Have you heard the next city to be offered gigabit broadband internet from Google Fiber is Provo, Utah? When Google first announced they were getting into the super broadband internet access business — and were interested in blowing up the tiny pipe model by offering free, low bandwidth access to anyone while offering paid gigabit bandwidth access as well — 1,100 cities applied to be a Google Fiber city. And cities did all kinds of things to let Google know they really wanted to be chosen — like flying planes with banners over Google’s headquarters, putting videos on YouTube and renaming their cities “Google” for a day. And there are good reasons why you want your city to have Google Fiber.
The first two cities chosen for Google Fiber service were Kansas City and Austin — both seem quite pleased and good choices for such a venture.
Well, fast forward a bit to another announcement that Provo would be city number three. And, in fact, it will probably be online before Austin! While Provo garners all kinds of livability and good business environment awards (I’m serious. Google it), why would Google Fiber choosing a town of just 115,000 in which to spin up Google Fiber service? Seems odd, doesn’t it?
Well, here’s the deal — the fiber network is already in place throughout most of Provo and all Google has to do is upgrade the networking equipment infrastructure and turn it on. Bam! Gigabit access ready to purchase. Megabit access available for free. Schools and city buildings hooked up for free. It’ll be all Googleovoish around that town. Provo city laid the fiber network (called iProvo) but struggled with ROI as the retailers on the network didn’t do a good job of marketing, customer acquisition, or service delivery. All that struggle goes away with Google — and everyone in Provo that wants free internet access can get it, which is good because the citizens of Provo were subsidizing iProvo anyway. Plus, Google paid a cool dollar bill for iProvo; however, Google agreed to other conditions (like providing free megabit access for seven years, hooking up the public schools, etc.) to take network ownership.
As an Air Force kid, I moved around alot and don’t tend to carry much affinity towards where I happen to be living at any given time, but as a Provo resident, I’m pretty stoked to be living here. And if the Google Fiber offering in Provo mirrors what’s being offered in Kansas City, I’m really quite stoked. I’ll go from a nice 60 mb pipe to super nice gigabit access with more capable TV service, a Nexus tablet for the remote, streaming TV to tablets (we have three), a 2 terabyte storage dive with a terabyte of cloud storage — all for less per month than I’m paying now. I’m sold. Google Fiberize me please.
Did you ever imagine you’d be jealous of someone living in Provo, UT? Ha! Wonders never cease.
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