Answers to a few questions about Google Fiber in Provo

Published: Saturday, Oct. 12 2013 2:20 p.m. MDT

Provo Mayor John Curtis makes the announcement Wednesday, April 17, 2013, that Google Fiber will be brought to Provo.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

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PROVO — Google Fiber’s 1 gigabit Internet connection is fast.

How fast? If average broadband Internet speeds are the equivalent of driving 8.6 mph, Google Fiber's 1 gigabit speeds can reach 1,024 mph.

Provo residents are one step closer to having access to those speeds in their homes. Google announced Oct. 2 that Veracity customers could sign up through Oct. 31 for Google Fiber.

The first installations should be complete within the next few weeks, according to Jenna Wandres, spokeswoman for Google Fiber.

“I think they have the resources to really take advantage of iProvo the way that we’d hoped, and it would give us the services that it was built for,” said Nathan Hadfield, a Provo resident who's signed up for Google Fiber.

The Hadfields use Internet for all their news and TV consumption, as well as video conferencing for Hadfield, who works from home. He said he’s looking forward to being able to back up his computer in a few minutes instead of several hours.

“A lot of the things we do probably won’t seem that much faster, at least initially," Hadfield said, "but I think the ability to use other networks for storage will impact me the most personally right away.”

Coming to Provo

In mid-April, Provo Mayor John Curtis announced that Provo would be the third city to have Google Fiber. Though the announcements in Provo and Austin, Texas, were just a week apart, Provo is further along in the process because the city essentially gave Google an existing fiber-optic network called iProvo.

Residential Veracity customers in Provo are the first to have access to Google Fiber because their Internet service already uses the iProvo network. Google just needs to upgrade it to handle 1 gigabit speeds — a task Google has been working on since before the public announcement.

In November Google will schedule installation appointments with those who signed up early, with hopes to have them switched over to Google Fiber within six months.

What is it?

Google Fiber uses a fiber-optic network to provide fast and powerful Internet, as well as TV service. The three Google Fiber plans require a network box, which is essentially a router included in the one-time $30 activation fee.

After residents are connected, they will have three services options. The first is a 5 megabit connection — 5 megabits per second download, 1 megabit per second upload — free for at least seven years.

The next two options include a terabyte of cloud storage and a 1 gigabit Internet connection for $70 a month or $120 a month if customers add a TV package that requires a two-year contract and includes a Nexus 7 tablet to use as a remote control.

Who will have access?

Eventually, all Provo residents along the existing iProvo footprint will be offered Google Fiber, but first in line are Veracity customers because their Internet service already uses the iProvo infrastructure.

Those customers can opt to continue service with Veracity over a copper VDSL network or go with Google Fiber.

Business customers will remain on Veracity’s own fiber network, which is separate from the iProvo network, according to Drew Peterson, CEO of Veracity Networks. Peterson said Veracity plans to expand its fiber network for businesses in the coming months.

Some of the iProvo network needs to be replaced, and all of it needs to be upgraded, but the fact that it’s already there greatly simplifies the process, according to Provo Deputy Mayor Corey Norman.

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