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Google Fiber has always focused on helping communities take on the very real digital equity challenges they grapple with every day. We’ve been lucky to partner with some incredible organizations over the past decade, working to make each of our Fiber cities more digitally inclusive places. The past year has magnified the importance of these efforts, with the pandemic and the related changes to our daily lives having an outsized impact on disadvantaged communities.  

PCs for the People in Kansas City

As Google Fiber worked to adapt to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized many of our local non-profit partners, and the people they serve, were working overtime to do the same. So we adjusted our approach over the last year to help those organizations serve their communities’ most immediate needs, whether that was internet access for learning or work, devices to get online, unemployment, or food insecurity

Given the enormous challenges of 2020, Google Fiber increased our community impact investments across the country. As we do every year, we recently surveyed our non-profit partners about their experience and their impact. We’re so inspired by what they were able to achieve in the face of the incredible adversity during 2020:

  • Over 250,000 people participated in programming funded by Google Fiber 
  • Even with the challenges of the pandemic, partners provided 124,000 hours of digital literacy training both virtually and in person, and prepared more than 3,000 new volunteer trainers to pay this work forward
  • Partners distributed over 8,500 devices to help people get online
  • More than 700 job seekers gained employment through funded programming
  • Entrepreneurship programs led to 43 new businesses
  • More than 6,000 people connected new internet service in their homes

Libraries without Borders in San Antonio

Additionally, we supported organizations focused on racial justice and equity at a new level this year to help many of our communities bridge not just the digital divide, but the other issues that divide our communities. A little bit more about who our partners serve:

  • 92% work with underrepresented groups
  • 79% work with children or seniors
  • 52% work with the LGBTQ+ community
  • 51% work with individuals with disabilities
  • 36% work with veterans
  • 31% work with previously incarcerated individuals

Goodwill of Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas

Every day, these groups are making change happen in our communities, creating a more equitable, just, and connected place that will create a lasting and exponential difference to our cities and our world. Thank you to all our partners! 

Posted by Rachel Merlo, Government & Community Affairs Manager, Kansas City

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To do everything you need to do - working, learning, staying healthy, having entertainment options, finding jobs, starting businesses, doing business, creating communities, connecting to loved ones - you don’t just need internet, you need fast internet. You need enough internet for everyone in your home. And internet that’s open, without data caps or hidden fees. And you need all of that internet at a fair price.

At Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass, we believe that everyone, in every community — big, small, urban, rural, and everywhere in between — deserves access to internet that’s fast, reliable, fairly priced, and open.

Since our start in 2011 in Kansas City, that’s been our goal. We know we can’t do it alone, no one company, organization, or type of network can or ever will. But we know that there are lots of companies, organizations, and cities working to make this vision a reality across our country. And we believe that if we work together, we can make faster, better internet happen for more people. 

In the last few years, we’ve worked to live up to this vision for better internet in more places: raising the bar for customer service, strengthening networks, improving equipment and experience, building for the future, expanding in the cities we’re in, and working with cities in new ways to expand.

We‘ve got a long way to go. We’re humbled by the recognition we’ve received over the past year for speed and for customer service and satisfaction. But we’re still working on making our customers even happier, reaching more people, making our products easier, better, and faster, and finding new ways to keep moving towards what we believe internet access should be.

And we’re working on new ways to tell our story. If you’re in a city served by Google Fiber and/or Google Fiber Webpass, you also might notice that we’re telling our story in ads, in mailers, and with local internet reps in Google Fiber spaces and in your neighborhood.

A small part of that storytelling is a new icon for Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass.

As the design team at Google’s Brand Studio explained, “The icon represents two key concepts, core to Google Fiber’s mission. The first is that of a catalyst. The dynamic shape upon which the icon is built inspires a feeling of movement in its upward arcing motion. The second concept is scalable impact, represented through its modular pattern. This new icon acts as the cornerstone upon which the brand is built, signaling the ambition to galvanize and uplift communities: from the single family home or small business, through to an entire city”  

The shapes can represent being fast, fairly priced, reliable, and open — critical pieces of our mission. Or they could be communities of all shapes and sizes: big, small, urban, rural.  Or all of the different things you do with your internet.  Or how your internet throughput is divvied up across everything you and your household is doing - not just fast internet for a single fast connection.  Or even how it’s going to take all of us, coming together, to make sure everyone has access to the fast, reliable internet we think everyone deserves.  Or, maybe it’s just a fun, colorful shape. 

In any case, we hope you like it. And, even more, we hope that, whether it’s in an ad, on social media, in our app, or anywhere else you see it, you know it’s Google Fiber, and that there’s more of our story on its way.

Posted by Amanda Peterson, Head of Brand and Product Marketing


author: Amanda Peterson

title: Head of Brand and Product Marketing

category: company_news

imagealign: 0 0

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Our city updates continue, checking in with our team in West Des Moines. If you missed our first one, you can find out more about what’s going on in Austin here.

There is a lot happening in West Des Moines as we move toward bringing our first customers online later this year. Google Fiber has already started our engineering and planning efforts, and we recently signed a lease for our local West Des Moines offices and retail space. We’ve also started the renovation process in our Valley Junction location (check out what’s coming below) and plan to settle in sometime in early fall.


While we’re waiting to move in, our team is hard at work from home. Our sales team has been talking to apartment and condominium managers across the city to get their buildings ready for Google Fiber. If you are interested in getting your community wired for Google Fiber, please email us.

There are still a few things that have to happen before we can serve customers. Most importantly, the city of West Des Moines recently started construction on their conduit network. Once they’ve completed the first area, we’ll start pulling fiber through it to bring fast, reliable internet to your homes, and testing to make sure everything works the way it should. Once that’s done we’ll be ready to open our doors (and our website) for customers.

So what can you do to get ready? As we shared back in October, local residents can see the city’s build schedule and sign up to connect to the conduit network on the city’s Plant the Speed site. And if you are looking for more information about what’s going on with Google Fiber in West Des Moines, you can also sign up for Google Fiber email updates for the latest news and availability.

Things are happening fast, so stay tuned!

Posted by Rachel Merlo, Government & Community Affairs Manager

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Since the first cohort of NTEN’s Digital Inclusion Fellowship in 2015, Google Fiber has supported this innovative program which supports nonprofit professionals with deep connections to digitally distressed communities in their efforts to launch or expand digital inclusion  programs. As a former fellow with Austin Free-Net, I’ve seen firsthand the impact that a focused staff member can have on connecting more people to the skills and resources people need to navigate our digital world. 


The pandemic has emphasized the necessity of access to fast, reliable internet. Organizations that once considered digital equity and literacy tangential to their mission now find it essential to helping the communities they serve. 

Stephanie De Leon, our Digital Inclusion Fellow with AVANCE-Austin, shared, “I can proudly say that all 240 families served in the AVANCE-Austin Parent-Child Education Program received brand new tablets with internet connectivity and resources plus 1-on-1 training on how to use them to help close the gap in digital inequity.”

Over the past six years, Google Fiber has funded 59 fellows across the country, and these extraordinary individuals and organizations are making a huge difference in the everyday lives of their constituents. 

Kayla Bradshaw, a fellow with the United Way of Utah County in Provo, Utah, said: “Typically, we hold in-person trainings for our volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) program. Most of our volunteers are elderly and do not want to meet in person. We developed an online training distributed through YouTube to train all volunteers. The volunteers then receive technical support through the tax season as they assist low-income families in filing their taxes.”

Think a staff member in your organization could benefit from being a Digital Inclusion Fellow? Applications are open now for the next cohort (lucky number 7!). We hope you’ll consider joining the group, or pass this on to an organization that needs their own fellow. 

Posted by Daniel Lucio, Community Impact Manager

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