Good deal: Google to buy Provo, Utah’s $39M fiber network for $1 (Updated)


Go go Google Fiber! Coming on the heels of last week’s announcement that Google will build its Fiber service in Austin, Texas, the company announced Wednesday that Provo, Utah will be the third city in the U.S. to receive superfast Internet service. If you live anywhere besides Kansas City or Austin, you may be wondering, “Why Provo?” 

Provo is home to numerous tech companies and startups including, Novell software, and Oddly enough, the city also came in first on a survey of community optimism in 2012. Maybe it was the city’s glass-half-full attitude that brought Fiber to fruition?

However, the immediate answer is that Provo is one of the easier places for Google to build its Fiber network. The company’s plan is to use the existing infrastructure from iProvo, a fiber-optic network originally built by the city that proved to be a money drain, and upgrade it to full Google Fiber connectivity. According to the Associated Press, Google is in talks to buy the $39 million municipal fiber-optic system for $1. Yep, just $1. On top of that, the AP reports that Provo will also have to pay off loans for the project’s construction for “another dozen years.” But, Provo thinks it’s getting a good deal since its current service wasn’t able to support itself. So, it appears that everyone in Provo wins.

The mayor of Provo, John Curtis, announced the Google Fiber deal on his blog earlier this week along with mentioning that it will have to pass a city council vote next Tuesday before the project is considered a done deal. However, we doubt that Provo’s city council will vote against it. Once the deal is complete, Google will begin building out the network.

Homes that are currently connected with iProvo will be upgraded to seven years of free 5 Mbps service from Google Fiber with a $30 activation fee. As Google has done in its other two connected cities, hospitals, public libraries, and schools will be connected to the full-speed Fiber service for free. Like Kansas City and Austin, Google will also sell gigabit Internet packages and bundled TV and Internet packages. 

We’re willing to bet that Google’s going to increase the frequency of its Fiber announcements going forward, especially since AT&T announced a fiber network of its own in Austin last week and has plans to continue building out its fiber network. What city would you like to see get Google Fiber next? 

[Originally posted 4/17/13 and updated on 4/19/13 to reflect Google’s $1 deal.]


Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Here are the best Chromebook deals available in March 2019

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- that won't…

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.

Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri even existed, Microsoft Clippy dominated the screens of computers in the 1990s to help assist Microsoft Office users when writing letters. He recently made a bit of a comeback only to die off again.

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…

Time to do taxes? Save up to 50 percent on H&R Block tax software this weekend

Tax season is stressful, and with new tax laws in effect this year, it's not a bad idea to get some help. H&R Block has you covered: For two days only, you can save 50 percent on its great software so you can file your taxes online and save…

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.