Mike Romero just wrote an awesome article on what Provo Mayor Curtis may announce tomorrow at 1:30 pm. The Mayor and other city officials have talked this up to be an “epic announcement.”
After extensive research and talking to several sources, I’m fairly confident that Provo is set to announce the addition of Google Fiber to its city. This announcement covers the criteria of being “epic” and will certainly put Provo on the national map. Not convinced? Let’s look at the evidence on why this announcement could definitely happen tomorrow.
It’s no secret that the tech presence in Utah is growing. With a plethora of tech startups popping up from Provo to Lehi, it makes complete sense for Google to have its eye on the Provo area. Announcing a new fiber network to Provo would be a no-brainer for Google.
Before Veracity took over, iProvo was Provo’s own fiber-optic network. The iProvo (UTOPIA) project was way ahead of its time and put Provo on the map as being one of the few cities to offer this new ultra-fast way of connecting to the web. Due to several financial issues, iProvo had to call it quits and Veracity eventually took over. Veracity is Utah County’s leading fiber-optic service. Having the huge potential customer upside, in addition to a large current customer base, makes this an easy decision for Google. It’s obviously also a big help having most of the ground work in the city already completed.
Is it just a coincidence that Provo finally updated its web presence with a completely new website the day before the announcement? This means one thing; they are expecting the nation to be viewing the website tomorrow. An announcement like new flights at the airport or huge expansions in the downtown area are great, but I don’t think the rest of the country is going to care about those things. Google Fiber? Provo will be trending for weeks after that announcement.
Recently Google showed the nation it is moving west with their announcement of having Google Fiber in Austin, TX. Watch the video below and listen carefully to how they describe the things they love about Austin. Innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, young area, etc. These are all attributes that heavily describe the Provo area with its two Universities just miles apart, and an obvious growing tech presence (think Adobe, Novell, Microsoft, Domo, etc.).
If you research the web deep enough (or if you’re one of the few people who was paying attention to local news last year), you’ll find a nice gem that brings this all together. Last March, Veracity sold its fiber-optic networks back to iProvo, which is owned by Provo City. FreeUTOPIA.org announced this on their blog:
In an unsurprising move, Veracity Networks will transfer ownership of the iProvo network back to the city of Provo as it has been unable to generate enough revenue to make the purchase feasible. Provo has already instituted a monthly utility charge to all residents and businesses in the city to pay for the current debt load on the network. Veracity will continue to operate the network under a 14-month lease agreement, paying Provo $95,000 per month plus a cut of revenue from future subscribers. Interestingly, all customer revenues are going into an escrow account that will pay the city before Veracity gets its share and the city will be responsible for all network infrastructure costs including installations.
The agreement has been framed as a chance for Provo to figure out what it wants to do, and there doesn’t appear to be anything ruled out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see new providers added to the network, or for the city to seek out new partnerships.
The 14-month agreement is about 13-months old, this opens the door for Provo City officials to work with Google to bring this service to its city soon.
Assuming the above theory is true and accurate, this will be a HUGE boost for the Provo economy and will certainly be the Mayor’s biggest accomplishment in office. While this is purely my opinion, I certainly hope this holds true tomorrow!
What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below!
UPDATE: Provo & Google made it official by announcing that Google Fiber will indeed come to Provo. You can visit the official website at https://fiber.google.com/cities/provo/. Provo Buzz is proud to the first and only source to call this move by Google.