Light Reading

Google Fiber Proceeds in Provo

Mari Silbey

As promised, Google Fiber has opened up registration for its gigabit broadband and TV service to all residents of Provo, Utah living along the path of the former iProvo network.

While Google Fiber Inc. initially launched service to a select group of Provo citizens in October (households that were already customers of a service that was temporarily run by Veracity Networks), the company has substantially widened its net to reach a larger pool of residents with its novel Internet and TV offerings. Google bought the municipally-owned fiber infrastructure in Provo that underlies its new service last July. (See Google Fiber Starts Utah Rollout.)

The Provo launch marks only the second regional rollout of Google's 1 Gbit/s service, which debuted in Kansas City about a year ago. However, even though it's only been available in a limited footprint, Google Fiber has already had a tremendous impact on the broadband industry. Google has popularized both the idea of 1-Gig Internet service and the pricing model of the $70-per-month gigabit contract. (See Keeping Up With Google Fiber.)

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set a policy goal of creating a Gigabit City in every state by 2015. Then-Chairman Julius Genachowski cited a need to create innovations hubs throughout the US, and the FCC established several gigabit workshops to promote deployment best practices. (See Gigabit This, Google Fiber!.)

Meanwhile, traditional service providers have started to roll out their own gigabit deployments in response to Google Fiber. In October, for instance, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) launched U-verse with GigaPower in Austin, Texas.

Although the service only offers speeds up to 300 Mbits/s currently, AT&T has promised to increase speeds up to 1-Gig later this year. The company has also just announced that because of unexpected demand in the region, it now plans to expand its network's reach to twice as many households as originally planned.

Not too coincidentally, Google Fiber is also headed to Austin shortly. The gigabit pioneer plans to start its Austin rollout in the middle of this year. (See Austin Gets Google's Next Fiber Gig.)

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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User Rank: Blogger
1/31/2014 | 9:04:35 PM
Re: What makes Google Fiber different?
Where do you think Google Fiber will strike next, after KC, Provo and Austin? Seems like it's time to take on Cox or Charter somewhere. Anyone placing bets? 
User Rank: Blogger
1/24/2014 | 12:46:31 PM
Re: What makes Google Fiber different?
It was a pretty sweet deal for Google. Will be interesting to see how they make a go with this network financially, along with the flagship one in KC. Not that Google probably cares that much about financial returns at this point. It has alresdy succeeded in setting the broadband bar much higher than it was before.  
User Rank: Blogger
1/24/2014 | 9:53:59 AM
Re: What makes Google Fiber different?
I'd have to go back and look, but I do know that there were major financial issues with the network before Google picked it up. I also know Google got the infrastructure pretty much for free in exchange for certain guarantees of service over the next handful of (7?) years.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
1/23/2014 | 4:35:00 PM
What makes Google Fiber different?
Mari, any idea of how the Google Fiber service packages compare to what Veracity was offering? I'm assuming they are delivering more bandwidth at less money. 
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