Whidbey Telecom’s BiG GiG Center, located on Anthes Avenue in Langley, is officially open after a ribbon cutting Friday afternoon.
The cable company’s satellite office contains a demonstration computer connected to 10,000 megabytes per second (10 gigabits) internet speeds, several co-work spaces and a 100-plus-year-old “museum” of Whidbey Telecom. The center is located in the former Langley Whale Center at 117 Anthes Avenue and serves as a first-hand look at Whidbey Telecom’s all-fiber optic cable network.
George Henny, co-CEO of Whidbey Telecom, believes the network available to South Whidbey residents will provide a much-needed service for those who require fast internet speeds.
“It’s really going to change the way people are able to live and work,” Henny said. “…The fact that we have gigabit capability throughout Langley is tremendous. That’s 1,000 people we could hook up to a gigabit. We’re moving out beyond there.”
The event was attended by about two dozen people, from residents to Whidbey Telecom employees. Mayor Tim Callison, who donned a festive white suit for the occasion, cut the ribbon and also spoke about the positive impacts the BiG GiG Center could have.
“You can help us move into the future with new technology,” Callison said.
The demonstration computer is located to the right of the entrance and is available for those curious about the internet speeds. Toward the back of the center are several co-work spaces, which are also connected to 10,000 megabyte-per-second internet speeds. Henny said it can serve people who need a remote office for work, but not on a full-time basis.
Similar co-work spaces connected to Whidbey Telecom’s fiber optic network are also available at Langley business Fine Balance Imaging and the WiFire in Freeland. Another co-work space is in the process of opening in Langley at South Whidbey Commons.
Prices for using the co-work spaces have not yet been determined, Henny said.
“The goal of the co-works space is for locals or visitors to have the ability to work from there as opposed to taking the commute,” Henny said.
Tom Trimbath, a management consultant, said there are many opportunities for collaboration and networking with the co-work spaces. While Trimbath usually works from home, the lure of the faster internet speeds is hard to pass up, he said.
“There were some fairly large files I had to transfer,” Trimbath said. “I know the ratio between doing it at home and doing is at the co-works is 60:1 now that the new gig is in.”