On Wednesday, St. Louis economic development officials requested information from several private companies to determine how to provide the kind of ultra-fast Internet service that Google is bringing to Kansas City, offering access to the city’s own unused fiber lines, rights-of-way and utility poles to attract providers.
Gigabit service is 10 to 20 times faster than most residential broadband service available around St. Louis. Some St. Louis businesses already have gigabit access but pay “several thousand dollars a month” for it, said Mobin Khan, director of economic development and research at Downtown STL, a business group. Google in Kansas City sells a residential gigabit connection for $70 a month.
The hope is to roll out the service first in downtown, said Missy Kelley, president of Downtown STL. The service would then expand to Cortex in the Central West End, the Midtown Alley and the Cherokee Street area. The service would then spread through the city and county.
“We’re trying to make it part of the infrastructure throughout the city,” she said.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch