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If you’ve been following Google Fiber, you know we’ve been pretty busy lately.

We’ve been steadily building out our network in all of our cities and surrounding regions, from North Carolina to Utah. We’re connecting customers in West Des Moines - making Iowa our first new state in five years - and will soon start construction in neighboring Des Moines. And of course, we recently announced that we’ll build a network in Mesa, Arizona.

And that's just the stuff we've been talking about. For the past several years, we’ve been even busier behind the scenes, focusing on our vision of providing the best possible gigabit internet service to our customers through relentless refinements to our service delivery and products.

At no time in Google Fiber’s history has that ever been more important than today. We’re living in a world that has finally caught up to the idea that high-speed, reliable internet — at gigabit speeds — is no longer a bold idea or a “nice to have.” The experience of the last couple of years has certainly taught us that.

As communities across the country look to expand access to gigabit internet, I’m happy to say that we’re ready to grow alongside them. Our team has spent many months traveling across the country, having conversations with cities looking for the best way to get better internet to their residents and business owners as quickly as possible.

So, yeah, it’s about to get even busier at Google Fiber. We’re talking to city leaders in the following states, with the objective of bringing Google Fiber’s fiber-to-the-home service to their communities:

These states will be the main focus for our growth for the next several years, along with continued expansion in our current metro areas.

In addition, we'd also love to talk to communities that want to build their own fiber networks. We’ve seen this model work effectively in Huntsville and in West Des Moines, and we’ll continue to look for ways to support similar efforts.

We're thrilled to be expanding our geographic reach once again — bringing better internet to more people in more places. Stay tuned in the coming months as we fill in this picture with more details about our new cities, even faster speeds and redefined customer service.

Posted by Dinni Jain, CEO




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We know that Google Fiber customers want more flexibility and control in accessing the streaming content they want. Our goal as customers transition to streaming has always been to help them navigate the different options and find what works best for them, from devices to content providers. This was potentially a major change that could affect the daily habits of our customers, and we wanted to make it as painless as possible. 


One definite pain point was live sports. No matter where they live, people are devoted to their teams (yes, we see you KC Royals and Atlanta Braves fans!) and many want to be able to watch as many games as possible. This requires access to specific regional sports networks (RSNs) in most places, many of which do not have wide streaming distribution availability. 


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We want to make it easier for customers to find their team (and other content). Today, I’m excited to announce that we’ve added DIRECTV STREAM to the line-up of streaming options available to existing customers. DIRECTV STREAM features other live TV options, in addition to live sports and On-Demand content and new subscribers receive unlimited cloud DVR. Additionally, as of today, DIRECTV STREAM is currently offering a 5-day free trial to all their new customers. 


Posted by Liz Hsu, Director, Product Strategy


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From time to time, we like to share insights from some of our amazing partners on the tools they offer to help our customers get the most out of their internet service. Today, we’re featuring a blog post from Dan O’Connell, Chief Strategy Officer at Dialpad detailing his recommendation on how to make your  business ready for the internet age. The views and opinions expressed in this blog post belong only to Dan O’Connell, and do not necessarily reflect that of Google Fiber. 


Whether you’re a first-time small business owner (in which case, congratulations on getting it off the ground!), an experienced professional, or just trying to help someone get their small business started, know there are certain things that no business should be without. Some may be obvious, while others are often (tragically) overlooked.


Let’s take a look at four essentials that no small business should be without (and why).


1. A website


Let’s be real: we’re living in a digital world, and if you don’t have an online presence, you might as well be a ghost. No matter what kind of business you run, customers will still want to check out your website.


Depending on your business, customers could go to your site for basic information, to place orders, see what you have to offer, or any number of other reasons.


I recommend creating a website where your potential customers can find that info quickly. Fortunately, it’s easy to get started—the first step is to buy a domain which you can do from a number of services. From there, it’s time to build your website, create a web presence (time to brush up on search engine optimization), and make sure your site has all the information your customers will need.


Oh, and don’t forget about social media! Having a Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn page can help build a customer base, get information out, and give your customers a way to contact you directly.


2. Fast, reliable internet


What good is a website if it takes ages to load? You need a fast internet connection (that’s not going to glitch) to properly reply to customer queries, receive orders, and manage your online presence.


This is especially true if you use the internet for VoIP calls, video meetings, messaging, and so on. (You don’t want your video or audio cutting out mid-call!)


Thankfully, there are some fast and affordable internet service providers out there.


3. A unified communications platform


This is where we start getting into the technology that can make or break your business.


When your customers need to contact you, how do they do that? Do they call? Send an email? Text message you? What about your sales team or contact center—what do they use?


This is where a good unified communications (UC) system is vital. A proper UC platform, like Dialpad, seamlessly combines all your communications channels into a single solution.


What, exactly, does that mean for your business? With Dialpad, for instance, you’ll get:

  • Voice, video, messaging, and contact center, all on a single app

  • The ability to take business calls on your computer or mobile device, all from the same number (so you can take calls anywhere without giving out your personal cell phone number)

  • The ability to set up a contact center and add agents in literally minutes

  • Insights and analytics into all your business’s calls

  • AI support for your contact center agents and sales reps

  • And a whole lot more!

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For most businesses, a mix (or all) of these things is essential for growing your customer base and working from anywhere.


4. Customer relationship management


What’s a business without its customers? It’s not.


That’s why you need a good customer relationship management (CRM) system to help with your business’ relationships and interactions with customers.


CRM systems help manage contacts, sales, agent productivity, and of course, individual customer relationships. They do this by saving customer and prospect information (including past topics they’ve called in about), finding sales opportunities, and managing marketing campaigns.


In short, they’re essential tools for keeping customers satisfied and bringing them back by providing personalized experiences and keeping agents and reps informed.


Best of all? You can even integrate unified communications platforms with your CRM—like how Dialpad can integrate with Salesforce, Kustomer, or Hubspot to let agents launch calls with a click from within the CRM, and then automatically log the call details when they’re done.


Remember…


The saying “if you build it, they will come” isn’t necessarily true anymore. Building the business is the first step, but you also need to build an online presence (with a speedy internet connection), reliable service and support (from a great unified communications platform), and good customer relationships.


The good news is: all of those are within your reach. All you have to do is find the right services for your business, and you’ll see the difference that they can make.


Posted by Dan O’Connell, Chief Strategy Officer, Dialpad


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If you’ve been following Google Fiber, you know that we’ve been buzzing right along. Growing in our existing cities, improving our already awesome customer experience and service reliability, refining our construction methods to enable rapid and efficient network construction, and even launching service in new places. 


The success of these efforts has paved the way for even more expansive growth. And today we’re sharing what (or, rather, where!) is next for Google Fiber.


I’m especially excited about this announcement, as it’s in my home state of Arizona. On July 11, the Mesa City Council is expected to vote on measures that will enable Google Fiber to deploy a gigabit speed, fiber-to-the-home network in Mesa. Mayor John Giles and the city staff have worked tirelessly on this issue, and Google Fiber is honored to join them in advancing their goals of increasing choices, connectivity and bandwidth throughout the city. 


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If approved by the City Council, we'll kick off the engineering and operations effort right away and begin construction in Mesa early next year.


If you’re in Mesa and want to stay up to date on our progress, you can sign up here for updates on offerings and availability. And stay tuned … things are just heating up in Arizona.

 

Posted by Ashley Church, General Manager, West Region


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A lot has happened since we last checked in from Nashville. Over the past year, we’ve more than doubled our service area in Nashville, and we expect to add a similar number of new households this year. We are working closely with Metro Nashville to allow us to achieve our goal of bringing fast, reliable internet to more people all across the city.


That progress has paved the way for conversations in some surrounding communities, including Smyrna, where we stood with the mayor and the town council today to announce that we’d be beginning construction on a new fiber network later this year. We’re grateful for the opportunity to bring Google Fiber service to this vibrant community.


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Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed and Ryun Jackson


We’re looking forward to connecting Smyrna residents to everything the internet has to offer, as we continue our build out in the city of Nashville as well. With all this growth, we’re also growing our team (including me — I joined the team in May, moving from Memphis to Nashville!), and looking for more people to help us keep the momentum going as we expand in Nashville and beyond. 


The Google Fiber Nashville team recently made welcome home boxes for the Nashville USO.


 

Posted by Ryun Jackson,Government & Community Affairs Manager




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Welcome to Connect! The official Google Fiber blog has a new look, but remains the place to get the latest news and information on what’s happening with Google Fiber and our products, meet our team, and get an inside look at each of our cities, along with anything else in the GFiber-sphere.


Connect is what we do in the real world — bringing fast, reliable internet to more people and businesses in our communities every day, so we thought it was a fitting title for how we tell our stories online. We hope you’ll check in regularly and you can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram for updates. 



Posted by Sunny Gettinger, Head of External Communications 



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When it comes to internet, speed and bandwidth are important, but without reliability, just having fast internet doesn’t mean much. Reliability has always been core to Google Fiber. We take that commitment to our customers very seriously, which is why we work around the clock to prevent outages and to quickly restore service and credit our customer accounts if there ever is an outage. 

People depend on their internet connection for almost everything these days, and that’s even more true for our Google Fiber Business customers. We launched Google Fiber Business 2 Gig service back in March to meet the growing bandwidth needs of our business customers. 

Along with increased speed, we also want them to have the confidence that their internet is going to be there when they need it. So today we’re sharing our Google Fiber Business 2 Gig Service Level Guarantee, which includes an monthly uptime report, advance notification of planned network maintenance and an automatic credit of 25% of business customers’ monthly bill if their average monthly uptime drops below 99.9% (that’s 2.5 minutes down over a 40 hour work week). All current Business 2 Gig customers will be automatically enrolled into the Service Level Guarantee.

We have a lot of confidence in our network reliability. In fact, our network availability is already over 99.9%. By putting it in writing, we’re making sure that our customers can have that same confidence. Speed and reliability combined makes for internet that can power your business to the next level, and we’re continuing to work to improve every day for both our business and residential customers.

Posted by Nick Saporito, Head of Commercial Strategy



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Google Fiber works with organizations across the country to help address digital equity issues in our communities. We love to share their stories on the Google Fiber blog and hear about the impact of their amazing work from the people they serve. 

 

About the program:


Digi-Bridge and Google Fiber have teamed up to launch free virtual STEAM Lab programs designed to engage underserved 4th through 8th graders in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties (including Charlotte and Concord) in a hands-on exploration of technology in the arts, coding, gaming and design engineering.


STEAM Lab arrived after Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools reported a significant decrease in Science EOG scores in 5th and 8th grade from 2019 to 2021. STEAM Lab provides an engaging learning experience hands-on, yet virtual experience for partner school students by pairing personal learning kits of materials with virtual instruction led by the student's teachers. This additional learning time for students is an effort to promote academic exploration and increased testing scores.


Today, we’re spotlighting a STEAM Lab student, I.T., who has been participating in two courses with Digi-Bridge’s Virtual STEAM Lab — the Design Engineering Process, where students learn the fundamentals of building using geometric concepts, and Art & Tech, where students learn about foundational graphic design skills, such as pixel art and stop-motion animation. Check out his experience below!  

 

Meet I.T.:

 

 

Hello, My name is Isaiah “I.T.” Twyman and I am a 5th grade student at Druid Hills Academy in Digi-Bridge’s Virtual STEAM Lab sponsored by Google Fiber. I’m 11 years old and enjoy playing video games, coding and soccer after school. 

I live off in Northwest Charlotte. I like it, but I really like being near my grandparents in Mallard Creek. My grandfather lives in a house and teaches me a lot of hands-on things, like how to plug tires, how to work with circuits and how to stop and enjoy life! We love going on walks. Also, during the program he helped with my circuit greeting card project. 

Those are all the things that I like. Also, if you didn’t know, my dream is to recreate Jurassic Park! STEAM Lab is cool because I like creating new stuff all the time! For example, a zip line or playing with electric circuits or anything related to video games. 

I really enjoyed the Pixel Art. I'm into coding and Digi-Bridge made it easy to understand. I love trying to code and make video games. I actually like to create games in my free time!

Here’s what a regular morning in Virtual STEAM Lab looks like for me:

 

6:00- I brush my teeth and wash my face. If I have time, I play my game and just chill out. 

8:00-8:45- I will eat a breakfast that I can make, like a Cheese sandwich and a glass of milk. 

8:45- Set-up for my classroom in the kitchen. We sit separately from my sister. 

9:00- I greet my teachers Ms. Nicole and Mr. Moats. Then, we start off by sharing our emotions so the teacher knows how we are doing. 

9:15- Then Ms. Nicole tells us that we will get started. They sometimes show us a video and tell us what to do

10:00- Show the teacher what we did. We will code on SCRATCH if we finish early. 

11:00- Start cleaning up after finishing. We send a picture to Ms. Nicole and then we can eat part of the project if it’s edible! 

 

Thank you for reading as I shared my morning as a DIGI-Bridge Virtual STEAM student. Have a good day! 

 

Posted by Isaiah “I.T.” Twyman, 5th grade student at Druid Hills Academy





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We’re launching a new guest series on the Google Fiber Blog featuring our awesome Google Fiber Business customers and how they make their internet service work for their businesses and their clients. We’re proud to open this series with a post from Kansas City’s Ben Seidel, CEO and Founder of Igniting Business, which has served hundreds of small businesses with web design, marketing, and SEO services since 2012.

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 1/3 of businesses even make it to the 10-year mark. As a family-owned company, Igniting Business is defying those odds, reaching the 10-year mark in 2022 with the help of undoubtedly a mission critical resource– reliable and speedy internet.

Prioritizing a Mission Critical Resource

Since we started in 2012, Igniting Business’s goal has been to help small businesses succeed. As a web design and digital marketing company, literally everything we do heavily utilizes the internet! Whether it’s building new websites, launching digital marketing campaigns, providing technical support, or meeting virtually with clients, our business could not survive without reliable and blazing fast internet.

Before we upgraded to Google Fiber, we had two internet packages routing to our office from two different providers. Our reliability on internet was so intense that we could no longer afford to be without internet for minutes, let alone hours or even a day. With our advanced setup, if the primary internet failed for more than 60 seconds, it would kick over to our redundant, albeit slower, back-up internet. As you can imagine, this required a more robust IT setup and was expensive.

Eventually, we intentionally moved to an office where we knew Google Fiber could be installed, and Google Fiber Business’s speed and uptime has dramatically impacted our business. In fact, we no longer need backup internet! With Google Fiber, we have more reliable and faster internet and at a lower price point.



Enabling Growth

As Igniting Business faithfully served our customers, word spread regarding our quality of service and exclusive focus on small businesses. The beauty of our connected world is that we no longer need to be local to do business.

As a result, we started receiving work requests from all over the nation. However, our small business clients could not justify the additional cost of flying us out to their location to do business, nor did phone calls create the personal touch that small business owners need before entrusting us with the growth of their business.

Having high-speed internet for reliable video streaming, screen sharing, remote training, file sharing, and more enabled our business to proudly work with clients coast-to-coast in 24 states.

Making our Business Resilient

When the pandemic hit and forced nationwide closures, we were in the midst of renovating our new office space in a new building. Thankfully, even amidst a pandemic that brought other businesses to a grinding halt, our reliable internet at the new office allowed our team to still work remotely in a streamlined and connected way with slightly cuter bosses at home.

Some of our team members’ home office setups during the pandemic lockdown.


Our connected team was able to continue helping our clients succeed despite unimaginable challenges brought on by the pandemic. We helped them reach numerous odds-defying achievements: including (1) a single location restaurant opening a 2nd location in 2021, and now a third in 2022 and (2) a software client growing from 16 employees (pre-pandemic) to well over 100. Our clients that valiantly chose to see the newfound circumstances during the pandemic as an opportunity included numerous construction, engineering, and facility maintenance clients who are now hitting record numbers, as well as legal, finance, and healthcare clients who are helping their customers navigate likely one of the most tricky and stressful times of their lives.

How Technology Empowers Us to Innovate Into the Future

We understand, as a small business, our impact can be limited. However, with the connectivity and reach that our Google Fiber internet brings us, we continue to look for ways to serve more businesses, even if we cannot help them directly with our services. During the pandemic we spoke at webinars where we shared marketing insights with 70+ business owners simultaneously and looked for other ways to spark new growth ideas for small businesses.



In 2021, we launched our new website with a robust and free Resources section that includes content on various web design, SEO, and marketing tactics, a free monthly newsletter with tips and tricks, and even a list of the recommended tools and software we use at Igniting Business. Even though we can only serve a finite number of clients directly, we provide our free resources to thousands of small business owners and marketers each month!

As we sunset our first decade in business and look to the next, we continue to explore ways to help the small business community thrive, whether it’s locally in Kansas City or 2,000+ miles away, and we know that our Google Fiber internet will help us keep up with whatever that future holds.

Thank you to our clients across the nation for working with us and for trusting our team these past 10 years. Cheers to the next decade!

Posted by Ben Seidel, CEO and Founder, Igniting Business


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Last month, we started offering service to customers in West Des Moines. The response has been great, and we’re looking forward to bringing fast, reliable internet to even more Iowans. In fact, later this year, we’re planning to start construction so we can bring Google Fiber to our neighbors to the east —  Des Moines!

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We’re currently in the planning stages, working with the City of Des Moines on next steps to get started with the permitting process. Being next door in West Des Moines gives us a running start in Des Moines, as network construction takes time. Des Moines residents who want more information on what’s happening can sign up for emails here.

Google Fiber believes that everyone deserves quality internet, and we’re expanding our footprint in all our cities, including the newest!

And of course, we’re continuing to roll out service across West Des Moines. As the city completes new sections of the conduit network, we’ll pull our fiber through the conduit and open up sign-ups in new neighborhoods. To get the latest on availability in your area, sign up here.

Posted by Andy Simpson, General Manager, Central Region



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