Google Fiber Comes To Provo, Utah

Jesse HarrisYesterday was a big day for my friends down in Provo, Utah. They announced that Provo would be the 3rd city in the USA to have Google Fiber, the 100x faster Internet for an affordable price that Google is slowly rolling out around the country. Speeds like that include TV packages and an unimaginable media experience (think about downloading an entire HD movie in a few minutes). It will be a great thing for startups and businesses in the area to have access to. Here is a link to their page with some details about Google Fiber in Provo. Overall, I am incredibly excited and think it is a terrific deal for the area and the residents and businesses. I’m 100% for it and see no real downside. However, as is often the case, not everyone sees things the way I do. So I asked my friend Jesse Harris to do a guest post here about his take on it.

Jessie is someone I, and many others, consider to be an expert when it comes to Internet speeds, infrastructure and broadband news in the State of Utah. He’s been following broadband in Utah since 2006 at FreeUTOPIA.org and has been interviewed and cited in numerous media sources including the Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, Provo Daily Herald, and Salt Lake City Weekly. Jesse is passionate and knowledgeable about the subject, so while I don’t totally agree with him, I still thank him for sharing his well stated opinion on the new Google Fiber announcement for Provo.

Read on to see what he thinks.

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Summit and Northern Utah — The Next Railroad Boom Comes To Ogden

Summit_logoA little over a year ago I received an email from my friend Shervin Pishevar, a great guy and well connected VC in California. His email was an introduction to Elliott Bisnow, founder of The Summit Group, and was in regards to the organization’s recent interest in Utah. I’d heard and read rumors about Summit buying Powder Mountain, so when I received this email out of the blue I was excited to get up there and learn more.

From the moment I started emailing with Elliott, it was obvious he was a very gracious person. Super nice, very humble and accommodating, and all about hanging out and getting to know each other. He immediately invited me up Eden to learn more in person and show me what they were working on. This was early in 2012. I wanted to immediately tell everyone everything I had seen! The plan, the people, the difference all of this would make to everything in Northern Utah. However, the time wasn’t right to do that as they were still quietly putting together a lot of the details associated with such a large and complex deal.

I’ve kept in touch with Elliott and tried to help Summit in any way possible. I’m glad I could in a few small ways (introductions in Utah, etc.) — but I mostly just kept in touch and looked for opportunities to support what they were doing. Fast forward a bit to December of 2012 and the Summit team publicly announced that they had taken over operations at Powder Mountain and that closing on the purchase would soon follow.

Not too long after this public announcement, Elliott invited me to come spend some time at Powder Mountain. I’d been unable to make it before, so I was glad that this time I could make the timing work. I’m home now after spending the past two days up there.

And all I can say is WOW.

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