.
The Town’s Community Broadband project team coordinates these efforts.