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PROVO — Google Fiber is now signing up Provo residents for its newest Internet service and is boasting much faster speeds for browsing.
Google Fiber is advertising their Internet as having a free basic service for seven years. Provo residents just need to pay a $30 installation/hook up fee. Google is currently accepting customers to join what it calls the "fiberhood."
"And this works to show people what a gigabit is and what they can do with it within their household," said Google Fiber field team representative Austin Watson.
It is Google's way of introducing their fiber product that will be available to every household in Provo — one of just three Google Fiber cities in the world.
"We're offering free basic Internet to Provo residents so for a one-time fee of $30, Provo residents qualify themselves for a five megabit per second download and one megabit per second upload speeds for a minimum of seven years," said Google Fiber spokesman Devin Baer.
Provo residents were paying taxes to fund the city's iProvo system, and so the free Internet is part of the deal with Google for the existing infrastructure.
While the basic service is free, residents who want Google's gigabit service will pay $70 a month for speeds 100 times of most internet service providers.
"Gigabit Internet simply means 1,000 megabits per second, so our gigabit product is our bread and butter," Baer said.
Google is rolling out the service progressively through seven areas in Provo.
"So, we have taken groups of neighborhoods and created fiberhoods in the city," Baer said. "We have seven in Provo and what we will do is garner signups, apply deadlines to those signups and construct and install sequence neighborhoods and we hope to get through those in 2014."
Google believes fiber is just as important as water and electricity, and expects Provo will see an economic surge with the arrival of Google Fiber.
"Internet access isn't just access to funny cat videos or fantasy football. Internet is knowledge and so I think we will see certainly in Provo a lift as we get widespread connectivity," Baer said.
So even if you don't want Google Fiber, if you get your house wired now, Google said it will help your property value down the road when installation will cost much more.