The city is bracing for a surge in demand for high-quality broadband.
Birmingham residents are increasingly willing to pay for high speeds, according to new data.
According to a new report by analytics firm Gartner, more than 50 percent of the city’s residents say they are willing to spend up to $300 on a broadband package.
That number has increased by nearly 20 percent over the past year, Gartners data shows.
Gartner says this surge in broadband demand is driven by more people moving to the city.
This has increased demand for faster broadband, said Dan Gartensen, the firm’s chief research officer.
The city’s population is expected to grow by about 4 million people in the next decade.
“It’s just kind of an incredible amount of demand for the internet, and we have some of the fastest internet in the country right now,” Gartens said.
“We’re seeing it right now in cities like New York and London, and there are a lot of cities around the country where they’re seeing these kind of increases.
And that’s because of all the data and all the smart decisions that they’ve made.
We think it’s the future for the city.”
The growth in demand is likely to be driven by a number of factors, Gartsensen said.
Some of the reasons include:Birmingham’s growing population is also driving more internet use.
The region’s population has increased from 3.8 million in 2016 to 4.3 million in 2019, according the report.
The number of residents using the internet increased from 7.6 million in 2015 to 10.7 million in 2018.
Birmingham also has a growing tech sector.
In 2019, there were 1.9 million online-services jobs in the area.
That’s up from 1.3 in 2016, according Gartenson.
“You can see, in a number or kind of a way, a lot more technology-related jobs in Birmingham,” Gartenner said.
“That’s going to lead to an increase in the number of people using the web.
There’s going have to be more of that.”
The city has been building out a broadband network to support this growth, but the rollout is still a work in progress.
The report said that Birmingham’s fiber network was completed last year, but that is only about half of what’s needed.
Gartenner also pointed out that the city is also building its own fiber optic network.
That network, called ConnectWest, is about 60 percent complete, but it has been in place since 2020.
Gartersen said the city will begin deploying its fiber network later this year.
Birchwood’s internet access is currently free, but residents can opt in for a monthly service fee.
The city also is experimenting with offering gigabit internet service to some residents.
The technology allows for speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second, which is about 10 times faster than the speed of average internet.
Gartenners data also shows that a new, $5 billion fiber network is in the works.
The report found that Birmingham residents now spend an average of $18 a month on internet, a jump of nearly 20% from last year.
That compares to an average monthly spend of $11 a month in 2017.
The increase comes despite the fact that the number and size of residents moving to Birmingham has been decreasing for decades.