SALT LAKE CITY -- Google's fiber-optic internet and TV service is coming to Salt Lake City, officials from the city and Google announced Tuesday.
More than a year ago Google Fiber put Salt Lake City on its list of possible places to expand its high-speed Internet service. Since then the Salt Lake City Council has been working with Google to see if the city's infrastructure can support it.
That answer, is apparently, yes.
“This is the kind of transformative change that we love in Salt Lake City,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.
Becker said Google's commitment is the largest private investment Salt Lake City has seen in years.
“Google obviously brings a whole new level of investment that obviously ups the ante for everybody in terms of providing faster Internet speed and fiber Internet speeds in our community,” Becker said.
Google officials say upload and download speeds will be one-gigabyte per second, which is roughly 100 times faster than what most people have now.
So why Salt Lake City?
“Salt Lake is just a really tech savvy community fueled by world class universities we got lots of students and companies that can really innovate and show us what's possible with a gig,” said Devin Baer, SLC Associate City Manager for Google Fiber.
The fiber network will be built from scratch.
Soon these Google cars will be cruising the streets laying enough fiber to stretch from Salt Lake City to Canada. It's a huge feat that won't cost taxpayers a dime. Google is footing the entire bill.
“It will certainty speed up what you do day-to-day but what I think is more exciting is what you can do in the future,” Baer said.
But some of Google’s competitors are concerned this will create a virtual monopoly, making it impossible for other providers to compete.
“I'm not surprised I'm not a multi-billion dollar company I don't have the bank roll of Google to do something like this,” said Pete Ashdown, President and Founder of XMission.
Ashdown warns Salt Lake residents that nothing is ever free.
“Google is an advertising company and what they're going to be doing is watching your activities on the Internet so they know how to advertise for you. Targeting advertising is very valuable and that's exactly what Google does,” Ashdown said.
So once all of the work is done and the network is up and running the basic fiber service will be free. But if you want the full gigabyte, that’ll cost you. Right now in other cities that have Google fiber it's $70 a month.
When will Google Fiber be up and running?
Google officials say there’s still a lot of work ahead. First they have to create a blue print and then they’ll begin construction. They don’t have a timetable yet but some experts believe it will take more than a year.
Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission defined broadband Internet speeds as 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads. Google Fiber can deliver downloads at up to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gigabit), according to their website.
The city is providing Google with data about existing utility poles, water lines, gas lines and electricity lines to help the company determine a construction plan.
Visit https://fiber.google.com/cities/saltlakecity/ to follow Google's progress in bringing Google Fiber to the city.