Spokesman Aaron Pickus said the deal announced Thursday allows Gigabit Squared of Washington, D.C., to start raising money for engineering work.
Pickus said the project will make use of excess capacity on Seattle's 500-mile network at no cost to the city.
The plan will begin with a demonstration project serving 50,000 homes and businesses in12 neighborhoods. Plans also call for a wireless network for Internet services.
The University of Washington is also working on the project.
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