Monday, April 22, 2013

Council to hold public meeting to decide Google Fiber


Tuesday night the Municipal Council will hold a public meeting to decide if Google Fiber should sell the iProvo network. The public meeting begins at 5:30pm, Tuesday, April 23. There are a couple other issues on the agenda and the fiber network will be discussed at about 6pm. Discussions have been delicate, and reflect over a year’s negotiations to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

Here is a rundown of some interesting information which has been made available:
  • Provo will become the 3rd city in the world after Austin and Kansas City to utilize Google Fiber, but will be the 2nd in reality, as much of the fiber in place for the iProvo network can be used in the new system, whereas in Austin and Kansas City, fiber networks had to be completely installed by Google. 
  • Google will pay $1 for the network, and will commit to providing free internet access to every resident in the city for at least 7 years. This reflects a major investment into Provo’s network.
  •  The Council will consider and review approval of this matter during meetings Tuesday, April 23, 2013.
  • If the deal is approved by the Council, this will be the first time Google has purchased a municipal fiber network, rather than constructing new networks.
  • Provo was approached by Google, and did not offer the company incentives to take over the network.
  • Pricing for high speed connections will likely be similar to Kansas City,  which currently has prices in the range of $70 for Gigabit, $120 for TV + Gigabit
Google Fiber investing in the iProvo network has the potential to continue to elevate Provo as a “tech hub” and an attractive destination for web developers, tech companies, and start-ups.

To dialogue with the public and receive input and comment, the Council will be holding the last of a series of town hall style meetings today  (Monday, April 22) 1:00-2:00 in the City Council Chamber. There will also be a meeting twice that evening at Lakeview Elementary (2899 W 1390 N) at 5:30 and again at 7:30.

You may also leave comments and feedback here, or on the Council’s Facebook page.