This year we kicked off Digital Inclusion Week by publishing our 2017 Community Impact Report but that was just the beginning of Google Fiber’s involvement in this national initiative. Across the country, each of our Fiber cities found ways to support digital literacy trainings and connect more people to super fast Internet. Seeing the rich stories of communities coming together to work on digital equity during Digital Inclusion Week, and the large scale of participants across the country, gives me great optimism about the future of our work and a bit of personal pride. In 2016, when I was working as a Digital Inclusion Fellow -- a program co-founded and supported by Google Fiber and managed by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) -- I worked alongside local and national partners like the National Digital Inclusion Alliance to organize the country’s first Digital Inclusion Day. Now, just a couple of years later, I’m a Community Impact Manager at Google Fiber and the day has grown into a full week of activities across dozens of U.S. cities.
Working with local partners, my fellow Google Fiber Community Impact Managers and I have taken action to mark #DIW2018 across the country:
- In Austin, we partnered with the Community Tech Network to teach seniors basic digital literacy skills.
- In Charlotte, we announced a new Community Connection at The Nest Learning Lab at CAMP North End, as well as partnering with E2D on their annual “E-lemonade the digital divide” event.
- In Louisville, we launched a Community Connection at the new entrepreneurial incubator at Love City, Inc. in the Portland neighborhood.
- In Provo, we had a full week of #ProvoGotSkills activities with partners like the United Way of Utah County, Mountainland Head Start, the Provo City Library, and the Provo City School District.
- In Salt Lake City, we hosted Google Expeditions at Riley Elementary and supported workshops hosted by Salt Lake City and County public library branches.
- In San Antonio, we sponsored UpgradeSA’s lunchtime discussion about closing the city’s digital divide.
Check out the photo gallery below of many of these activities. Thank you to all our partners who help us connect our communities!
|Cutting the ribbon on our newest Community Connection at Love City in Louisville with Mayor Greg Fischer.|
|Charlotte, NC Mayor Vi Lyles helps residents at our new Community Connection at The Nest.|
Tackling digital inclusion with UpgradeSA in San Antonio.
|Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi takes a selfie with seniors after a YouTube tutorial at the Provo Rec Center.|
Posted by Daniel Lucio, Community Impact Manager - Austin
Today is the first day of Digital Inclusion Week 2018
-- a national week of events to increase awareness and action to ensure everyone has access to the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy and economy -- sponsored by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance.
At Google Fiber, we are proud to support organizations and activities participating in #DIW2018 across the country. To kick off this important week, we are thrilled to share our 2017 Community Impact Report
Each year, we are humbled by the groundbreaking work of our community partners across the country, and 2017 was no exception. These partners roll up their sleeves, undaunted by challenges, and improve their neighbors’ access to opportunities. They find creative ways to advance digital inclusion. They hustle to empower more students with STEM programs. They ignite innovation and entrepreneurship -- especially in under-resourced schools and neighborhoods. In short, they make their cities a better place.
We are privileged to collaborate with them, and to bring our Faster, Fairer, Kinder Internet to support their efforts. As a result of our work together in 2017:
- 2,600 families in affordable housing can access the power of Fiber Internet in their homes at no cost via our Gigabit Communities program -- 600 new families’ homes were connected in 2017 alone.
- Through our Community Connections program, we provided super fast Internet to 54 new public hubs like libraries and nonprofits.
- 5,000 students and parents engaged in our STEM programs last year, reaching new horizons through Made with Code, Create Your World, and Google Expeditions.
Check out the full report
to for more details about this work and to read stories from each our Fiber cities. Let’s make the most of this week and every week to get more people connected for the good of our communities.Posted by Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, Head of Community Impact Strategy
Hey, did you hear Google Fiber won the Gold Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year in Telecommunications for the second year in a row? We are pretty proud to be able to serve our customers, so you might have heard it if you stopped by a Fiber Space to ask a question, catch a movie or grab a cup of coffee. Or perhaps one of our call center reps in Austin or Boise mentioned it to you or maybe your Google Fiber technician showed you this video of the ceremony while testing your Fiber connection.
Okay maybe not, but even if this is the first time you’re even learning about the existence of Stevie Awards for Customer Service, I hope that you have felt our passion to transform what’s expected of customer support in this industry.
We love our customers and want to make them happy. So if you want to get in touch with us -- for any reason -- let us know! We’ll keep working to get better -- because while Gold is the best Stevie you can receive, we know there is always room to improve.
|I’m the guy on the left - with my teammates.|
Posted by Nodas Papadimitriou, Customer Happiness Program Manager
Wednesday marked the end of Black History Month - and what a month it was! Google Fiber is proud to have celebrated with community partners across our Fiber cities. We hosted over two dozen events across the country that focused on encouraging meaningful conversations, celebrating accomplishments, and giving participants an opportunity to have interactive experiences with historic places like Selma, Alabama.
Salt Lake City
Our team took Google Expeditions Cardboard VR (virtual reality) technology to students at Newman Elementary, one of our valued Title One school partners. We used the time to demonstrate how infrastructure to deliver superfast Internet is built to homes and how it helps lead to innovations like VR. We led students through a Google Expedition of Civil Rights history, where they learned about key leaders and landmarks. Their VR journey included a visit to the Lincoln Monument steps where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech; to the Supreme Court steps where the students learned about Thurgood Marshall and the Brown v. Board of Education decision; and then concluded with a visit to the Selma-to-Montgomery March museum.
Google Fiber celebrated with the Carver Branch of the Austin Public Library where over 200 members of the community gathered and utilized Google Cardboard virtual reality technology to experience and learn about significant contributions of African Americans throughout history, such as the Artifacts of the Tuskegee Airmen exhibit.
Over 50 students from Dillard University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Xavier College came to the Google office in Atlanta for a Hackathon. The students enjoyed food and fun while they created projects in a 24-hour timespan with the help of their peers and Google engineers. The projects spanned from fun to serious, with apps to help make reporting crimes on campus easier, interactive campus maps, and to help students find computer science tutors!
While Google Fiber’s work to advance technology access and inclusion happens year-round, we take pride in the community and school partnerships that came together during February to celebrate Black History Month. We look forward to even more opportunities for learning and growth in 2018.
Posted by Daynise Joseph, Community Impact Manager
What do curling and Google Fiber have in common? Well for starters, in curling the objective is to deliver rocks into the house, much like we deliver fiber to the home. Also the sport is growing fast - fast like a gig of Internet, and it’s gaining fans all over the country.
Honestly, we just wanted an excuse to write a post about curling - because like Mr T’s tweets say, #curlingiscoolfool. And at Google Fiber, we’ve got some cred with two curlers on staff. Plus we know there are just so many questions about this sport:
Curling doesn’t have the dazzling stunts and crazy thrills of other Olympic sports, but it is mesmerizing. It’s not about brute force or strength; it’s finesse and strategy, it’s chess on ice. Part of what makes it mesmerizing is how you can sit there watching it on TV and think … I can do that. It’s accessibility makes it all the more intriguing - anyone can curl.
The best part of the sport, though, is the part you don’t see on TV. It is the spirit of curling that embodies inclusion and sportsmanship. Any given night at the curling club, you’ll see a diverse group of folks all curling together as a giant curling family. It ranges from fresh college grads to retirees; curlers in wheelchairs to curlers that nimbly glide all the way across the ice; folks from all different walks of life.
A few helpful terms for you:
- House - where you have to throw your rock (the "target")
- Hog Line - the line on the rink you have to get your rock past to "count"
- Skip - the boss of the team (the one that stands in the house and points the broom)
The inclusion is impressive and it truly brings people who would otherwise maybe never cross paths together as a community -- and making connections is what Google Fiber is all about. After each game, teams sit together and “broomstack” over beer. It’s the only sport we can think of where it’s custom for the winners to buy the losing team a round of drinks. And that’s something we can get behind -- we love a team sport where good sportsmanship is front and center.
Posted by Diana Wu, Project Manager, and Martha Ivester, Nashville City Manager -- Google Fiber’s resident curling experts
Diana Wu (Network Deployment & Operations, Project Manager in Charlotte) started curling in 2013 and is an active member of the Charlotte Curling Club in North Carolina
Martha Ivester (Center) on her high school curling team in London, Ontario; note the adoption of advanced technology in her push broom.
Google Fiber is proud to be a member of some of the most vibrant, diverse, and culturally rich communities in America. Last fall, we collaborated with local artists, community partners and art institutions to create thirteen murals in five of our Fiber cities. Each of these new art pieces in Austin, Kansas City, Louisville, Nashville and San Antonio aim to showcase the spirit of the cities we call home.
Artists were selected for the project based on their vision and community engagement. We also worked with local business owners to identify the right locations around the city to feature each artist’s work.
Watch below to see the process unfold, meet the artists and enjoy their beautiful work. Or, check out the murals yourself at the addresses below.
Posted by Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, Head of Community Impact Strategy
We’re excited to announce that Access has a new leader to move the Google Fiber and Webpass businesses forward.
Dinesh (Dinni) Jain, an accomplished veteran of the U.S. and European cable and telecommunications industries — most recently as Chief Operating Officer at Time Warner Cable — starts as CEO of Access today.
He will lead Access and its team, which includes employees at our headquarters in California and in the nearly 20 markets across the country where Google Fiber and Webpass have ongoing operations.
Welcome to the Access family, Dinni!
Did everyone in your family get all the cool new tech toys they included on their lists this year? If so, are they sharing them with you and others, so you can experience the latest and greatest? More importantly, are they being equally good at sharing your home’s bandwidth?
Yeah, that’s what we thought.
New and fast is necessary to run the year’s best tech, but you’ll also want to make sure your network can keep up with all the awesome gadgets you and your loved ones received this holiday season.
If you’re in a Google Fiber city
, visit fiber.google.com
to check availability in your neighborhood. That way you can stream the game
while your gamer is racking up points on his or her multiplayer game. Your connected smart home devices
and appliances can keep you warm and fed while you upload that video of your dog tearing through all the presents
. We don't put any limitations on how you access or use the Internet (aside from our Terms of Service
), so you can stream, upload, download, play, listen, and create to your heart’s content—and everyone else in your family can do that too!
Make your tech work with gigabit speed Internet that leaves room for sharing, which is a great way to start 2018 — faster, fairer, and kinder for everyone in your house.Posted by Greg Leon, Google Fiber Product Manager
At Google Fiber, we are all about helping people connect -- to superfast Internet and to the possibilities it presents. In each market, we work to make that connection local and personal, and to and give our Googlers opportunities to give back to their communities. So we were very excited to take part in Giving Week from November 27 through December 1, in conjunction with other Alphabet businesses and spearheaded by Google.org, to benefit nonprofits across the country.
Giving Week is dedicated to raising not only dollars for deserving nonprofits across the country but also awareness for the important work they do and communities that they serve. Over the course of the week, teams across all Google Fiber offices worked together to raise $180,000 to support 20 organizations across 11 cities, including a company match through Google’s gift match program.
The 20 selected nonprofits cover a wide range of issues, including digital inclusion, food security, youth support, health/research, and education. Some organizations are national, while others are locally focused. For each city, Fiber Community Impact Managers helped identify the nonprofits best suited to benefit from this program. In most cases, Google Fiber team members are personally connected to these organizations and invest their time in volunteering and/or serving on board of directors to further their missions.
Tis the time of year to celebrate the incredible work and impact the nonprofit community has in each of our Google Fiber cities. We’re honored to be able to reflect and contribute to their efforts. We hope you’ll consider joining us, either by giving to one of our partner organizations (listed below) or by finding your own way to give to your community.
Happy Holidays and may your giving bringing you joy.
Posted by Jacob Brace, Danny Cleveland, and Clark Johnston -- the Access Giving Week Team