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Provo, the city of 'Silicon Slopes,' named as third Google fiber site

Google will acquire an existing network called iProvo in order to build out Google Fiber in the Utah city. 

By Matthew Shaer / April 19, 2013

A Google sign is seen at a Best Buy electronics store in this April 11 photo. Google has announced that it will build a fiber network in Provo, Utah.

Reuters

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First it was Kansas City. Then it was Austin. Now Google has identified the third city to get high-speed fiber service: Provo, Utah – a town that Google has nicknamed the "Silicon Slopes." 

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"Utah is already home to hundreds of tech companies and startups, and many of them are based in Provo," Google's Kevin Lo wrote in a blog post earlier this week. "In fact, the Provo area ranks second in the nation in patent growth, and is consistently ranked as one of the top places to live and do business in the US. We believe the future of the Internet will be built on gigabit speeds, and we’re sure the businesses and residents of Provo already have some good ideas for what they’d build with a gig." 

Google will not be building the Provo fiber network from scratch. Instead, it will attempt to purchase iProvo, the city's existing fiber network. We say "attempt" because the City Council has yet to approval the proposal; a vote is scheduled for April 23. But already, the Google fiber network has plenty of support in Provo, a city of 112,000. 

"In return for the investment, [Google] will become owners of the network," Provo Mayor John Curtis told the Daily Herald, a Utah newspaper. "One of the things I'm excited about is Provo not owning the network. The burden is not on the city to maintain it. Technology is changing every day. I am glad the stewardship isn't ours to keep it upgraded."

Google claims that fiber is up to 100 times as fast as regular broadband. The Mountain View giant charges $70 a month for Internet service alone; for $120, consumers can upgrade to a package that includes digital TV. 

Google has already begun installing the Kansas City fiber network, and the Austin roll-out is expected to occur in the next year. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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