Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) confirmed plans to light its 1 Gbps FTTH service by the end of 2016 during the opening of a new store in Salt Lake City's Trolley Square area, laying a greater challenge to incumbent telco CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL).
Jackie Biskupski, mayor of Salt Lake City, told the Salt Lake Tribune during the recent announcement ceremony that the fiber network would play an important role in economic development as well as improving Internet service to homes, libraries and community centers.
Getting to this point has been a long time coming for Google, having named Salt Lake City as one of its target cities last year.
Devon Baer, associate city manager, head of business operations at Google Fiber, Utah, told the Salt Lake Tribune that the service provider has been laying cable and expects that it will start offering services later this year.
Biskupski said that as part of its network build in Salt Lake City, Google Fiber will emphasize "digital inclusion, digital literacy and accessibility" in order to extend services to the city's low-income households.
However compelling 1 Gbps is, Michael Liimatta, formerly of Connecting for Good, a Kansas City, Mo., nonprofit that seeks to bring Internet to low-income homes, said that what low-income residents really need is simply a computer, knowledge and an Internet provider.
Google Fiber initially entered the Utah broadband market when the company purchased the then struggling iProvo fiber network. In Provo Google Fiber is offering its 1 Gbps service for $30 because unlike its Kansas City market, where it had to build its network from the ground up, it is leveraging the existing iProvo network. Provo became the second city besides Kansas City where it offers the service.
CenturyLink has been also active on the 1 Gbps front in Salt Lake City, announcing in 2015 plans to build a fiber to the premises (FTTP) network for residential and business customers, creating a foundation to deliver 1 Gbps broadband and IPTV services. Earlier, the service provider unveiled plans to bring 1 Gbps fiber-based services to Salt Lake City-area small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) that reside in multi-tenant unit (MTU) office buildings. Additionally, the service provider is also offering 1 Gbps services to about 1,000 select business locations in Lehi and Park City, Utah.
- The Salt Lake Tribune has this article
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