Google Fiber offers free internet to Provo

By Joey Ferguson

PROVO, Utah — Google Fiber will bring free, broadband internet access to Provo, the company announced.

Pending approval from the Provo City Council, Google will purchase and improve iProvo, the city’s already existing fiber infrastructure, and proving limited Internet connectivity to every home within its boundaries, Provo Mayor John Curtis said during an announcement at the Utah Valley Convention Center.

The free Internet service will feature 5 Mbps speeds. It comes with a $30 activation fee, but there is no monthly charge for at least 7 years.

Google will also provide schools and libraries with a gigabit connection for free.

Google’s decision to come to Provo “opens doors in our education climate and economic environment,” Curtis said during the announcement event with Google executives and Utah Governor Gary Herbert in attendance.

Provo is now the third city to receive Google’s fiber network, joining the ranks of Austin, Texas, and Kansas City.

Curtis said the announcement is a result of long talks with Google.

Google isn’t able to start on the improvements just yet. It first has to receive approval from the City Council. A vote is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23.

“We believe that when more people are on the Internet, it makes communities stronger,” said Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Fiber. “Provo will be one of the first cities in the world where free basic broadband will flow like water.”

Before the announcement, rumors of the Fiber connection caused sizeable reaction on social networks like Twitter, with some calling it “Epic.” Curtis says if this announcement isn’t “Epic,” then he doesn’t know what is.

Gov. Herbert was in attendance after recently returning from a trip to Silicon Valley.

“Google will find that, though Texas is a good location, Utah will be an even better one,” Herbert said. “This means innovation can happen in small spaces. The [future] is going to be very, very bright.”

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