April 20, 2013
Google Fiber Acquires Provo Internet Service For A Buck
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Google has acquired Provo, Utah´s existing fiber-optic network as part of a deal making the home of Brigham Young University the third city to receive the Mountain View, California-based company´s high-speed internet service, various media outlets are reporting.
The announcement that Google Fiber would be coming to the city of over 110,000 people was made earlier this week, but it wasn´t until Friday that financial details of the deal between Google and Provo began to emerge. According to Tom´s Hardware reporter Jane McEntegart, Google has agreed to purchase the city-owned iProvo fiber-optic network for $1, and will offer residents free basic Internet service once they pay a $30 connection fee.
“iProvo and their Fiber network has been around for years, but never fully came to fruition and got moving for the city on a mass scale,” Cory Gunther of Android Community said. He added iProvo is valued at approximately $39 million, but that it was sold to Google for a fraction of that value “for legal reasons.”
Google plans to upgrade the network by replacing existing infrastructure, and Provo Deputy Mayor Corey Norman estimates it will cost the tech giant about $30 million to complete that project, Gunther added. Furthermore, the company plans to expand the Fiber network to other Utah cities by 2015.
However, according to McEntegart, the deal between Google and Provo has not yet been finalized. It still needs to be approved by the Utah city´s council. That vote is currently scheduled for April 23, she said. Despite Google Fiber´s expansion into a third territory, the project itself still is somewhat nebulous, according to Peter Kafka of All Things D.
Investors and many others, Kafka says, “don´t know what to make of Google´s moves.” Specifically, they have two questions, he explained — what is the company attempting to accomplish, and how much of an investment are they willing to make to meet those goals?
“There are multiple theories to answer those questions, which aren´t necessarily mutually exclusive,” Kafka said.
One theory, he said, is Fiber is “a sandbox” for Google and the company is “trying to figure out what goes into offering that kind of speed, and what happens when customers take advantage of it.”
A second theory is they are hoping to encourage other Internet providers to make similar investments in speed in other markets, and a third is simply that Google is just looking to provide high speed Internet to much of the US — “Because, why not? It´s Google. It can afford just about anything,” he added.