High speed fiber optic internet is coming to downtown Detroit thanks to Dan Gilbert’s Rock Ventures. The investment group recently confirmed that construction is underway on a fiber-optic network starting in the downtown area.
The network, dubbed Rocket Fiber, will serve residents and businesses and will offer internet connection 100 times faster than current services, Crain’s Detroit Business confirmed. Detroit will be the second major city in Michigan to get access to the super fast Internet. LightSpeed currently offers small pockets of gigabit Internet access in Lansing, Michigan and plans to start laying fiber in the Detroit suburb of Southfield early this year.
Providing access to gigabit Internet will go a long way to convincing others that Detroit is striving to move forward and Dan Gilbert’s entities are, as they say at Dan’s Quicken Loans, making every inch count. Combined with access to technical talent and inexpensive real estate, having gigabit Internet is yet another point Detroit can use to lure businesses to the area.
According to the Crain’s report, access will start in the downtown area — home to most of Gilbert’s investments and businesses — and then will hopefully spread out to the surrounding neighborhoods.
No doubt laying fiber in the downtown area is related to Quicken Loans’ recently announced data center. Located just outside the downtown area, the data center in Corktown, is said to have a 10,000-square-foot server room. Gilbert told me last year that the data center is a natural part of Quicken Loans, which he bills as a technology company. Now thanks to the new fiber, his companies can tap into the servers on infrastructure he also owns.
Rocket Fiber is said to provide a hardwire connection to buildings with customers tapping in through Ethernet or Wi-Fi. We’ve reached out to Rock Ventures for more information.