Google Fiber Just Sped Up In More Ways Than One

It hasn't even been two weeks since Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) announced that it was bringing its gigabit Google Fiber service to Austin, and the search giant has now outlined plans to expanding into Provo, Utah.

Big G confirmed the decision on its official blog last night, noting that Provo is home of numerous tech companies and start-ups that could benefit from speedier Internet. There's one notable difference, though, in that the Provo plans haven't been finalized; it goes up for a City Council vote next week. Who doesn't want Google to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to improve connectivity and provide free gigabit service to public institutions in their city? It should be a quick vote.

As part of the arrangement, Google has agreed to acquire iProvo, which is an existing fiber optic network that's currently owned by the city. The company would then upgrade the existing network to gigabit speeds and complete network build out to reach every home in the network.

If everything goes according to plan, Google Fiber should be up and running by late 2013, which would be sooner than the mid-2014 timeframe that Austinites must endure. The existing iProvo network likely has a lot to do with Provoans getting the jump on Austinites, whereas the search giant has a lot of infrastructure to build in the Texas city.

More importantly, the announcement shows that Google Fiber's expansion is speeding up. The first city, Kansas City, was announced in March 2011 (service wouldn't begin until November 2012), and it would be over two years before the Austin announcement earlier this month. Now just days later Provo gets picked. Admittedly, it will still take time before the service goes live, but Google is still speeding up its gigabit initiative.

If incumbent cable operators had been brushing off the disruptive threat up until now, then they'd better perk up, because Google is coming to liberate American consumers from cable captivity.

As one of the most dominant Internet companies ever, Google has made a habit of driving strong returns for its shareholders. However, like many other web companies, it's also struggling to adapt to an increasingly mobile world. Despite gaining an enviable lead with its Android operating system, the market isn't sold. That's why it's more important than ever to understand each piece of Google's sprawling empire. In The Motley Fool's new premium research report on Google, we break down the risks and potential rewards for Google investors. Simply click here now to unlock your copy of this invaluable resource.


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