Google has begun wiring up Provo residents for its Google Fiber network, the company’s ultra-fast Internet service.
A Google representative was unavailable for comment Tuesday, but Provo Mayor John Curtis said that residents are starting to get hooked up to the one-gigbit fiber-optic network in their homes.
“I’m starting to have the occasional resident tell me that they have been installed,” he said. “A staff member came in with a big smile on his face saying that he received an email from Google that it was his turn. We’re starting to see this small ripple effect of installations starting to begin.”
Last April, Google announced it would buy up Provo’s current municipally owned fiber-optic network, iProvo, and convert it to Google Fiber, one of only three markets to get the high-speed service along with Kansas City, Mo., and Austin, Texas.
The network will give residents up to a gigabit, or more than 1,000 megabits, per-second of Internet speeds to their homes. That’s roughly 200 times faster than the lowest tier offered by Comcast’s cable modem service.
In a deal with Google, Provo taxpayers still must pay off the original $39 million bond that was issued to construct iProvo. In exchange, Google must connect the remaining two-thirds of homes that are not yet wired to it, provide a free lower-speed tier of Internet connectivity to all residents for the first seven years, and provide free gigabit Internet connectivity to 25 public spaces such as libraries.
Curtis said the first customers who will get connected are current customers to the iProvo network. He expects hookups for new customers to begin in January.