Provo’s municipal officers borrowed $39.5 million in 2004 to build a shoddy money-losing fiber-optic network called iProvo, which they eventually sold for $1 to Google. Google Fiber replaced much of this flawed infrastructure and, thankfully, transformed it into a profitable local business venture; even so, similarly-good results could have been achieved with much less loss. Our city officers may as well have dumped most of this money in a huge heap beside Utah Lake and used it to roast marshmallows. Sadly, we’re going to continue paying (with interest) for their costly mistake until 2026.
- Wikipedia: “iProvo”
- Deseret News: “Provo Council OKs bonds for iProvo system” (2004 Feb 20)
- Heartland Institute: “SPINNING ITS WHEELS: AN ANALYSIS OF LESSONS LEARNED FROM IPROVO’S FIRST 18 MONTHS OF MUNICIPAL BROADBAND” (2006 Dec 01)
- Heartland Institute: “IPROVO REVISITED: ANOTHER YEAR AND STILL STRUGGLING” (2008 Apr 01)
- Ars Technica: “Google to acquire Provo, Utah’s fiber, transform it into Google Fiber” (2013 Apr 17)
- VentureBeat: “City of Provo actually has to pay for Google to take over its struggling fiber network” (2013 Apr 24)
- Google Fiber: Provo