Provo council approves Google Fiber sale

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PROVO, Utah - Google's high-speed Internet network Google Fiber could be connecting residents in Provo by the end of 2013.

The Provo Municipal Council unanimously voted Tuesday in favor of selling its current network iProvo to the internet giant for $1. The move makes Provo just the third city in the country to use the service.

“I am so excited,” said Michael Singer of Google Fiber. “The gigabit speed is so new, and it’s such a huge amount of bandwidth.”

The city will have to spend approximately $1.7 million in up-front costs for expenses ranging from an insurance plan to hiring engineers to determine where the city’s current fiber network is located on city streets. In order for Google to begin construction on the network, the city must provide them with a map of exactly where the fiber lies.

Taxpayers will not be asked to foot the bill for those costs, according to Provo mayor, John Curtis. The money will come from the city’s Telecommunications Fund, which council members said Friday night was initially set aside to pay for network charges and expenses like Google Fiber.

“We’re hoping that it just creates a bunch of innovation and entrepreneurialism in the city,” said Singer.

As part of the deal, Google will wire 25 public institutions of the city’s choosing for free.

Once the company is ready to begin connecting customers, they will start “Fiberhooding,” or connecting customers neighborhood by neighborhood.

Whether they choose broadband speed internet or gigabit, residents will have to pay a one-time connection fee of $30.00. Customers who opt for broadband will be able to receive the service for free for seven years, Google executives said.

The deal is expected to close this summer, after which Singer said they will bring in engineers to begin construction on the fiber lines. He hopes to be servicing the residents of Provo before the end of the year.

“We think it will help with economic development, and we think it will just make the community stronger,” said Singer.

For more on Google Fiber, visit fiber.google.com.

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