Google Fiber Coming to NC

Google Fiber in the Triangle

Morrisville, NC – Last night I attended a TiE event focused on Google Fiber. Morrisville Town Council Member Steve Rao introduced the program and led a Q&A session with J. Erik Garr, Head of Operations for Google Fiber in the Triangle.

Why is Google Fiber Important?

The first question from Steve was from his father, “Why is Google Fiber important for me?”. Erik replied that when you are on a high speed network, all of the communication tools get better, whether or not they are supplied by Google. So Skype, Hangouts and the like become much more reliable. Google Fiber’s importance for a senior is to be able to have a great conversation with their grand kids over high definition video. An example of the high video quality and audio fidelity was a collaborative concert performed by musicians located in Kansas City, Austin and Provo.

From the first time that Google solicited bids for a Goggle network, they knew there were many issues people had with their network connections. ~1,100 applications were received in that first round where Kansas City ultimately became the first Google Fiber City. All that demand pointed to a need for better networks.

The fact that Google has entered the market as a new option will help improve all networks. Competition is a great motivator to provide better service and will also lead to many innovations. The end goal that Erik sees for development of Fiber networks in the area is that the network will become better and better and no one will be talking about it anymore.
150520 Google Fiber

When Will I Get Google Fiber?

Erik Garr is happy to take this question as many times as you want to ask. The answer is that there is still too much to do to be able to project when anyone will get Google Fiber. Google has no existing infrastructure in the Triangle and will first have to build a backbone before they begin to hook anyone up. Only once the first ring has been completed and lit will any connections be able to be made.

Right now, the activity has been to file permits or preliminary permits for the Fiber Hut locations. Google wants to be a good citizen and does not want to push our municipalities into a new process to get their network built. Hopefully the preparation for all the permit activity for the Google Fiber network will make the permitting process easier for everyone that is building in the Triangle. Look for Google permit activity to come soon to your Town or City council.

Can Businesses Get Google Fiber?

Google has an offering for businesses, but really for entrepreneurs with small offices. Google is not building a network to support companies like SAS Institute. Go to the Google Fiber Website for more information

Previous Articles on Google Fiber:

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber Party in Raleigh

Raleigh, NC – So we attended the Google Fiber party in Raleigh at Clouds Brewing. A great party and Clouds Brewing did a really good job making sure that everyone was well fed and agreeably drunk!(?) A great party!

Erik Garr, Head of Google Fiber Operations – Raleigh/Durham, and the rest of the Google team were great hosts.

Here are some pictures from the event:
Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber comes to RTP

Code for America at Google Fiber comes to RTP

Google Fiber Coming to NC

Google Fiber Coming to NC

Cary, NC – Google announced on January 27, 2015 that Google fiber is coming to the RTP region and Charlotte. These are 2 of the 4 regions that Google has selected to expand their Gigabit Internet service.

In the RTP area the following towns/cities will be participating:

Recent studies have shown that availability of Gigabit Internet infrastructure has a huge impact on regional economic development and property values. Be patient as it will take a year or 2 but the results will be remarkable.

Google Gets Lots of Press!

Our apologies to those news outlets that are not mentioned.

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NC Datapalooza Starts April 24

Raleigh, NC – The 2014 NC Datapalooza program this year kicks off with a boot camp next Thursday night from 5:30 – 8 PM at the new HQ Raleigh location. Make sure you attend this session to get a jump on the whole datapalooza process.

What is NC Datapalooza?

NC Datapalooza is a competition where teams build commercial products or services based on Open Data. The Datapalooza process is extended to allow you the time to build really good and well thought through ideas. There are lots of resources available to the NC Datapalooza teams to help challenge and refine your ideas. This year, the NC Datapalooza process focuses on the Health Care vertical.

Why go to Boot Camp?

The Datapalooza program this year will have some new elements to help you to better develop your ideas and offerings. Starting with Boot Camp next week, there will be a Startup Weekend May 9-11 followed by a period of mentoring and product development and ending with final presentations and awards in September. While you might be able to start NC Datapalooza some time else during the process, your best bet is to start at the beginning and take in all of the goodness that NC Datapalooza has to offer!

Boot Camp Details

  • What: NC Datapalooza Boot Camp
  • When: Thursday, April 24, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
  • Where: HQ Raleigh, 310 S Harrington St, Raleigh, NC 27601
  • NC Datapalooza Boot Camp Registration Site

What to Expect From NC Datapalooza

I was part of a NC Datapalooza team last year and wrote about my experience in the process. There are new elements that are being added this year, but the article will give you a flavor of what to expect through the process.

Past Articles on NC Datapalooza

Disclosure: Ian Henshaw and Technology Tank are part of the organizing team for the 2014 NC Datapalooza.

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Startup Weekends – April 2014

Raleigh, NC – We like to keep you up to date with the Startup Weekend events going on in and around North Carolina because there are always several going on. This is an indication of the strong entrepreneurial activity in the area. The first weekend in April will have 2 events, one in the Triangle and one in the Triad.

What is a Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations. Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurials. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

Startup Weekends – April 4-6, 2014

Triangle Startup Weekend - Maker Edition April 4-6, 2014
The Triangle Startup Weekend Maker Edition is one of the first Maker Startup Weekends on the East Coast. The event will be held at the new HQ Raleigh space in Raleigh.

Join makers across the Triangle for a weekend focused on building cool, crazy, innovative physical products and launching companies around them. Tinker with state of the art tools provided by BetaVersity and meet design experts brought in by DXLab Design. We’ll have micro-controllers, laser cutters, 3D printers, and an awesome makerspace for you to geek out on.

Triad Startup Weekend, April 4-6, 2014
The Triad Startup Weekend does not have a specific focus. The event will be held at the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship in Greensboro.

Additional Startup Weekends Planned

There are currently 2 additional Startup Weekends planned for the Triangle and both are focusing on the Health vertical. The event scheduled for May 9-11, 2014 will focus on Open Data powering innovation in the Health vertical and is part of the 2014 NC Datapalooza program and will be held in Raleigh. The second event is scheduled for August 8-10, 2014 and will be held in Durham.

Check back later to see more information about these Startup Weekends.

Previous Tech Tank Articles on Startup Weekends

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NEXT for Serious Entrepreneurs

Raleigh, NC – Here is a great program for all those Triangle entrepreneurs who are standing up a new company or thinking of launching a new venture. NEXT is scheduled in Raleigh for April 2 – May 7, 2014. The registration deadline is March 28, 2014, so don’t delay!

What is NEXT?

NEXT is a product of UP Global which helps startup founders become better prepared to build successful startups. It is a five-week “pre-accelerator” program rooted in Steve Blank’s Customer Development methodology, driven by mentors and unique video content. The NEXT program helps founders gain a crucial base of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.

My NEXT Experience

I attended the first NEXT program that was held in the Triangle in September 2013. The instructors and mentors were great. We were constantly challenged to “get out of the office” and go and talk to people to validate and hone our ideas and offerings. Over the 5 weeks we did quite a lot of work and were able to make good progress on our venture. We were also able to make great contacts in the Triangle through the organizers John Austin and Mital Patel.

2 of our 7 member team (yes, 7 – quite a large team for a startup) attended the NEXT class and we learned a lot but we started moving faster than the team was comfortable. Ultimately, our team fell apart. I would recommend that all of your team members should attend together so you can make the leap as a group.

Why Register for NEXT?

NEXT is a great program and participating will really help you to develop your idea and validate your concepts and markets so you don’t waste too much time working on a venture that has no market. 20,000 hours is a benchmark of the time you will spend developing your idea. Investing a couple of months of your time now will save you lots of time later! is handling the registration this time for NEXT. Be prepared that they use either your Facebook or Linked-In credentials to register you so you can fill in the application.

NEXT Details


Google & Multiple Personalities

Cary, NC — All the hoopla and stories recently in the Triangle have been about Google Fiber. But here’s an observation you may not have heard elsewhere: Google now fully embraces the Theory of Multiple Personalities. Thank heavens. Read more

2014 Top Ten Image

Tech Tank Top 10 for 2013

Cary, NC – 2013 was a good year for Technology activity in NC and the Triangle. The pages and regular features from Technology Tank that you found most helpful were our Tech Calendar, the listing of Tech Meetup Groups and the monthly lists of Upcoming Tech Events.

The articles of greatest interest were about activities of local ‘civic hacking’ groups, like CityCamp, Code for America, and NC Datapalooza.

Tech Tank Top 10 Articles

Here are the Top 10 Tech Tank articles based on your views:

  1. Pulse Point for the Triangle – PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and brings the promise of higher survival rates from heart emergencies. The Triangle EMS dispatches only need to be hooked in and we will begin to be able to take advantage of this great service. A look at team activity from the 2013 CityCamp NC.
  2. Google Designates Cary as North Carolina’s 2013 eCity – The eCity Awards recognize the strongest online business community in each state.
  3. Triangle Ranks High in Tech Start-up Density – A Kauffman study has both Raleigh-Cary and Durham-Chapel Hill in the top 25 Metros for High-Technology Business Formation and Job Creation in the United States.
  4. DevFestNC 2013 – Nov 2nd – The inaugural event of the Google Developer Group in Research Triangle.
  5. RGreenway Expands to Include Cary – RGreenway was the winning application developed by a group of civic hackers at the 2012 CityCamp Raleigh. The team has continued to expand the coverage of the RGreenway app by incorporating greenway data from municipalities adjacent to Raleigh.
  6. Code for America Helps Raleigh – An article about the cooperation of all Triangle Code for America Brigades to assist Raleigh with their Open Data Portal update.
  7. A Look Inside: Code for America Cary – Review of the happenings in a typical Code for America Brigade meeting.
  8. Imagine Cary Preview – Cary started their multi-year forward planning effort and we look at some interesting demographic changes over the years.
  9. NC DataJam Coming April 22 – NC DataJam and NC Datapalooza were the first regional Open Data competition to be held outside the White House.
  10. Talking Open Data – In preparation for Cary Open Data Day, we have a discussion with Jason Hare, the Raleigh Open Data Manager.

Picture from iabusa under Creative Commons

Dart Language Logo

Dart Flight School in the Triangle

Research Triangle, NC – Local developer Luke Dary and the Google Developer Group in Research Triangle (GDG Research Triangle) are working with the American Underground to bring the Dart Flight School to the Triangle. On February 8, There will be simultaneous classes at the Main and new Raleigh locations of the American Underground.

What is Dart?

The Dart Language is a new class-based and object-oriented platform for scalable web app engineering. Dart is an open-source project with contributors from Google and elsewhere and includes many tools and libraries to help with the development process. Compiling using Angular Java Script will produce Dart web apps that will run in all modern browsers.

What is Dart Flight School?

Dart Flight Schools are community events run by Google Developer Groups to help developers learn Dart and Angular. Dart Flight Schools can be different in each location based on the organizers, local skill sets and interests. There can be tech talks, code labs or even mini-hackathons. As we get closer to the date, we will see what GDG Research Triangle has finalized as an agenda for the Triangle Dart Flight School.

Dart Flight School Details

  • When: Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 1-5pm
  • Durham: American Underground @ Main, 201 W Main St., Durham, NC 27701 // Durham Registration
  • Raleigh: American Underground @ Raleigh, 213 Fayetteville St. , Raleigh, NC 27601 // Raleigh Registration

Learn Dart and Angular, Get Your Web Development Wings

Sign up for only one of the sessions. The Raleigh location can hold ~20-30 people and the Durham facility can hold ~80 people. Resources for the Dart Flight School can be found on the Dart Website.  Also the GDG Research Triangle will be publishing more details and may conduct some preliminary activities at their normal meet-ups.

If you attend, please let us know what you think of Dart, Angular and the Dart Flight School.

Google Glass photo

Glass Under Pressure

Durham, NC – If you missed the hype about Google Glass coming to Durham, you either are living under a rock, or are not involved in the Triangle Technology Ecosystem. 3,500 people sold-out the event in about 24 hours. Much of what you have read in the press about Google Glass has been developed during private invitation only sessions (many links can be found at the end of this article). As the Technology writer for Cary Citizen, I wanted to witness the Google Glass experience through the crush of people at the Durham event.


The event was scheduled from 10 AM to 6 PM at Bay 7 of the American Tobacco Campus. 3,500 people in 8 hours means that the event needed to be set-up for handling 437 people per hour or just over 7 each minute! I was concerned about excessive waits as I was seeing pictures on various social media showing long lines and then about 1 PM I saw the following Tweet from @AmerUnderground

Three hours in and the line keeps growing! #durhamthroughglass #durm

2013-10-05 14.51.03

I showed up just before 3pm and the line went just past Bay 9 (shorter than I had seen in pictures). I then found out how well organized the event was. As I arrived in line, we were given a card showing the basics of operation of Google Glass. We were also told that the wait would be 35- 40 minutes (my wait was 32 minutes) and were provided iced water as we waited (thankfully due to the 92F temperature). Inside the event was very well organized; registration went quickly and we were grouped to first have a demonstration of Google Glass, and then moved to another area where we could personally try out Google Glass. Afterwards, we were provided wonderful refreshments by Angus Barn, as we waited for our picture wearing Glass, provided a poster (we now had 3 souvenirs of the day) and the option to give feedback (on a new Chromebook Pixel via Google Docs).  In total it took me about 2 hours.

A well organized Google Glass event in Bay 7.

My Glass Experience

The demo was not going so well. Monty and Jim were giving us a demonstration where we should be able to watch simulcast on a tablet, but the Wi-Fi was overloaded and we were not being able to see what we were told was happening. Many excuses about connectivity problems and the overloaded Wi-Fi. In the loud room, Glass was having trouble understanding verbal commands and the user was basically unable to hear from the device.

Quick look around while in-line for picture at the Durham Google Glass Event - Everyone on their smart phones.

Quick look around while in-line for picture at the Durham Google Glass Event – Everyone on their smart phones! How much Wi-Fi and cell service do you need?

We were now able to try Glass. In the the RSVP confirmation we were told:

Leave your Glasses behind: If you wear glasses or contacts, please put contacts in for the event. If you only wear glasses we’ll do our best to fit Glass over your frames, but your experience will be much better with contacts.

Now I have worn glasses since 5th grade and had given up wearing contacts over 15 years ago. Based on the above suggestion I tried without my glasses (thinking that something close to the eye would be easily visible) but this turned out to be nearly impossible as the image is projected at infinity so it was very fuzzy. I also could not get Glass to be able to find directions to anywhere (which apparently resulted from the device not being synced to GPS due to the Wi-Fi overload or other issue)

My Glass Experience, Part 2

My Cary Citizen Press Credentials were seen by the event promoters, and I was quickly introduced to Devin Buell from Google (Devin was working at the Google Chapel Hill office until he recently joined the Glass team) and given a different Glass that had connectivity. This time I tried the Glass over my glasses and what a difference! I could see the screen clearly (Note to those wearing glasses – definitely use Glass over your glasses).  After a few tries, Glass finally understood where I wanted to go and gave me directions (remember the room was really noisy).  I fumbled through a few navigation steps, but was able to see the promise of this very cool technology.  I was glad to have the press credentials that gave me a second try to be able to evaluate Glass through a few paces.  (I’ll probably follow up with another article about my specific observations and things I have thought of since the demonstration.)

Privacy Invasion with Glass?

There has been much written about invasion of privacy with Google Glass, but after seeing Glass in use, these fears seem to be overblown. The Battery life was given by one of the presenters as 45 minutes watching video, but could ‘last all day’ under normal use (which is normally not on). People wearing Glass have to make obvious gestures on the side of the unit and need to make very clear verbal instructions for the Glass to go through its paces. With the ability of all new cell phones to be recording devices, Glass seems to be a very clumsy and obvious way of invading your privacy.

My Takeaways

Google Glass was clearly playing to their potential early adopter customer base at this event. My estimate is that the average age of attendees was ~35 years old and a smart phone owner. No one seemed to mind the line waits and a ~2 hour experience to get their hands on Glass for maybe 5-10 minutes. The event was very well managed and everyone had the chance to try Glass and even more importantly get their picture taken wearing Glass. Social media was chock full of people sharing their experience, so Google got a huge bang for their buck from hosting this event. I would be interested to see the results of feedback from such a pro-Glass audience and if this is really an indicator of support from the general population.

131005 Ian aI think that Glass provides an interesting presentation of information – kind of like being able to check your rear-view mirror while you are driving. Glass seems to be a good complementary device to your desktop, tablet and smartphone, but would not replace any of these at this point. I’m intrigued and would like to be able to evaluate Glass for a longer time and I look forward to see how Glass continues to develop as part of Google X.

What Was Your Experience?

Did you go to the Google Glass event in Durham? We would be interested in your experience.  Please comment below or E-mail me about your experience with Glass.

News Articles About Glass: