Yesterday, Google announced that would build out a fiber network in Provo by doing something it hasn't done before, buying an existing fiber-optic network. The network is owned by the city.
What it didn't mention was how much it would pay.
It turns out, the city is basically giving it away to Google for a token, $1 price, according to terms of Google's agreement with Provo. Foy further reports:
- It cost Provo $39 million to build the network.
- Google isn't assuming or paying off the construction loans. The city will keep paying for 12 more years.
- Google can sell the network back to the city for $1 if it chooses.
- Google has committed to upgrading the network to Gigabit speeds at its own expense within five years. That's at least 100 times faster than today's fastest Internet.
- The city has been charging all Provo residents $5.35 a month for the network and is struggling to break even.
- Google will charge residents a one-time $30 activation fee and then provide free Internet service for up to seven years. But it's not the super fast Internet. Google is promising 5 Mbps speeds for free, not 1,000 Mbps.
- Google also has an option to build public Wi-Fi network, but it hasn't committed to that yet.
Even still, Google Fiber could be a good thing for Provo, Utah. In Kansas City, Google charges $70 a month for a Gigabit connection and for another $50 a month, residents get cable TV, too. Such high speed services offered by others elsewhere cost a lot more per month and don't include TV.
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