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Irvine Co. apartments to get ultra high-speed Google Fiber

Apartments
Irvine Co. apartment complexes in the Irvine Spectrum area. Google Fiber will be coming soon to some apartment complexes owned by the company.
(Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

Some Irvine renters and businesses will soon be able to use Google Fiber, making the city the first in Southern California to receive the tech giant’s ultra-high-speed Internet.

The Irvine Co. said Tuesday that the Internet service will be available in “many” of its properties within the city, with a roll-out starting in coming months.

Orange County’s largest landlord did not provide a list of those properties or a specific timeline. In a Facebook post, Google said it would start with “some apartment communities and small businesses in Irvine.”

Such Internet access — up to 40 times faster than typical broadband — is increasingly sought after by both consumers and businesses. As a result, landlords and developers are looking at options for providing the service or similar systems, which can download a high-definition movie in minutes or even seconds.

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Developers, for example, are hard wiring the Ontario Ranch community under construction in San Bernardino County for ultra-high-speed Internet, seeing it as an amenity that can help lure prospective home buyers to fill what will eventually be about 47,000 homes.

Commercial landlords stand to benefit as well. Having ultra-high-speed Internet could serve as a key marketing tool and help fill buildings with tenants, said Jeff Ingham, a senior managing director in the Orange County office of commercial real estate brokerage JLL.

“Everybody wants high speed,” he said. 

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The Google Fiber roll-out in Irvine will be limited, at least at first.

In its Facebook post, Google said the company would start with Irvine Co. properties “near existing fiber infrastructure. And we’ll continue to explore bringing Fiber to more of Irvine and Orange County.”

Irvine Co. said that it has been installing empty conduit to its properties since the mid-1980s, making it easier to quickly launch a high-speed service.

Google has previously said it was looking to roll out Google Fiber in Los Angeles and San Diego, as well. A Google spokeswoman declined to provide an update on those plans.

andrew.khouri@latimes.com

Follow me @khouriandrew on Twitter

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