Pencils are down – Google, welcome to Provo!

google_fiber_logo

I’m happy to announce today that pencils are down and we’ve closed the deal on the network with Google.

Similar to purchasing a home, after both parties agreed to the details of the offer, it took a little while to iron out the last few things that needed to be addressed or clarified. That was all taken care of today and we’re off and running.

Provo residents can expect to start hearing more about the particulars of the roll out campaign, types of service Google is providing, and which neighborhood will claim the title of Provo’s first Fiberhood!

It’s been an adventure and our internal team has worked extremely hard alongside Google Fiber’s to jump the last few hurdles and get the city ready for the significant upgrades about to take place. These changes will without a doubt transform our community and the way we operate in it.

We’re planning on working hand-in-hand with Google and its local operation to serve as a backstop to what the Fiber team will be doing on the ground. Having this amazing resource come to Provo is less than a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we want to be ready.

So watch out, Provo – over the coming weeks and months you’ll be given a course in Google Fiber 101!

118 Comments:

  1. Jason Christensen

    “We’re planning on working hand-in-hand with Google and its local operation” sorry John this sounds extremely familiar to past relationships that the city were partnerships with in IProvo. Also in these “iron” out plans are they paying us more for the once failed network? Or is the citizens stuck with the now 80 million dollar debt?

    Reply
    • Owen Johnston

      Again with the $80 million? Where did you get that number? The iProvo bond was ~$40. And if you know of any person or company willing to pay that for the network you should have let the city know about 2 years ago when they started looking for a buyer. Before that Veracity tried to pay that much and defaulted, which put us where we are today.

      Whether the bond debt and the construction of the network was a wise decision is now a moot point. It can’t be undone, and those who made the decision are no longer in office. Compared to other options like defaulting on the debt or continuing to operate the network at a loss, Google Fiber looks like a pretty good deal to me.

      Reply
      • Dave S

        Don’t know the details, but I’d bet that the magic of compound interest could make the total payments on a $40 million bond come close to $80 million. Odd way for Jason to state the numbers, but not an outright lie.

      • John

        Dave – Thanks for posting. It’s a great discussion to have, I’m just not sure if this is the best format.

        Contact my office and I can walk you through the details.

        -John

  2. Dave

    I’m thrilled that Google Fiber is getting closer. I really hope that residents will be able to choose a mid-level service between basic broadband for free and giga-bit for $70.

    Reply
    • Michael

      Dave has a great point. I think a $35 dollar, half gigabit service would be perfect for my needs.

      Reply
      • Jonathan

        Then split the payment with a neighbor

      • Taylor

        I agree. Not sure if I’m willing to pay $70 for a whole gigabit of service, but I’d be more than happy, in fact thrilled if I could pay $35-40/month for a half a gigabit.

      • mike

        you can get 12 mbps with centurylink for $35 a month…you seriously think that 500 mbps is only worth $35? you’re crazy

    • mike

      they won’t…there is 2 options…free for 5mbps and $70 for 1 gbps…why is it so hard for people to understand that?

      Reply
      • Taylor

        No, I don’t think that 500 mbps would cost $35/month through other internet providers. If anything, it would cost more. However, with Google offering 1000mbps (or 1 gbps) for $70/month, the asking price per megabit has dropped. And they are offering this rate to all of Provo, which Centurylink does not do (I called – they can only offer my area 1.5 mbps for $30/month). It is therefore reasonable, I think, to propose a $35 cost for a mid-level package through Google Fiber. This is understandably (or so I had hoped) a ballpark estimate. It was not meant to be set in stone. If we were to use current business models, it could be anywhere between $35-$50/month for a reasonable mid-level package.

        And that is what we are saying – that some people, who are not wanting 1000mbps (1gbps), but still want really fast internet, hope for a mid-level package, which could be around the ballpark-estimate of $35/month or more.

        And no, we understand that there isn’t a mid-level package right now. But is it wrong to suggest to the company a way to reach more customers? Is that not one purpose of customer feedback?

      • Taylor2

        perhaps the way they reach more customers is through their free model. 100mbps for free. you pay an installation fee and thats it. they guarentee 100mbps free for many years. 100mbps of course being far faster than anything you can find at centurylink, clear, or comcast(or as i call them, rapecast).

      • David

        Yeah, but if you offer 100Mbps for free, then no one will pay for 1Gbps. 100Mbps is much faster then almost anything offered and would therefore remove incentive to pay $70 for 1Gbps. 1Gbps is ridiculous (in a good way); no household is going to use that much bandwidth, unless they run the whole neighborhood through their connection. Google could be offering 100Mbps, 500Mbps, 1Gbps, or 100Gbps and your average household wouldn’t notice a difference between them. So for all intents and purposes, Google is offering unlimited bandwidth for (hopefully) $70 a month. Offering 100Mbps for free would be chopping the legs out from under themselves.
        Even offering 500Mbps for $35 isn’t in Google’s best interest at this point. I believe they are paying the cost to upgrade iProvo, which isn’t cheap. Offering $70 internet helps them actually get a return on their investment. If they offered a $35 500Mbps option, again, they would be shooting themselves in the foot; no one would go for the gigabit option. Maybe after the 7 year initial period, if this investment has paid for itself, we will start seeing mid-level offers.

      • Taylor2

        that is certainly all true. two factors though. A: google has an enormous amount of throw away project money for stuff like this. the literally hire teams of people to figure out ways to spend their money. so why not build fiber networks? B: google is going to continue making money the way they always have – internet advertising. And in the long run, to more people that use the internet faster, the more ad space they are selling. whether it turns profit to build fiber networks to this purpose, i guess they will see.

      • David

        Good points. Google still is a business trying to make money. Even throw away project money will be used for that purpose.
        The value of our search data is definitely going to be of more worth to Google than the ROI of upgrading iProvo. Hence, a 5Mbps free offering to everyone. Anything as internet intensive as Netflix is going to struggle at those speeds, but any site where Google can really use the information it gets from us, such as internet searches and online shopping, will work just fine. I’m willing to bet Google has predicted a $35 mid-level offering would take more customers away from the $70 level than it adds from the free base offering. Otherwise, I agree: it makes a lot of sense to offer the mid-level option.

  3. Cougar

    Is this service going to extend not only to the main city but also to the Brigham Young University campus?

    Reply
    • John

      Thanks for the questions. Google Fiber is working with BYU officials.

      In the coming weeks/months more of the particulars of the service will be rolled out. It’s exciting to see.

      -John

      Reply
      • Cougar

        You’re welcome. And thank you for being a most responsible and communicative mayor for my home away from home. Sadly, my mayor at my hometown is the dirty, dark polar opposite of you–having had his hand in PD embezzlement, no less!

    • Brad Stone

      The BYU Office of IT is working with Google Fiber to ensure the best experience when accessing BYU resources from a home with Google Fiber and vice versa. Mayor Curtis helped to link BYU with Google months ago – right after the announcement.

      For the technically inclined, our first focus is on “peering” the Google Fiber network with the BYU network. This simply means that each network knows that the other is local and has a direct path between them.

      BYU has been working with Veracity for over a year to investigate GB Fiber to the home. In our early tests, a GB connection from the home to a computer on campus was getting real world transfers of around 80 Mbps. The path between home and campus traveled to California and back. Once peering was in place, the path was directly from Veracity to BYU and we were seeing real world transfers of over 600 Mbps.

      Neither Google nor BYU are ready to announce anything official at this time. I can say that we are working through the details to determine feasibility.

      Once again, we thank Mayor Curtis for being the man to help make this happen.

      - Brad

      Brad Stone
      Managing Director, Infrastructure
      Office of IT
      Brigham Young University

      Reply
  4. Josh

    wooooo! Cant wait! I cant wait to get the giga-bit speed! SO worth it! Thanks so much for jumping on board with this! :)

    Reply
  5. Richard Burris

    Please continue to keep me informed. Thank you.

    Reply
  6. SAM

    I should probably move to Provo :)

    Reply
  7. Jack Hadley

    Fantastic! Can’t wait! Make it available to businesses as fast as possible too! Please!

    Reply
  8. John

    This is a great opportunity that Provo has been given. The fact that Provo was brave enough to attempt to light up the while city with fiber in the past is a big part of why Google is here now. Thanks for not being aftaid to push for progress!

    Reply
  9. Ian

    I pay 70 bucks for my current internet (20 mbit). I look forward to only paying 70 for gigabit internet

    Reply
    • #dontlikecomplainers

      Amen! Getting tired of complainers. Seems like I am one of the ONLY people paying a grundle of money for little of nothing.

      Reply
  10. Seth

    @jason Who cares? The bottom line is we are getting a premium service (and more) for below retail price. The difference now is its backed by Google and has already experienced successful roll outs in 2 cities. We all know Provo isnt going to work hand in hand, but they don’t need to now. Sit back and watch Google put on a show.

    Reply
    • Ryan

      Who cares? $40,000,000 debt for a small city like Provo is a big deal. Google is lucky because they are not paying off that debt. It is being passed onto every Provo Taxpayer through higher property taxes and transportation fees.

      Reply
      • Taylor

        I feel like a lot of people overlook one of the main unseen benefits from a service like google fiber. The enterprise factor is huge here. Google Fiber has the potential to be the tipping point on many businesses and enterprises choosing to operate out of Provo. Probably wont turn in to 40mil in tax revenue overnight, but in the long run it may have been the best option to begin recovering some of that money. Easiest way to make tax money is with a growing economy.

  11. Evan Reyne

    SO when can we start subscribing? Love love LOVE the news, but it doesn’t specify when it will/might be ready for use…

    Reply
    • John

      Watch for details coming soon.

      -John

      Reply
  12. Michael J Pierce

    I am also very excited for Google Fiber. Residential gigabit connection is just the start! When businesses are supported these can mean a great deal of revenue through new starts and existing businesses that may find the higher speeds augment their business practices.

    Reply
  13. Marshall

    I can’t wait for it to come to my neighborhood this is really going to be a good thing.

    Reply
  14. Ryan

    Yeah I’d like to know more about the $80,000,000.00 debt the city incurred from iProvo. From what I gather the Provo taxpayer is still on the hook for this miserable mess.

    Sure it’s cool to have Google Fiber here in town but if it’s still screwing the Provo residents it’s far less cool.

    Reply
    • John

      Don’t believe everything that you hear. The $80 million being quoted is simply not accurate.

      The decision was made roughly 10 years ago to lay fiber. We can talk on whether or not that was a good idea but no matter what, it still needs to be paid for.

      This concern and others are addresses in the same May 2nd post on my blog – http://provomayor.com/2013/05/02/google-fiber-qa-video/

      Thanks.

      -John

      Reply
  15. Kris Simmons

    cant wait!

    Reply
  16. Paul O'Connor

    Significantly increased bandwidth is certainly inviting. And I am not opposed per se to the city being involved in a utility-related venture. But the wisdom or folly of this depends on the details. Looking forward to the full disclosure.

    Reply
  17. Tom

    Do residents have any influence on which streets/neighborhoods will get fiber first?

    Reply
    • John

      We’ve been working with Google Fiber on locations. It’s not as cut and dry as you may think. There are several factors that have to be taken into consideration. These include conditions of current fiber, weather, access, etc. You’ll need to stay tuned for details on how things go from here.

      Where do you live?

      -John

      Reply
      • Tom

        Off Lakeshore Dr on 3020 W in Provo. I’m with Andy—west side!

      • John

        Hmmm – Just keep listening. My guess is that you’ll hear about roll out over the next month or so.

        -John

  18. Jordan Neal

    Will this only be in the Provo boundaries? Any chance that us Pleasant Groveans will have a shot at it?

    Reply
    • John

      Right now Google Fiber is only here in Provo. We’ve heard them say in the past that with Provo, Austin, and Kansas City there’s enough on their collective plate to keep them busy for a little while.

      It’ll be fun to watch!

      Thanks for reading the blog.

      -John

      Reply
  19. Cliff

    Im curious to learn what will happen for those who are already with Veracity and paying the $80ish for their 90/90 service.

    Reply
    • John

      Those who are with Veracity will be transitioned into Google customers.

      If you look at the post on my blog from a few months ago (Q&A on Google Fiber) you should get answers to your questions.

      -John

      Reply
  20. Grateful

    Dave – you’re complaining about FREE vs $70? Sheesh. Some people are hard to please.

    Reply
    • John

      Thanks for having my back. Some times no good deed goes unpunished. :)

      Reply
  21. Margaret

    What is going to happen to Veracity customers who signed a two-year agreement? WIll we be able to get out of that and transition into Google? Just exactly what internet company are we Veracity customers with right now?

    Reply
    • John

      This is a great question. If you go back and look at my blog post from a few months ago (Q&A on Google Fiber) all your questions should be addressed. The quick and easy is that your contract with Veracity will translate directly into Google Fiber. You won’t have to worry about the transition.

      -John

      Reply
  22. Andy Heil

    I can hardly wait for my connection. I think the logical roll out plan for hooking up neighborhoods should go from West (nearest to google hq) to East!!! :-)

    Reply
    • John

      Andy – Thanks for the comment and posting on the blog.

      I take it that you’re a Westside Guy? ;-)

      -John

      Reply
      • Hillary

        I’m with Andy. Go Westside!
        Also, this may not be something you could know, @John, but do you think Google would be amenable to school or scout field trips to their HQ? They could learn about the technology and how it will affect them while in school as well as learn about careers in this area of technology and what they’ll need to study to get there. Maybe?

      • John

        Hillary – That’s a great idea. Google Fiber is in the process of hiring an individual to manage its local operation. I’m not certain when that person will be officially hired but it’s likely something to bring up with him or her.

        Let’s wait a few weeks and see who gets hired. We’ll know more about the possibilities then. I think it’s a fabulous idea!

        -John

  23. cory

    question, is google fiber going to have espn,espn2, espnU, espn3,4,5,6, Pac12 net? what about BYUtv?

    Reply
    • John

      Cory – Have you looked at the channels that are offered in Kansas City? That should give you a good idea of what will be offered here.

      When officials were here in April they heard loud and clear that residents want their sports packages. I’m confident that they’re doing what they can to make that all come together.

      -John

      Reply
      • cory

        I looked at the Kansas City channels, no BYU tv, or Pac 12 net, that may be because they are way out east of here… saving $50 a month would be nice, but I already pay $50 to go to the games, so I am not convinced to change from comcast yet.

  24. Gary

    I hope that neighborhoods who have the most current subscribers and supported the current system will be the first to get Google Fiber!

    Reply
  25. Richard

    Yesterday the agreement was signed, and this morning I see a worker out by the street measuring and adjusting the new Google Fiber cube sitting in the ground. Now that’s fast work towards the Internet working fast.

    Reply
    • Tom

      Where (approx.) do you live?

      Reply
  26. Cliff

    Cant wait! Im curious though what will happen to those who are currently with Veracity and paying $80ish for their 90/90 service.

    Reply
  27. Andy

    Is there a map of where it’s going to be coming to yet? Are there any plans to expand it out to the rest of Utah County? I’m just across the lake and I can’t wait to dump comcast.

    Reply
  28. Kathryn

    Nothing is free. This doesn’t sound like new news to me. Wasn’t it already said that we would have it this fall? Are these services paid for by bond or property taxes? I saw my property taxes went up a lot this year.

    Reply
  29. Mike

    When can we start helping? I’d love to get involved in this and helping. I know they have “Google Fiber Ambassadors” in Kansas, and I’d love to get in on that here in provo.

    Reply
    • John

      Stay tuned, we will know more in the next month or so.

      Reply
  30. Joel

    Living outside Provo, may I just say that your city is the absolute envy of the world. Best wishes!

    Reply
    • John

      Thanks for making my day!

      Reply
  31. Kathryn

    Why didn’t my comment come up? I really want to know how this is being paid for. Nothing is free. Is it by bond or property taxes? Is that why my property tax went up so much this year?

    Reply
    • John

      Kathryn – Call my office and I’d love to talk with you about Google Fiber, the former iProvo network, and what this deal means for you and city residents.

      -John

      Reply
      • Nathan

        Can we not get a summary or a link specifying what the deal entails. I dont think everyone should have to call the office to get those types of questions answered.
        1. What is Provo paying for this Google Fiber?
        2. What is Google paying?
        3. How will/has this affect(ed) the taxes?

    • Aaron Maughan Jr

      Taxes safe going up everywhere!

      Reply
  32. Aaron Maughan Jr

    Truly good news! Can’t wait for Provo to get it rolling out! Oh Mayor John… Has any Bountiful city council talked to you?

    Reply
    • Jimmy

      haha Bountiful is where I am too. That would be awesome! However, as a BYU student I would be satisfied if BYU bought in to the deal:)

      Reply
  33. Joseph

    Thank goodness. The sooner we can get Veracity out of here the better. Company is a complete joke.

    Reply
    • Brad Stone

      Just in defense of Veracity, I have worked with them for years. While every company can have the occasional issue, I have seen first hand how Veracity has shown their commitment to customer service.

      As a Veracity customer, their Internet has been rock solid. There were some phone issues early on, but I was pretty impressed with their customer service – and this from someone who has managed technical support teams for years.

      I know how frustrating it can be when your service isn’t working as expected. I just think that Veracity does a pretty good job taking care of their customers.

      Reply
  34. Norm

    I now have Comcast as my TV and telephone source, Will Google offer phone service as well?

    Reply
      • Kory

        Google has a free phone service. Google (or Bing) Google Voice for more details. If you do not want to use your desktop or laptop as a phone gateway you can buy the OBi100 or OBi110 from Amazon for $40 and pair it up with Google Voice for free calls within the US and cheap calls outside the US.

        I think that Google Fiber is the best thing that could have happened to the city of Provo. This kind of infrastructure will attract business to Provo. More Business = more jobs and more tax $$ for the city. Over time this investment in Provo will pay for itself over and over again.

    • Brad Stone

      Just a follow up to Kory’s post. The Obihai solution can be a great fit for many. There are two caveats with the Obi+Google Voice solution.

      First, there is no 911 service (unless you jump through some pretty technical hoops and add a special 911 provider to the mix).

      Second, there is no Caller ID Name displayed – just the phone number.

      Neither are a deal killer if you are prepared, but I thought that others may want to be aware.

      Reply
  35. Brooke

    What if all the neighborhoods competed somehow to be the first fiberhood? Or is that decision already made? I live in the Central Business District. I think it would make sense to come here first.

    Reply
  36. Steve

    Will apartment complexes be able to get Google’s upgrade? I have heard a lot about homes, but haven’t heard anything specific about apartments.

    Reply
    • John

      We’ve had this question spring up quite a few times. Yes, apartments will get the Google Fiber option.

      -John

      Reply
      • Steve

        Thank you, Mayor!

  37. min

    It is great!

    Reply
  38. Scott

    I have been on the iProvo network since the first day it was available in my neighborhood in 2006. As I recall the west side was rolled out around a year after every one else. Please make us first this time.

    Reply
  39. Susan Dahl

    Wow! I live in California, but I got this post. Do the residents of Provo realize what a responsive, hands-on mayor they have? I am impressed with John’s dedication to his city!

    Reply
    • John

      Susan – Thanks for the kind words!

      -John

      Reply
  40. Rob M

    All hail The Google, who hath liberated us from Comcast – The Great Menace!

    Reply
    • #dontlikecomplainers

      Hallelujah!

      Reply
    • Scott

      +1

      Reply
      • Jay Butler

        Is it too good to be true? I always wonder if its too good to be true. When will the other shoe fall????

  41. David

    I’m an apartment resident in an eleven-plex where we pay for our own internet individually. There is an iProvo box on the outside of the apartment and I’m the only one currently using it. I watched the Q&A video and didn’t see a whole lot about apartments- just the one question that was repeated twice.
    I assume each apartment resident will be paying the $30 fee separately, but I’m hoping you can clarify exactly how apartment complexes will work, especially ones where internet isn’t provided by management.

    Reply
    • John

      It’s important that you get your concerns addressed directly from Google Fiber. I’d suggest waiting for a few weeks when we know more.

      I know that your situation isn’t unique and that there’s a plan to take care of circumstances like yours.

      -John

      Reply
  42. Cameron

    All I know is that Google will hopefully crush Comcast and whoever else is even a player still. Also is there any news on if they will migrate into Orem as well since they are going to be using the Utopia fiber (or so I was told)?

    Reply
  43. Braydon

    All of these complainers are ridiculous. Do you realize the amazing product that we’re getting from an amazing company? Thanks, Provo City. Way to connect us to the rest of the world.

    Reply
    • Taylor

      Here here!

      Reply
      • John

        Thanks for the positive help guys! It’s been a fun ride thus far and I’m confident that we can continue the momentum.

        -John

  44. Jay Butler

    John : It would be nice to start the roll out of Google fiber in the neighborhood areas that have not had access to I provo at all. Like the Provost neighborhood. I was excited about I provo but the many time I called them they said Is was not available in our area.

    Reply
  45. db

    dont worry Provo, you will be indexed and in NSA archives soon!

    :P

    Reply
  46. Trent

    This is awesome! It’s been quiet for a while and good to here finally that things went through. Go Provo!

    A rough timeline, perhaps laid out on a map by neighborhood, would be wonderful to get sometime soon as well. Here’s hoping BYU and student-heavy areas are among the first to be hooked up. At the end of the day the word is that Google just wants people to spend more time online, and nobody can do that more than students.

    Reply
  47. R Gregory

    Think of it this way, my friends:
    Imagine you’re a mayor stuck with a proven dud like iProvo that you didn’t ask for and everyone hated for good reason, then along comes the world’s most influential company looking to take it off your hands and make something incredibly unique and extremely progressive that has the potential to shape the future of the city in a very positive way, would you (A) hang on to the dud and hope for someone crazy enough to buy it for its full cost, or (B) take the incredibly unique opportunity with huge upside potential, what would you choose?

    Reply
  48. Brandon

    I agree that Mayor Curtis is doing an exceptional job responding to individual questions and engaging with the community. This is an extremely exciting investment in Provo, and I’m looking forward to seeing the positive transformation in the community.

    Reply
    • Aaron

      I wish my city council and mayor was this cool

      Reply
  49. Annie the Great

    This is so awesome. The number $40 million that I’ve been hearing is a lot but like Brandon says, it’s a major investment and I am extremely optimistic about it. Just imagine what this is doing for our city’s economy!

    Reply
  50. MIchelle A.

    OK Help! I am/was a customer with Veracity for internet & Phone for a “reduced” rate of around $65 on a one year contract that saved me an additional $25 a month. My contract ended last Friday – I called them today to renew and they said that “as on last Monday, Google now forbids them to renew or do anything with their current contracts and so my rate will indeed go up $25 and there is nothing they can do about it except cancel with them, and go with some other provider. He then went on to tell me that by signing up with anyone else requires a new contract which I will undoubtedly cancel when Google finally is available…. THIS IS STUPID I am being forced to pay an additional $25 to veracity because I HAVE to have telephone for my JetBlue Job and can’t risk being fired because my phone is disconnected trying to go through someone else. Who is in charge of this? Why can’t I stay on my current contract until Google figures out what they are doing. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but $25 is a lot of money in our household. It seems odd that Google won’t allow Veracity to do anything, except allow my current contract to expire and make me pay more… If they REALLY couldn’t do anything then shouldn’t my rate remain the same? WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THIS – Please give me a name of SOMEONE who can answer this question. Frustrated, but hopeful for a productive answer~

    Reply
    • John

      We’re checking on this with both the Google and Veracity teams and will post more information when we have it.

      Reply
      • MIchelle A.

        Terrific! Thanks so much for the quick reply – Anxiously awaiting additional info, hopefully before my “new” bill arrives :)

      • David

        Please do! I tried to make some changes with Veracity to save money, but I can’t because of the same situation where everything is frozen and they can’t change anything.
        I understand why they might not be allowed to take on new customers, but what does Google taking over have to do with billing rates? It will all change when we’re on Google Fiber; why can’t Veracity still be in charge of how much they bill customers- especially when there is no contract is involved?

      • mike

        there is a 2 year contract on both gigabit internet and tv services through google fiber

  51. Neil Harrington

    First of all, Mayor Curtis, GREAT JOB. We couldn’t have paired with a better partner than Google. This deal got my vote for your re-election.

    Second, my vote is for the Edgemont area to be first. You can do my home first if you want. B^D)

    Reply
  52. Erin

    Will this mean more jobs for Provo residents selling Google Fiber for the high speed and Google TV? Inquiring minds are dying to know!

    Thank you for coming to Provo! Best news ever!!

    -Erin
    503-484-5051
    erinashley101@me.com

    Reply
  53. Shane

    The first Fiberhood needs to be up on the Benches as we pay the most taxes and more people will pay the higher fees. Or we might end up with Fibergate!!

    Reply
    • Jay Butler

      Shane, that’s the attitude I am rich I live on the bench me first, I want steak the rest can have hamburger. Glad its not up too you!

      Reply

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