ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The Greater Alpharetta Technology Network (GATN) featured the recent developments at North American Properties’ Avalon, especially the gigabit internet afforded by their fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, at their meeting Thursday, Nov. 6.

Phase one of the Avalon development opened at the end of October with apartments, retail, restaurants, a Regal Cinema and other features including a children’s play area and plaza which will be converted to an ice skating rink by Nov. 22. Phase two will expand retail and restaurants and residential spaces, adding single-family homes and luxury rentals as well as office buildings, a hotel and conference center.

John Kelley, NAP’s vice president of development, discussed how Avalon came to Alpharetta and their latest projects.

When considering coming to Alpharetta, they found that the city has around 900 technology companies in its limits.

“It’s amazing to see the concentration of technology companies here,” said Kelley. “The roster of employers blew us away.”

Kelley said Alpharetta is the sixth fastest growing city in the country.

“Since 1993, the population in Alpharetta has tripled and the average income has doubled. What happened in 1993? Fiber was put in the city,” Kelley said.

Avalon, in partnership with Hotwire Communications, takes the fiber in the city’s infrastructure and extends it to the property. The FTTP network offers up to one gigabit per second, estimated at 100 times faster than average internet speeds.

Max Kipfer of Hotwire Communications discussed the fiberhood in more detail.

When NAP opened Boho 4W in Atlanta with ubiquitous wi-fi, they saw an influx of residents, particularly young adults.

“That property filled up with students who came out of Georgia Tech and wanted the fastest Internet in Atlanta,” Kipfer said. “”The demand for bandwidth continues to increase.”

A residential upgrade to gigabit internet costs $99/month. The gigabit speeds are also available to businesses and extend to the public wi-fi on the premises.

“In this high tech culture, everybody wants bandwidth and they want speed,” said Liz Gillespie, NAP’s vice president of marketing.

The night before Avalon’s opening, they gave out VIP chips to test the RFID-based Black Card program. Members of Club Avalon can have chips installed in a card-or on a car-that registers names, preferences and other information.

“Your experience will begin before you approach us,” Gillespie said. “We’ll be able to anticipate your needs and serve you that much quicker.”

The RFID technology will be used at Santa’s workshop when he visits for the holiday season. Parents can preregister online.

For more about the GATN, visit www.gatnconnect.org.

For more information about Avalon, visit www.experienceavalon.com.

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