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Google Fiber Starts Utah Rollout

Mari Silbey
10/3/2013
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Although it was the third region to get announced as a Google Gigabit site, Provo, Utah, is now rocketing ahead of Austin, Texas, as the second place for Google Fiber to roll out its 1 Gbit/s service. (See Austin Gets Google's Next Fiber Gig.)

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has announced that residential customers of Veracity Networks in Provo can sign up for service throughout October. The rest of Provo's residents will be eligible for Google Fiber starting in January. Austin is due to start getting service in mid-2014.

The high-speed Internet rollout is happening quickly in Provo because Google purchased the iProvo network from the municipality there and doesn't have to start from scratch laying fiber to subscriber homes. Existing Veracity customers are already hooked in to the network, which is why they get "first crack" at the new service.

The fact that fiber infrastructure is already in place also means the connection fee for subscribers drops to $30 from the $300 rate that Google Fiber Inc. offers in Kansas City. Aside from that initial cost, the Google Fiber service packages in Provo mirrors the Kansas City offerings. The company is offering free Internet service with speeds up to 5 Mbit/s downstream and 1 Mbit/s upstream, symmetrical gigabit service for $70 per month, and gigabit Internet plus TV service for $120 per month.

Meanwhile, the incumbent cable provider, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), is preparing for Google's arrival in Utah. According to an internal memo in August, the cable operator is now promoting its own 105 Mbit/s service bundled with either Xfinity Voice or Xfinity Home Secure for $120 per month. The deal requires a three-year contract, which would keep customers from leaving Comcast to sign up for Google Fiber. (See: Google Fiber, Comcast Prep for Battle.)

In addition, Comcast is reportedly offering a package with speeds of 250 Mbit/s downstream and 50 Mbit/s upstream in Provo for only $70 per month.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading Cable

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albreznick
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albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
10/4/2013 | 1:16:59 PM
Re: Comcast
Good question. I'd love to see a roundup story about all the other broadband providers now doing 1 Gig service. Maybe they'll have a broader impact taken all together.   
brookseven
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brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/4/2013 | 12:59:35 PM
Re: Comcast
Wonder how the Utopia Project feels about this?

seven
albreznick
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albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
10/4/2013 | 12:51:26 PM
Re: Comcast
Sure. Nut it remains to be seen just how many markets they'll build. Most analysts don't believe they'll actually make a big, national run for the gold.
SarahReedy
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SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
10/4/2013 | 12:14:57 PM
Re: Comcast
Well, I don't think that is its only altrustic goal. It also wants more eyeballs for ads and to build out its web TV ambitions, no?
albreznick
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albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
10/4/2013 | 11:57:30 AM
Re: Comcast
Wouldn't it be interesting if Google Fiber just upped the stakes for other BB providers, got them all to boost speeds to 500 mbit/s or 1 Gbit/s or more and then withdrew from the stage, having achieved its goal? Nice wsork if you can get it.
SarahReedy
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SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
10/3/2013 | 10:22:19 AM
Re: Comcast
ha, that is ironic...or hypocritical, I suppose. And, AT&T announced its plans for a Gig response in Austin this week too. This is what Google wanted when it started its Fiber project...forcing competitors to step up their game.
KBode
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KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
10/3/2013 | 9:52:29 AM
Comcast
Excellent write up.

I find it entertaining that Comcast's David Cohen has been on a tour lately repeatedly stating there's absolutely nothing wrong with the state of competition in United States broadband, then Comcast immediately proves competitive critics right with their response in Provo showing that rates would be lower with improved competition.

While Comcast can manage to compete, I imagine things could prove much more difficult for CenturyLink.
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