What Big Tech Companies Are Doing in Small Towns

A new breed of tech giant is on the rise, and they’re looking to set up shop in small towns across America. Here’s what they’re doing and why.

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Google is one of the world’s most innovative companies, but it wasn’t always that way. The company got its start in a garage in Menlo Park, California, in 1998. But in the years since, it has become a major player in the technology industry, with a presence in nearly every corner of the world.

Google Fiber

Google Fiber is a project by Google that provides high-speed Internet and cable television services in select areas of the united states As of May 2016, the service is available in four markets: Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham. With speeds up to 1,000 megabits per second, Google Fiber is one of the fastest Internet services available.

The project was first announced in 2010, with trials in Kansas City and Provo, Utah. Google Fiber officially launched in Kansas City in 2012. The service became available in Austin and Atlanta in 2014, and it expanded to Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham in 2016.

Google Fiber offers several different plans, with prices ranging from $50 to $130 per month. The cheapest plan includes Internet speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, while the most expensive plan offers speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second. TV service is also available for an additional fee.

As of May 2016, Google Fiber is only available in a few select markets. However, the company has plans to expand the service to several more cities in the coming years.

Project Loon

Google’s Project Loon is one of the most ambitious things the company has ever attempted — and that’s saying something. The project, which is still in its experimental phase, aims to provide internet access to remote and rural areas by using high-altitude balloon-powered internet.

The balloons float 20 kilometers (12 miles) above the ground, in the stratosphere, and are able to stay aloft for more than 100 days at a time. They are equipped with a special antenna that can beam an internet signal down to a ground station on the ground, which then relays the signal to users within a 10 kilometer (6 mile) radius.

Project Loon was born out of a Google X lab project in 2011, and has since been piloted in New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. The project has had its share of challenges — but it has also been able to provide internet access to millions of people in these countries who would otherwise not have had any way to get online.

In 2020, Project Loon partnered with AT&T to provide emergency cellular service to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria knocked out much of the island’s infrastructure. The project is now working on expanding its capabilities so that it can be used in more disaster relief situations in the future.


Facebook has been working on a program called Facebook Connectivity Lab, which is designed to bring internet access to small towns. The program has been working on a number of initiatives, including the development of a new data center in Prineville, Oregon.


Facebook’s internet.org initiative is working to bring internet access to small towns and rural areas around the world. The project provides free basic internet services to people in developing countries who do not have access to the internet. Facebook is partnering with mobile operators and other technology companies to provide free data services, including access to Facebook, Wikipedia, and Google Search.

Free Basics

Facebook’s Free Basics program provides free internet access to a limited number of websites in select countries. The program has been controversial, with some people arguing that it provides an unfair advantage to Facebook and limits people’s access to the internet. However, Facebook has defended the program, arguing that it gives people in developing countries access to essential services like news, weather, and education.


Amazon is one of the world’s largest online retailers and they are also one of the Big tech companies that are investing in small towns. Amazon has announced that they are going to build a new fulfillment center in the small town of Robbinsville, New Jersey. This is going to be a 1 million square foot facility that will employ 2,500 full-time workers.

Amazon Prime Air

In December 2016, Amazon announced plans to start testing delivery drones in the UK. The drones, known as Prime Air, are designed to deliver packages up to five pounds in 30 minutes or less. Amazon has been working on the drone program for several years and received approval from the UK government to begin testing in rural and suburban areas.

The drones are autonomous and controlled using GPS. They can take off and land vertically, and are equipped with sensors that allow them to avoid obstacles. Amazon has said that the drones will be used to deliver packages to customers within a 10-mile radius of one of its fulfillment centers.

Amazon is not the only company interested in delivery drones. Google, UPS, and DHL have all been testing similar programs. In 2015, the US government began allowing commercial drone flights, as long as they follow certain safety rules.

It is still unclear when Amazon will begin using delivery drones on a wider scale. The company will need to get approval from regulators in each country where it plans to operate. There are also concerns about safety, noise, and privacy. But if Amazon is able to overcome these obstacles, Prime Air could revolutionize package delivery

Amazon Go

In December 2016, Amazon opened its first convenience store in Seattle, called Amazon Go. The store is approximately 1,800 square feet, which is about one-tenth the size of a typical 7-Eleven. The store does not have any cashiers or checkout lines. Instead, it uses hundreds of small cameras and weight sensors to track what customers pick up and automatically charges them for their selections as they leave.

The store offers a limited selection of grocery items, including milk, bread, and some pre-packaged foods. Customers can also purchase ready-to-eat lunchtime items such as sandwiches and salads. The store is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Amazon has not yet announced plans to open additional Amazon Go stores, but it has filed trademarks for the name in the United States and Europe, suggesting that it is at least considering expanding the concept to other locations.


Apple is one of the big tech companies that are starting to invest in small towns. They are doing this by opening up new Apple Stores and investing in smaller businesses. This is good for the economy of the small towns because it brings in new jobs and money.

Apple Stores

In May, Apple announced it would open an Apple Store in downtown Pittsburgh. It’s the first Apple Store in Pennsylvania. The store will be located in a former department store onSmithfield Street and is expected to open in late 2018. The announcement was welcomed by Pittsburgh officials, who see the move as a sign that the city is becoming a more attractive destination for tech companies.

Apple is also reportedly considering opening a store in Boulder, Colorado. The company has been looking at locations in the Pearl Street Mall area, according to the Boulder Daily Camera. An Apple Store would be a major addition to the mall, which is already home to retailers such as Gap, Crate & Barrel, and Urban Outfitters.

These two announcements come after Apple revealed plans to build a new campus in Austin, Texas. The $1 billion campus will create at least 5,000 jobs. It’s part of Apple’s larger goal to invest $30 billion in the US over the next five years.

Apple Camp

Apple Camp is a free three-day program for kids ages 8-12. The goal of the program is to give kids a creative outlet to explore their talents and interests. Each day at Apple Camp, kids will participate in different activities led by Apple Camp counselors. These activities might include learning how to make a movie, creating an iBook, or coding with Swift.

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