Michelle Clancy | 20-08-2013
In July, Google completed an agreement with the City of Provo, Utah, with plans to connect the first Google Fiber + TV customers in the town before the end of the year. The search giant this week outlined key areas of work between then and now, and unveiled pricing, including a free broadband option.
First, it's working to upgrade the existing fibre network in Provo to be Gigabit-ready. It's also talking with property managers and owners of large apartment building and condominiums to plan for and install additional Google Fiber in buildings with five or more units.
When it starts sign-ups, all customers will be able to choose from one of three plans: Free Internet will offer basic broadband speeds (up to 5Mbps down and 1Mbps up) for free for at least the next seven years; Gigabit Internet (up to 1Gbps each way) will go for $70 per month; and Gigabit Internet + TV adds hundreds of HD channels and the ability to record up to eight shows at once and store up to 500 hours of HD content on a Google Storage Box for $120 per month.
All plans will require a one-time $30 construction fee which consumers pay when they choose a plan.
Provo is the third market for the Google Fiber rollout. Unlike its deployments in Kansas City and in Austin, Texas, this rollout will be undertaken as a public-private partnership. The Internet juggernaut signed an agreement to purchase iProvo, an existing fibre optic network owned by the city, which the town began building in 2004. Google has committed to upgrade the network to 1Gbps technology and finish network construction. Part of the deal was free basic broadband. Google will also offer free Gigabit Internet service to 25 local public institutions like schools, hospitals and libraries.
According to Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Fiber, Provo's tech-heavy economy makes it an obvious choice for the rollout.
"Utah is already home to hundreds of tech companies and start-ups, and many of them are based in Provo," he said. "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 US. We believe the future of the Internet will be built on gigabit speeds, and we're sure the businesses and residents of Provo already have some good ideas for what they'd build with a gig."