Google Fiber has outlined its initial pricing plan for Provo, Utah, as it prepares to light up services in the area by the end of the year. And Comcast, the city's incumbent cable operator, has evidently prepared an initial competitive response.
Save for a much smaller “construction fee,” it’s almost a carbon copy of Google Fiber’s basic pricing plans for the Kansas City area. Here’s the initial product lineup for Provo.
- Free Internet: As part of Google’s deal with the city, it has pledged to offer free “basic” broadband speeds for at least the next seven years. The first free tier will offer 5 Mbps downstream by 1 Mbps up.
- Gigabit Internet: Google Fiber’s symmetrical 1 Gbps service will fetch $70 per month.
- The 1 Gbps/TV bundle starts at $120 per month, with a set-top/storage combo that can record up to eight shows at once and store up to 500 hours HD video. No word if Google Fiber will also throw in an Android-powered Nexus 7 tablet, as it’s doing now in K.C.
Google Fiber has not yet fleshed out other service options for Provo, but it has already rolled out separate premium and sports packages in Kansas City.
One difference is the one-time construction fee. Because Google Fiber is essentially upgrading an existing network in Provo, the fee is just $30. Google Fiber’s construction fee for Kansas City is $300, though it’s currently being waived for the 1-Gig and TV/1-Gig packages. K.C. customers who go for the free Internet service must pay the $300 up front or in $25 increments over 12 months.
Google Fiber hasn’t announced when it will bring Gigabit speeds to Provo, but the upgrade process is underway and will continue into the fall. “[W]e’re working hard to hit our goal of getting our first Google Fiber customers hooked up before the end of the year,” Google Fiber director of business operations Michael Slinger wrote in a blog post.
Customers who are getting service from Veracity Networks, the original wholesale provider on the iProvo network, will continue to get their regular level of service, but will have the option to become a Google Fiber customer later this year.
Google Fiber’s presence in Provo has evidently sparked a response from incumbent cable operator Comcast. According to DSL Reports, the MSO issued a memo to employees stating that Comcast has launched a package in Provo that offers the Digital Premiere TV bundle, 105 Mbps broadband service, and either Xfinity Voice or Xfinity Home Secure for $120 a month for three years. Comcast is also teeing up $100, and $70 double-play bundles, the report added.
Google Fiber closed its acquisition of the iProvo network from the city last month. In exchange for agreements to upgrade the network, wire up about two dozen local public institutions, and pitch in the free Internet service, Google Fiber paid $1 to seal the deal.
When Google Fiber announced the deal in April, it was estimated that only 9,000 of the 35,000 homes in Provo were connected to the iProvo network.