It’s happening – AGAIN! During my State of the City Address this morning I shared the amazing (some might call EPIC) news that Google Fiber is bringing its gig speed to the small businesses in Provo.
This will no doubt have an incredible impact on our start-ups and entrepreneurs. It’s gig speed at an affordable price. The small businesses in Provo can kiss loading bars goodbye!
I think it’s important to help build some context and understanding of what sort of possibilities this opens.
Shortly after the announcement that Google Fiber was coming to Provo in 2013, Dixon Holmes and Wayne Parker visited Kansas City in an effort to understand what it could mean to Provo. Kansas City was the first Google Fiber community and a few neighborhoods were already up and running. Here is what Wayne shared about his visit there…
What we found in Kansas City was pretty astounding. We visited a neighborhood that has come to be called KC Startup Village where a dozen or so older homes in a mixed use area housed about 20-25 startup businesses, all using Google’s gigabit speed. Young entrepreneurs from all over the country moved their startups to Kansas City and to Startup Village to take advantage of the speed. But the most interesting and valuable result in my mind was that they were able to collaborate within just a few hundred feet of each other and to use that synergy to all grow their businesses together. In that case, speed really mattered.
We also met a company called Sightdeck that was using Google’s gigabit speed to allow companies in Kansas City to collaborate in real time with companies in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City is now using this technology, combined with gig speed, to allow doctors from all over the country to work together on diagnosing childhood diseases and work on treatment for Kansas City area pediatric patients.
Many larger companies in Provo and Utah Valley have gigabit speeds and more available to them, but at very high costs that smaller companies can’t afford. Bringing affordable gigabit speed to smaller companies allows them to innovate faster and create more jobs, and it effectively levels the playing field for Internet speeds for companies, regardless of size.
This service has been available in Kansas City as a pilot for several months now, and Provo’s status as a Google Fiber city allows us to have this critical service available in just a few weeks at an affordable price for our business community! If you are interested in staying current on Google Fiber for small businesses, please sign up for updates at: g.co/fiber/provosmallbusiness.
If we thought that Google Fiber for residential customers was a big plus for Provo and our residents, Google Fiber for Small and Medium Businesses may very well attract the best and brightest businesses of all sizes to the Provo community. I think we will look back at this announcement as one of the biggest economic development game changers in Provo’s history. A truly big (read “epic”) deal!
Welcome, Google, on behalf of the business community in Provo. And look out, Lehi and beyond – Provo is quickly taking its place as the new high tech center of the Valley. With ultra-high speed at affordable prices, opportunities for collaboration, a vibrant startup community, and people who know what to do with gig speeds, we can’t be anything but.