Google Fiber plans to expand its high-speed network into Millcreek

Residents of Millcreek will soon have access to Google Fiber’s high-speed internet connections, under a deal approved this week.

Leaders in the suburban community southeast of Salt Lake City signed a non-licensing agreement late Monday that lets the web giant install a fiber optic network for city residents and businesses.

Millcreek, which has a city motto of “Connected by Nature,” will now also be connected by Google Fiber, its mayor joked.

Jeff Silvestrini said he and members of the City Council were pleased by the company’s dedication “to advance digital equity in Millcreek,” noting that many residents who had lacked suitable web access for years could soon have fast, reliable broadband. The mayor predicted that faster access would bolster employment and use of telemedicine.

While the high-speed internet provider did not release details on its pricing for Millcreek resident on Tuesday, in Salt Lake City, the company’s home connections with 1 gigabit transfer rates per second typically cost $70 per month.

Formed with a citizen vote in 2016, Millcreek is the third Utah city designated by Google Fiber for its gigabit speed services, joining with Provo and Salt Lake City. Google currently offers fiber to homes and businesses in 27 U.S. cities.

Google Fiber announced in early 2019 that the company was abandoning a partly finished fiber-optic network in Kentucky due to technical problems. The company blamed what was its first official exit from a U.S. market on a new method for burying its roadside fiber lines in so-called micro-trenches. In some Louisville neighborhoods, a sealant used to cover those trenches reportedly failed, leaving the lines exposed.

Large portions of Millcreek are already served by several other internet providers, including CenturyLink and Xfinity, according to the consumer site Broadbandnow.com.

In a blog post Tuesday, Google Fiber said that while it loves all its cities, “Utah has always been special to us” — given that Provo was among its earliest expansions.

The Utah County community became Google Fiber’s third U.S. city, behind Kansas City and Austin, in 2013 when the company bought out its existing fiber network, known as iProvo.

The fiber optic internet provider added Salt Lake City to its service network in March 2015, with its first residential and commercial installs going live in mid-2016 in the downtown core and Sugar House neighborhoods.

It began switching on its gigabit service in March 2019 for the neighborhoods of Jordan Meadows, Westpointe and Rose Park along North Temple.

The company does not released information on its number of customers in a given locale.

“As we finally near completion of construction in Salt Lake City, we’re not ready to stop growing in Utah,” Google Fiber’s government and community affairs manager Jacob Brace wrote in Tuesday’s blog post.

The Millcreek licensing agreement, Brace said, gives Google Fiber immediate access to rights of way for fiber installation, in advance of construction starting later this year. The goal, he said, was to begin serving its first customers in the city early next year.

Prospective customers can verify when Google Fiber may be available at their address or can sign up for updates from the company, by visiting google.com/fiber.