The Google Fiber blog reports that the company has chosen the third destination for its Gigabit Internet: Provo, Utah. To accomplish this, Google said that it has agreed to acquire iProvo, an existing fiber-optic network owned by the city. As part of the agreement, Google will upgrade the existing network to Gigabit technology and finish the network construction originally started by the city.
"Our agreement with Provo isn’t approved yet—it’s pending a vote by the City Council scheduled for next Tuesday, April 23," said Kevin Lo, General Manager of Google Fiber. "We intend to begin the network upgrades as soon as the closing conditions are satisfied and the deal is closed."
Lo said that Provo began constructing their own municipal network in 2004 because access to high speed connectivity was important to the community's future. However in 2011 the city began looking for a partner that would acquire the network and provide an affordable service. With Google in the picture, citizens may get free access to 5 Mbps Internet for at least seven years (after a $30 activation fee)… if the deal is approved, that is.
"We would also offer Google Fiber Gigabit Internet -- up to 100x faster Internet than today’s average broadband speeds -- and the option for Google Fiber TV service with hundreds of your favorite channels," he said. "We’d also provide free Gigabit Internet service to 25 local public institutions like schools, hospitals and libraries."
Lo pointed out that Utah is home to hundreds of tech companies and startups, many of which reside in or near Provo. Even more, the Provo area is ranked as second in the nation for patent growth, and typically ranked as one of the top places in the nation to do business and to live. That said, Gigabit Ethernet should help innovation flourish.
"Today, I did something that just two other U.S. Mayors have had the pleasure of doing – I announced that Google Fiber intends to make Provo its third 'Google Fiber City'," said Provo mayor John Curtis in a blog. "This is, as they say, “big news.” It allows us to finally implement a viable solution to the city’s ongoing iProvo troubles, a personal goal of mine since taking office. But it’s much bigger than that."
The city of Provo also distributed a press release announcing its agreement with Google which can be read here.
Last week, Google announced the second destination for its Gigabit Internet coverage: Austin, Texas. It’s a "mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism", said Milo Medin, Vice President of Google Fiber, with thriving artistic and tech communities, as well as the University of Texas and its new medical research hospital. The goal is to start connecting homes in Austin by mid-2014.