According to Google's blog today, the Kansas City and Austin metro areas are going to get a second new Gigabit sibling out in Utah. Google Fiber and Mayor John Curtis have announced plans to bring the search giant's fiber initiative to Provo, Utah. And this time their plans are getting an inorganic boost.
Google has agreed to purchase iProvo, the municipal FTTH effort that the city has been working on for most of a decade and trying to sell for half that time. With that head start, Provo will hit the ground running far ahead of Austin. But it's not quite a done deal, as the city council must first ok things. The chances of it not passing seem pretty remote I'd say.
I hadn't believed that Google would actually go beyond the demo stage, but it's clear now that they've got much bigger plans than I gave them credit for. As I said with the Austin announcement, perhaps this is a case where the only numbers that make sense are zero, one, and many. Neither two nor three makes sense -- further expansion depends on how much they want to spend and how fast.
Given the M&A way they're taking into Provo things could accelerate quickly from here. It's not as if there aren't other municipal fiber projects languishing elsewhere around the country looking for a sugar daddy to come to the rescue. On the other hand, Provo and Austin share some characteristics as metro areas that may tell us what type of market Google thinks is economically ripe for a gigabit.
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