After agreeing to establish high speed internet in Louisville, KY, Google Fiber has backed out of the deal, reports GovTech.com. Over the next twenty months, Google will be paying back the $3.84 million it accepted for the project.
Google’s obligations are many, including re-establishing service providers’ right-of-way now that their own service has ended. Additional funds will be directed towards clearing the fiber and sealant from affected roads, digging and paving as needed, and taking down above ground infrastructure support components that are no longer of use.
“Infrastructure in neighborhoods and public properties affected by Google Fiber will look as good or better than they did before the company began construction, just as our franchise agreement stipulated,” stated Grace Simrall, Louisville’s Chief of Civic Innovation and Technology. “The city will diligently repair these roads and public spaces over the 20-month period.”
The exit of Google Fiber has been described as “a major hit” by local reporting outlets. No information about an alternate provider of affordable high speed internet has been put forth. In an effort to lessen the blow, Google Fiber will be donating $150,000 to the Community Foundation of Louisville’s Digital Inclusion Fund. The Louisville Metro Housing Authority is also slated to receive 275 refurbished computers for use by public housing residents.
In a published statement, Google Fiber general manager Mark Strama commented on the company’s actions, saying, “discontinuing service in Louisville was a very difficult business decision for Google Fiber.”
April 19, 2019