Google to buy $39m Provo fiber service for $1

Google to buy $39m Provo fiber service for $1

Summary: If the deal between Provo and Google doesn't work out, the tech giant can sell the network back for a dollar.

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TOPICS: Google, Fiber, Wi-Fi
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Recently, the latest destination for Google Fiber was confirmed to be Provo, Utah, but rather than building the system from scratch, the tech giant would buy out the city's own network.

iProvo will be bought out by Google pending a vote by the Provo City Council on April 23, but the financial details were not disclosed at the time of the original report. However, according to the Associated Press, Google will buy the existing network -- which cost $39 million to build -- for only $1.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based firm is taking an unusual step in its roadmap by buying an existing fiber-optic network, but it's not difficult to see why. Under the terms of the deal, Google will complete the network's construction and upgrade the system so it offers Provo residents gigabit connections, which are touted to be 100 times faster than current broadband speeds. The city will have to pay remaining loans resultant of the $39 million build, but if Google decides the merger isn't working out, the firm has a get-out clause -- it can sell the network back to the city for the same symbolic dollar.

Provo is approximately 45 miles south of Salt Lake City, and has a population of 115,000 residents. If the deal is voted in, then the city will be the third extension of Google Fiber's city roadmap. At the moment, according to the publication, Provo residents have been paying a little over $5 a month for their Internet, television and phone services. However, if residents agree to sign up to a $30 connection fee, then they will receive basic Internet services at no charge.

Google has five years to complete Provo's fiber network. In a blog post Wednesday, Google Fiber general manager Kevin Lo explained why Provo is of interest to the firm:

"Utah is already home to hundreds of tech companies and startups, and many of them are based in Provo. In fact, the Provo area ranks second in the nation in patent growth, and is consistently ranked as one of the top places to live and do business in the U.S."

The high-speed Internet service will join fiber networks expanding across the U.S. Last month, Google announced that residents in Olathe, Kansas, would join those waiting in Westwood, Westwood Hills and Mission Woods, Kan. that would have access to the network in the near future, although "a lot of planning and engineering work" is required first.

Google Fiber is currently available in Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO, with Austin, Texas marked as the next city for the service to launch.

Topics: Google, Fiber, Wi-Fi

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8 comments
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  • Novell Headquarters is here

    Not sure if that means anything but interesting out of all the places, Novell HQ is chosen.

    hmmmmm.
    wendellgee2
  • Bring this to Dayton, Ohio Please

    All of this talk of the western US getting such great service at such a great rate is making me jealous. Unfortunately, here in Dayton, the market is monopolized by AT&T and Time Warner, so a cheaper, faster alternative would be welcomed greatly.
    Richard Estes
    • Dayton

      I used to live in Sayton...I mean Dayton. Many cities and towns have a monopoly on offerings, but Dayton is not one. A monopoly by definition "exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity" as you aforementioned Dayton has 2...AT&T and TWC. I would suggest Dayton lobby for Cincinnati Bell to extend their FTTH offering called Fioptics to Dayton. Then you would see faster speeds and superior customer service. No I do not work for CBT, but they were my customer along with TWC when I lived there.
      Scott Koonts
      • Dayton Deserves Google

        Cincinnati Bell Fioptics is $300/month for internet service(!)

        And you only get it that "cheaply" if you bundle that with the purchase of additional services.

        I'm with Richard Estes. Dayton is a high tech town. They deserve Google.
        trentreviso
  • NOT JUST A BUCK

    You forgot to cover that while the network still has an estimated $39 million owed on it; this debt will continue to belong to the tax payers of Provo, Utah. Google WILL NOT assume any of the debt that was incurred by the peoples in installation of the fiber network.

    While Google can sell this network back to Provo in five years for that 'symbolic dollar'; you can bet that Provo will be expected to also pay for ANY and ALL upgrades/changes, as well as labor for such happenings.

    This entire deal was held behind closed doors until people like me and my family in Provo forced the details to light or it wouldn't even be finalized by a city council meeting.

    Mind you this is a state that claims our President does all these backdoor dealings and will simply sell the peoples property off for a buck (they literally passed this along in church and other venues I participate in Utah on)... all the while in a secret dealing with Google to do EXACTLY that.

    The fiber network Google is 'scroogling' Utahn's out of exists OPERATIONAL in other parts of Utah BY THE COMMUNITY and those communities that held on our starting to excel! While I would want to say 'serves em right' for abandoning their own community effort at a fiber network... this just aint right!!!
    Double Aught Code
    • PROPER TERMINOLOGY REQUIRED

      ...this is not a sale... this is an outright scandalous hustle and I fully expect to see the elected officials be held accountable for attempting to sell the PUBLIC OWNED PROPERTY without the publics consent.
      Double Aught Code
  • I ONLY PAY 50 BUCK FOR 100 MEGABITS DOWN AND UP

    Through the existing fiber network of Utopia (owned and operated by each community it exists in separately) and XMission; Utahs FIRST Internet Provider, est 1993, I get MIND BLOWING DOWNLOADS as well as being able to UPLOAD at the same rate.

    I downloaded a 20GB game for my console in just over 20 minutes and this only costs me a total of $80 plus fees for the VoIP I use as well.

    Utopia actually was behind the iProvo build but the same elected officials behind this scandal left the Utopia Co-op and tried to do it on their own terms... failing miserably; while Utopia continues to build momentum and popularity.

    I can actually go to a city council meeting and participate in how Utopia is provided in my city... lets see you walk into a Google Fiber Executive Board Meeting and start telling them how it will be done... or XFinity... or Century Link. You will most likely be arrested.

    Thank god I live in a Utopia community that worked together as a community to insure its success!!!

    http://www.utopianet.org/
    http://xmission.com/utopia
    Double Aught Code
    • VoIP fees explained...

      Before taxation and utilization fees (911, emergency services, etc) I pay $55 for the internet signal and $25 for the VoIP.
      Double Aught Code