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Provo announces Google Fiber partnership

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PROVO — Provo city made its "epic" announcement Wednesday, saying it will join the shortlist of cities to get Google Fiber.

The announcement that Provo will be the third city to get Google Fiber was made at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, after being hyped up on social media with the hashtag #ProvoEpicAnnouncement. Guesses about the announcement that would put Provo on the map ranged from Google Fiber to a City Creek-like mall, to Disneyland.

"I'm not sure it will be viewed by everyone as epic but for me it will be the single largest accomplishment of my professional career," Provo Mayor John Curtis wrote Tuesday. "It should be of no surprise that something of this nature has also come with a large amount of stress. I wake each night several times worried about how it will be received by residents."

Google Fiber, the ubiquitous tech company's super fast gigabit Internet fiber optic service, has only been released in Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo. Google has announced it will roll out the service in five more cities in addition to Provo.

The service is expected to roll out by the end of 2013, and will build on the fiber-optic network iProvo.

"It's important that we have a vision now of what we want to become in 50 years," Curtis said. "Part of our vision for Provo is that we continue to lead in innovation... Today I am excited to announce that we have reached agreement to bring Google Fiber to Provo Utah."

Curtis said the fiber will be a tool that will connect the city to the state and world and help the city lead innovation and open up doors in education and economic development.

Governor Gary Herbert said the addition of Google Fiber builds on the history of technologic innovation in Utah Valley. He hopes it will allow more innovation to happen in the area nicknamed "Silicon Slopes."

It's important that we have a vision now of what we want to become in 50 years. Part of our vision for Provo is that we continue to lead in innovation.

–Mayor John Curtis, Provo City

"This means innovation can happen in small places," Herbert said.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, joined Herbert in congratulating Provo on the announcement.

"Google's announcement further validates Utah's position as a popular hub for up-and-coming small businesses and tech companies," Chaffetz wrote in a press release. "This fiber gigabit broadband service will not only benefit the existing businesses in Provo, but will be a magnet to attract entrepreneurs to one of the most business-friendly states in the country."

In addition to Internet, Google Fiber also offers television service and cloud storage for its customers. Current prices in Kansas City range from $0 a month with a $300 construction fee to $120 a month.

"If giving free Internet to every home in Provo isn't epic, I don't know what's epic," Curtis said.


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Celeste Tholen Rosenlof


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