Google Fiber has announced a third city will get its ultra high-speed broadband service. Provo, Utah is set to become the next Google Fiber city. The announcement follows one made last week that Austin, Texas would join Kansas City as a Google Fiber city. In Provo, Google will take over that city’s municipal network, reflecting the company’s recent activist stance on viable municipal networks.
An CivSource has reported, municipal wifi networks have seen mixed success when it comes to service and viability. However, that hasn’t stopped large, incumbent telecom providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from pushing legislation nationwide that would curb the ability of communities to build out their own networks. Google came out in opposition to legislation like this in Georgia earlier this year.
Another company, Gigabit Squared already offers a support service similar to what Google is aiming for in Provo. That company will help set up, or review existing networks and make recommendations on improving revenue and service delivery. Gigabit Squared works with other initiatives like Gig.U and Air.U which seek to leverage high-speed broadband networks around colleges and universities and extend them into the surrounding community.
The Provo network represents a first for Google, in that it will basically be acquiring an existing network instead of starting from scratch as it did in Kansas City. The network was originally called iProvo, and backed by the city but was eventually turned over to private providers. According to Google’s official blog post on the Provo network, they want to help the city build on its already rich tech sector.
Like the Austin and Kansas City networks, local residents will also be offered a slightly lower speed free internet option provided they pay a construction fee. Two additional high-speed subscription options will also be available – internet only, or internet and HD cable.
“This effort will pay enormous dividends for the country, helping develop the human capital America needs to lead a global economy that increasingly creates value with big data and big bandwidth,” Blair Levin, Executive Director, Gig.U, said of the announcement.