The District is touting its new high-speed, fiber-optic network. Built with stimulus money, city leaders say the network will dramatically increase internet speeds, help bridge the so-called "digital divide" and convince technology companies to move to D.C.
How fast is D.C.’s new 100-gigabit-per-second network? Try about 10,000 times faster than an iPhone -- at least that's what the federal government says -- and fast enough to download a full-length high-definition movie in minutes.
Of course, that’s not why the city – with help from the federal government – is laying down 176 miles of fiber-optic cable.
"This network puts the District on the map as we strive to become a leading tech hub," says D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. "The District of Columbia government now owns and operates the highest speed and most extensive city-wide fiber network in the world."
The city isn’t providing direct internet access to homes or private businesses through the network -- only government buildings, schools, health centers and certain non-profits can use it right now. Eventually, service providers like Verizon or Comcast will make deals with the city to tap into the network and provide faster, cheaper broadband for everyone else.