Google Fiber

As Google Fiber is set to pull out of Louisville due to “fundamental network issues”, the cost to Alphabet is set to be somewhere around $4 million.

That was the payment agreed with city Mayor Greg Fisher to help fix the damaged city streets after the failed attempt to bring the superfast network to Louisville (via WDRB).

Payments are set to be made over an extended 20-month period and covers all of the costs associated with removing the infrastructure originally put in place to bring Google Fiber to the city. That means the removal of all fiber cables, sealants from roads, milling and re-paving streets “where needed” and removal of all above-ground Google infrastructure — this according to a press release from the city Mayor’s office.

Louisville Metro Government and Google Fiber agreed to these payments to fulfill the company’s obligations under its franchise agreement and local regulations, which require restoration of rights-of-way should a service provider end service in Louisville. Citing technical challenges, Google Fiber announced its exit from Louisville in February.

The payments will be made over 20 months and will cover the costs for:

Removing fiber cables and sealant from roads. Milling and paving activities where needed. Removal of above-ground infrastructure.

The agreement addresses network installations in Portland, Newburg and the Highlands, where Google Fiber offered services. Where necessary, construction will begin as part of the Public Works paving season currently underway.

Google Fiber has also agreed to donate a further $150,000 to the Community Foundation of Louisville to support the areas “digital inclusion” efforts. This includes providing used computers, associated equipment, and low-cost internet to public housing residents within Louisville.

“This plan provides for the long-term protection of the city’s infrastructure and empowers LMG to prioritize and execute all aspects of the required work based on the needs of the community,” said Mark Strama, General Manager for Google Fiber. “We are also happy to be able to support digital inclusion efforts in Louisville to increase internet access and digital literacy across the city.”

“Discontinuing service in Louisville was a very difficult business decision for Google Fiber, and we will forever be grateful to Mayor Fischer and his team for their commitment to the residents of Louisville and their dedication to driving internet connectivity and digital inclusion across the city,” Strama said.

This has to be put down as a failed launch of the superfast network, which estimates that Google Fiber was only available to 11,000 homes within Louisville up to the end of 2018. That represents only a small portion of the city, which has a total population of just over 750,000.

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Damien Wilde

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