Yesterday the Provo Municipal Council voted to approve on the sale of the fiber-optic Internet service iProvo to Google, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Google will take iProvo’s infrastructure and convert it into Google Fiber. The seven member Municipal Council voted unanimously to approve of the sale. Now Provo, Utah will become the third metropolitan area to become a Google Fiber city.
Google Fiber is also being built in Kansas City and Austin, Texas. Google is building the network from the ground up in those two locations. However Google Fiber is being built on an existing municipal network in the case of Provo, Utah.
The Google Fiber Internet service has a speed of up to 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second of download and upload speeds. This is over 100 times faster than a Comcast connection.
Google is going to take control and ownership of the iProvo network in exchange for providing free basic 5-megabit Internet connectivity to all of Provo’s residents for 7 years. Google is also going to upgrade the existing network and make sure that all homes have accessibility to it. Google is also going to offer a free gigabit service to 25 public institutions like public schools and libraries.
Provo taxpayers will be required to pay off a $39 million bond that the city issued to have the network built. The interest for this payment will add up to $3.3 million in bond payments per year for the next 12 years.
The mayor of Provo, John Curtis, said that the city will need to pay additional cash that was not mentioned before. The city will need to pay around $722,000 for equipment in order to continue using the gigabit service for government operations that are already on the network like traffic lights, police services, and fire services. Google is going to lease the network to the city of Provo for free for 15 years. The city of Provo will also need to pay around $500,000 to a civil engineering company to determine where the fiber optic cables are buried.