Cities on Utah Fiber Network Apply to Google

A group of 16 Utah towns that operate a fiber-optic network want to be among the first in the U.S. to get ultra high-speed Internet access.

The towns, part of the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) consortium, are bidding to host Google's planned 1G bps (bits per second) Internet service, saying Google's vision of ultra high-speed Internet reaffirms the investments they've made in their own fiber optic network.

"It is as if our cities have been buying a certain stock for years and the world wasn't sure if we were doing the right thing. Then one day Warren Buffet walks in the room and announces that he is going to buy that same stock. Now they are sitting up and paying attention," said Mike Winder , mayor of West Valley City, a UTOPIA member, in a press release.

Unlike most places in the U.S., which rely heavily on copper wires to deliver home Internet access, UTOPIA's fiber optic network connects directly to homes, easily allowing Internet access at speeds of 1G bps or more.

Google plans to demonstrate such services are feasible in the U.S. by offering a competitively priced 1G bps connection to between 50,000 and 500,000 people. The company is currently soliciting bids for where it should offer the service as part of a "Request for Information" that ends on March 26.

The towns that make up the UTOPIA consortium have a combined population of 500,000.

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