Author Archives: Google Fiber

What’s happening in West Des Moines

In July, we announced plans to be the inaugural tenant on West Des Moines’s conduit network, which will allow us to deliver gigabit internet citywide. Since then, both the City and Google Fiber have been working to make this network a reality to ensure that residents can work, learn, play, stream, and connect online at super fast speeds. 


On October 1, the City of West Des Moines kicked off its  “Plant the Speed” campaign, aimed at getting every address in the city ready for high speed internet, whether people choose Google Fiber or another provider. Residents can sign up at www.wiredWDM.org right now to enroll their address for connection to the conduit network. This is a necessary first step to getting fiber service at your home. The website also includes information about the build schedule and what people can expect through the city’s construction process.







At Google Fiber, we’re enjoying getting to know West Des Moines. We’re assembling our local team and looking for office space. If you want to keep up with Google Fiber in West Des Moines, join our email list to get the latest news on our products, service, and availability. If you’re a West Des Moines resident, make sure your home is ready for speed by enrolling with the city and joining our list, too — both Google Fiber and the City of West Des Moines are moving quickly to connect you.


Posted by Rachel Merlo, Government & Community Affairs Manager



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author: Rachel Merlo, Government & Community Affairs Manager

title: What's happening in West Des Moines

category: city_news

Creating a space for Gente in the Google Fiber family.



In late August 2019, we began having conversations about forming a Latinx-centered Employee Resource Group (ERG) at Google Fiber. The United States had just witnessed a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, aimed directly at Hispanic Americans, and many of us wanted to create a safe space for employees to come together to discuss, reflect, and offer community to one another. 

Last year, Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month (September 15th - October 15th) presented an opportunity for our newly forming ERG to establish itself. We opened up a dialogue about immigration, the current state of the world, and the Latinx experience from the perspective of fellow Fiber Googlers with thoughtful programming and the occasional juntada (“get-together”). 

This year, the pandemic has made our work and community both closer and more crucial. So in May 2020, we officially — and virtually — introduced Gente as the ERG for Latinx employees and allies. With COVID-19 twice as deadly for Black and Latinx people, and in the wake of violence against Black and transgender communities, we’ve centered Gente’s efforts on not only the importance of coming together as a community, but in building strong intersectional alliances, too.

The word gente means “people," and also serves as a term for the deep-rooted connection that comes with community, family and a rich cultural history. Bringing this ERG to life within Google Fiber also means a new opportunity to give Latinx employees and allies a voice in critical business conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion — a voice that is representative of the diverse workforce and customers that make up our Google Fiber family. 

As a part of this year’s Latinx Heritage Month, we invited Dr. Gina Pérez, Cultural Anthropologist and Professor in the Department of Comparative American Studies at Oberlin College, to share her thoughts on the importance of this work. “To be Latinx is to be a part of a collective that has a history of resistance, resilience and a beautiful capacity to change,” she said. 

Gente and Google Fiber are celebrating that collective action, not just for this month, but every day. We look forward to seeing the growth that our group will encounter this year — and to the future opportunities we will have to serve our Latinx customers in all our cities.

Posted by Gabrielle Aguilar, Sales Training Specialist (Austin, TX) and Co-chair, Gente




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author: Gabrielle Aguilar

title: Sales Training Specialist (Austin, TX) and Co-chair, Gente

category: meet_the_fiber_team

backgroundsize: contain

Digital Inclusion Week is happening now!

This week is Digital Inclusion Week! While we celebrate the incredible efforts of our partners across the country to make their communities more digitally inclusive and connected every day, we’re also taking this opportunity to share the stories of the people they’ve helped during 2020, with all the challenges this year has presented.


From making music to helping people navigate the digital world, we’re grateful to all the people out there working to advance digital equity in their communities. Thank you and let’s keep it going, all 52 weeks of the year!



(((video)))


For more information about the partners highlighted in the video check out Music Empowerment, E2D, and PCs for People.

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author:

title: Digital Inclusion Week is happening now!

category: community_impact

videourl: https://storage.googleapis.com/fiber/blog/GoogleFiber_DIW2020.mp4

Better Wi-Fi for everyone





We believe in the power of great internet, but we also know that, for most of us, our internet is only as good as our Wi-Fi.


My husband and I both work from home, and I am … not quiet … when I talk on video calls. So, I’ve set up my laptop as far away from my husband’s desk as possible, which also means I’m four thick walls away from my router. That doesn’t make for great Wi-Fi. And I know I’m not alone. Wi-Fi issues are a common complaint for customers, regardless of their internet service provider.


No one wants to have to think about their internet. At Google Fiber, we want internet that just works for you anywhere in the home, and for most people that means Wi-Fi. So we’ve been working on improving your Wi-Fi experience, starting with giving you the opportunity to use whatever router you want.


Now, you can bring your favorite router with you when you sign up for 1 Gig or change your plan to 'Use your own router' in your Google Fiber account — if you’re the kind of internet user that’s comfortable setting up and troubleshooting your own equipment.


For customers who don’t want to take on that technical responsibility, we’re still here to help with your Wi-Fi (or anything else you may need from us). You can learn more about whole home Wi-Fi from Google Fiber here.


If you’re a Google Fiber customer and have an issue with your Google Fiber service, let us know. We always want you to be able to make the most of your internet, including your Wi-Fi. (Shout out to my customer service friends answering my Twitter DMs — you’re my real MVPs.) 


We’re always looking for ways to make Google Fiber better. Great internet = great Wi-Fi, so we’ll keep working to improve that experience for our customers, whether they’re right next to their router or four rooms away.



Posted by Amanda Peterson, Product Marketing Manager







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Author: Amanda Peterson


Title: Product Marketing Manager


category: product_news



Better Wi-Fi for everyone





We believe in the power of great internet, but we also know that, for most of us, our internet is only as good as our Wi-Fi.


My husband and I both work from home, and I am … not quiet … when I talk on video calls. So, I’ve set up my laptop as far away from my husband’s desk as possible, which also means I’m four thick walls away from my router. That doesn’t make for great Wi-Fi. And I know I’m not alone. Wi-Fi issues are a common complaint for customers, regardless of their internet service provider.


No one wants to have to think about their internet. At Google Fiber, we want internet that just works for you anywhere in the home, and for most people that means Wi-Fi. So we’ve been working on improving your Wi-Fi experience, starting with giving you the opportunity to use whatever router you want.


Now, you can bring your favorite router with you when you sign up for 1 Gig or change your plan to 'Use your own router' in your Google Fiber account — if you’re the kind of internet user that’s comfortable setting up and troubleshooting your own equipment.


For customers who don’t want to take on that technical responsibility, we’re still here to help with your Wi-Fi (or anything else you may need from us). You can learn more about whole home Wi-Fi from Google Fiber here.


If you’re a Google Fiber customer and have an issue with your Google Fiber service, let us know. We always want you to be able to make the most of your internet, including your Wi-Fi. (Shout out to my customer service friends answering my Twitter DMs — you’re my real MVPs.) 


We’re always looking for ways to make Google Fiber better. Great internet = great Wi-Fi, so we’ll keep working to improve that experience for our customers, whether they’re right next to their router or four rooms away.



Posted by Amanda Peterson, Product Marketing Manager







~~~~~


Author: Amanda Peterson


Title: Product Marketing Manager


category: product_news



The next step in speed — experience 2 Gig now with the Google Fiber Trusted Tester program



When it comes to internet, fast is never fast enough. That’s especially true now when so many of our customers are learning, working and living nearly entirely online — all using different devices at the same time.

So we’re more than a little excited to announce 2 Gig today — bringing even more bandwidth and speed to customers in internet-intensive households who may need more than a gig to do their thing, whatever that may be.

Google Fiber launched in 2010, offering 1 Gig speeds. Back then, the average residential internet speed in the US was 7.12 Mbps down and 2.42 Mbps up (and that was a 16% improvement from the year before!).

Today, as we continue to grow in the 19 Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass cities across the U.S., we also continue to learn from our past and from our customers. We’ve innovated new build techniques, allowing us to build faster than ever before, and we’ve established Google Fiber as a leader in customer service.

And we’ve learned that many of us need more: more to help us work better, to help us learn smarter, to bring us gaming and entertainment in new ways, and to fuel innovation and entrepreneurship across our economy.

Why 2 Gig?

This year has made this need for more speed and bandwidth especially acute, as many of us are now living our entire lives — from work to school to play — within our homes, creating unprecedented demand for internet capacity.

2 Gig will answer that challenge. At $100 a month, it’s double the top download speed of our 1 Gig product (with the same great upload speed) and comes with a new Wi-Fi 6 router and mesh extender, so everyone gets a great online experience no matter where they are in the house.

Google Fiber networks are designed so there’s plenty of capacity to allow our customers, with the right in-home hardware, to reach 2 Gig (and even faster) speeds. Our approach to network design allows us to keep our customers connected to the fastest speeds available.

So... how can I get it?

We’re looking for people to help us test 2 Gig, starting in Nashville and Huntsville next month and in our other Google Fiber cities later this fall. Game changers, super users, and families who need more from their internet can join the Google Fiber Trusted Tester program to be among the first to put the extra speed to use. Our testers help us make sure we’re launching the best products and services possible for our customers, and we appreciate their help! Sign up here for an opportunity to be among the first to test 2 Gig in your city.

2 Gig will roll out to all of our Nashville and Huntsville customers later this year, with plans to launch the service across most of our Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass cities in early 2021.

Google Fiber brought you 1000 megabits in 2010, and we’re upping that 2000 megabits for 2020. This is just the start of many more product launches to come. Our goal is to keep delivering groundbreaking speeds at competitive prices with the customer service Google Fiber is known for.

Posted by Amalia O’Sullivan, Director of Product Management




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author: Amalia O'Sullivan

title: Director of Product Management

category: product_news


Doing Our Part: The Austin Justice Coalition Story

This post is the third installment of our Pursuing Racial Justice and Equity series, which highlights the courageous and vital work happening across our Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass cities to fight systemic racism and create more just communities where everyone has the opportunity and the ability to thrive.




The Austin Justice Coalition’s (AJC) roots were planted in 2015 when a bunch of people who were crazy enough to believe that we could change the world got together and we have never looked back.

Black and brown people operate daily in a system where their voices and lives are undervalued. They are inundated with unwarranted and blatant oppression, life-threatening situations, microaggressions, and other forms of racism due to the color of their skin. AJC is a grassroots organization that addresses the oppressive dynamics of institutional racism and its effects on adults, youth, and communities of color.

We transform systems and society by building community power through policy and advocacy. Through our efforts, we have improved laws and policies where we live in regards to criminal justice and building complete communities to address the housing and homelessness crisis. Additionally, we have supported and guided young people of color to be thoughtful, unbiased leaders. We try not to do it all, but over the last 5 years, we have built an ever-evolving ecosystem of solutions, knowledge, experience, and community.

Unfortunately, there is still so much to be done.

It is not that our ideas are revolutionary. We lead the charge and keep others marching with us without allowing differences to divide us. In our work, you see a cadre of white allies. If we don’t change the hearts/minds of those whose ancestors implemented the hierarchy of race, we will never truly gain reform.

There is truly something for everyone to contribute to the movement.

Since March, there has been change in a real way, and we are thankful for the many partners who have increased their engagement in our communities such as Google Fiber. Because in reality, the biggest hurdle for communities of color is getting a seat at the table.

We have been able to create a seat by listening to the community and being unafraid to be their advocate. Similarly, we created Higher Learning, with little funding, because we had a vision of a program curated specifically for Black and Brown kids that tackles the inefficiencies of our school system. We have made it to year 3 of this program.

Our hope is that the data and statistics will change in the number of people of color in jail, their ability in housing ownership, and increase rates of education attainment and professional achievement, not only in Austin, but across the country. When we see this, we are able to turn our attention to changing and transforming more systems. Often our work can seem narrow, but for us, the work we are doing can truly shift and break up what seems like indestructible systems. Our work will and can have a ripple effect. Our long-term vision is to one day dream of taking our work on a global scale. But before we can do that, our team will have to uproot the deep seeded effects of the 1928 zoning laws and racism of Austin, while tackling Texas, and America.

So when we are truly successful here, there will be more work on the horizon for us. Join us.

Posted by Chas Moore, Executive Director, AJC



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category: community_impact

author: Chas Moore

title: Executive Director, Austin Justice Coalition

Doing Our Part: The Austin Justice Coalition Story

This post is the third installment of our Pursuing Racial Justice and Equity series, which highlights the courageous and vital work happening across our Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass cities to fight systemic racism and create more just communities where everyone has the opportunity and the ability to thrive.




The Austin Justice Coalition’s (AJC) roots were planted in 2015 when a bunch of people who were crazy enough to believe that we could change the world got together and we have never looked back.

Black and brown people operate daily in a system where their voices and lives are undervalued. They are inundated with unwarranted and blatant oppression, life-threatening situations, microaggressions, and other forms of racism due to the color of their skin. AJC is a grassroots organization that addresses the oppressive dynamics of institutional racism and its effects on adults, youth, and communities of color.

We transform systems and society by building community power through policy and advocacy. Through our efforts, we have improved laws and policies where we live in regards to criminal justice and building complete communities to address the housing and homelessness crisis. Additionally, we have supported and guided young people of color to be thoughtful, unbiased leaders. We try not to do it all, but over the last 5 years, we have built an ever-evolving ecosystem of solutions, knowledge, experience, and community.

Unfortunately, there is still so much to be done.

It is not that our ideas are revolutionary. We lead the charge and keep others marching with us without allowing differences to divide us. In our work, you see a cadre of white allies. If we don’t change the hearts/minds of those whose ancestors implemented the hierarchy of race, we will never truly gain reform.

There is truly something for everyone to contribute to the movement.

Since March, there has been change in a real way, and we are thankful for the many partners who have increased their engagement in our communities such as Google Fiber. Because in reality, the biggest hurdle for communities of color is getting a seat at the table.

We have been able to create a seat by listening to the community and being unafraid to be their advocate. Similarly, we created Higher Learning, with little funding, because we had a vision of a program curated specifically for Black and Brown kids that tackles the inefficiencies of our school system. We have made it to year 3 of this program.

Our hope is that the data and statistics will change in the number of people of color in jail, their ability in housing ownership, and increase rates of education attainment and professional achievement, not only in Austin, but across the country. When we see this, we are able to turn our attention to changing and transforming more systems. Often our work can seem narrow, but for us, the work we are doing can truly shift and break up what seems like indestructible systems. Our work will and can have a ripple effect. Our long-term vision is to one day dream of taking our work on a global scale. But before we can do that, our team will have to uproot the deep seeded effects of the 1928 zoning laws and racism of Austin, while tackling Texas, and America.

So when we are truly successful here, there will be more work on the horizon for us. Join us.

Posted by Chas Moore, Executive Director, AJC



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category: community_impact

author: Chas Moore

title: Executive Director, Austin Justice Coalition

You can’t be anti-poverty without being anti-racist

This post is a part of our Pursuing Racial Justice and Equity series, which highlights the courageous and vital work happening across our Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass cities to fight systemic racism and create more just communities where everyone has the opportunity and the ability to thrive.


United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) has the bold mission to eradicate poverty and increase social mobility through the power of partnerships. With that mission, we serve a four county region in North Carolina in which more than 200,000 residents experience poverty every day.

For 133 years, United Ways across the country have served those crushed under the weight of impoverished environments. That service has looked, felt, and sounded like charity: direct social services in response to existing, immediate needs. Yet the issues have not gone away; they have gotten worse and that’s especially true for Black and brown communities.

The next 133 years demand more. In a time when everyone is making public statements about their stance on race in this country, we believe that “well done is better than well said.” United Way of the Greater Triangle is up to the challenge to act. We believe in:

  • An orientation to justice where we look for solutions that attack the root causes and don’t just deal with the effects of poverty.


  • A re-imagination of philanthropy where authentic partnerships with marginalized communities mean they retain the right to design the solutions for their lives rather than have approaches imposed on them.


  • An acknowledgment that the burden of poverty does not rest on the shoulders of the impoverished but on the systems with which they interact and the people that hold those systems up.


  • An anti-racism community.




The “what” won’t change. We have known the key levers of poverty for decades: early childhood care and education, literacy, high school graduation, career readiness, affordable housing, mental health, and food.



United Way of the Greater Triangle’s investment strategy honors the importance of these focus areas by dedicating two of the three core pillars of our work to supporting children and parents from Cradle to Career and acknowledging that safe and affordable housing, access to nutritious meals, and homes free of violence and substance abuse lead to Healthy Families.

The third leg of our community impact strategy, Equity In Leadership, promises to empower marginalized leaders, amplify the stories of community that celebrate strength and don’t exploit deficits, and prepare the entire community for the full inclusion and success of people of color and women. Shout out to Google Fiber for their support of our initial grant-making investment in this pillar: 10 To Watch.

The positioning of equity as a stand-alone pillar, in the center of our strategy, also means that equity sends tentacles into our Cradle to Career and Healthy Families strategy. That looks like:



  • Pulling apart community level data connected to the key levers of poverty to focus our work on the parts of our community that are suffering the most.


  • Critically analyzing our own funding portfolio and internal operations through an equity lens. Through that same framework, we’re building and implementing new policies, procedures, and grant-making processes.


  • Asking our nonprofit partners equity-centered questions, not as a punitive measure, but as a way to determine how UWGT can leverage its assets to support and further the equity journey of our entire region.




Our equity lens tells us where disparities exist. Our anti-racism lens tells us why. With the recent launch of the Anti-Racism Community Fund (with support from partners like Google Fiber), United Way of the Greater Triangle continues its evolution into becoming the organization that our community needs now and in the future. We cannot live our mission and the Triangle cannot live into its desire to be anti-poverty without being an anti-racism community.

The Anti-Racism Community Fund will:

  • Invest in the leadership development and ideas of local community leaders.


  • Invest in scalable, anti-racism solutions aimed at systems perpetuating systemic racism.


  • Invest in the training, education, and awareness building that increases the capacity of the entire community be anti-racist.




A fundraising campaign alone is not enough to achieve the long-term, sustainable results we need. United Way of the Greater Triangle is proud to join the existing anti-racism movement, providing visibility to our audience and access to our platforms, adding to a narrative campaign that engages the community in solution oriented conversations about race, changes interpersonal interactions and shifts decision making to support the inevitable success of the entire community.

No matter where you are when you read this, you have the opportunity to take your next step in this movement. “Google” anti-racism and learn about the movement. Identify the leaders in your area that are leading the movement. Ask your local United Way about how equity is shifting the way they show up in community. Boldly adjust your personal or organizational mission and focus to be who your community needs you to be.

Posted by Nick Allen, Chief Program Officer, United Way of the Greater Triangle



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Author: Nick Allen


Title: Chief Program Officer, United Way of the Greater Triangle


category: community_impact



Empowering Black voters in the COVID-19 era

This post is a part of our Pursuing Racial Justice and Equity series, which we kicked off last week. This series highlights the courageous and vital work happening across our Google Fiber and Google Fiber Webpass cities to fight systemic racism and create more just communities where everyone has the opportunity and the ability to thrive. Our first post comes to us from Joi Imobhio, Political Director for the Workers Center for Racial Justice in Chicago.



At the Workers Center for Racial Justice (WCRJ) in Chicago, our work begins with organizing our community: majority-Black neighborhoods where residents experience ongoing racialized poverty, over-policing and criminalization. Under normal circumstances, we spend much of our time talking with constituents face-to-face about the challenges they are experiencing, and encouraging them to take action on those issues as part of WCRJ. 

COVID-19 has forced us to quickly adapt and find new ways to connect with our community. As the 2020 census and elections coincide with unprecedented public demand for racial justice, we can’t afford to slow down. The pandemic has only heightened our sense of urgency, as we insist upon action from elected officials to address the racial disparities exposed by the pandemic.

We feel fortunate to live in a time when so many effective technologies are available to us, allowing us to keep organizing while maintaining social distance. Black civic engagement is a key part of our work, and involves a year-round schedule of in-person trainings, educational sessions, town hall meetings, and door-to-door outreach. Thanks to the digital tools that we’ve been able to access — and the creativity of our members — WCRJ has continued these programs remotely since moving our work online in March. 

One of the tools that is empowering us in the COVID era is Outvote, a mobile app that allows us to reach a broad network of voters through friend-to-friend texting. Users who download the app can follow our policy and voter engagement campaigns, and receive notifications when we have new actions for them to take. This year we transformed our Forum for Safety and Liberation — usually held in August at a large venue — into a full Week of Action with daily assignments for our Outvote users. In just that week alone, our virtual allies sent 8,963 emails to elected officials, with over 100 new contacts participating. The impact was so great that we will likely add this approach in future years, whether or not COVID is a factor.

The power of digital organizing came into sharp focus in the run-up to Illinois’ March 2020 primary elections, which took place just days before the official shelter-in-place order. As residents came to understand the threat of the virus, many polling stations were closed due to shortages of volunteers. Confused residents were unsure of how to cast their ballots. As the city made arrangements for residents to vote at alternative locations, WCRJ was able to quickly disseminate this information to our constituents via Outvote and social media. 

Given the possibility of another wave of COVID-19 cases in the fall, we know that voters will likely experience new and unforeseen barriers to democracy this November. We are contingency planning for a variety of scenarios, and in all cases, we emphasize digital outreach as an effective means for helping constituents access the polls. We are excited to be expanding our work into the neighboring state of Wisconsin for the first time this year; and, with the help of these technologies, we plan to reach tens of thousands of Black voters there, in addition to over 150,000 people in Illinois.

From now until November, much of our work will be devoted to ensuring that voters understand the various options available to them this year, and that each person has created a plan for voting. However, we know that not everything will go according to plan. When unexpected barriers arise, tools like Outvote and social media platforms will allow us to rapidly provide the most up-to-date, accurate information to our contacts, helping us prevent the pandemic from disenfranchising Black voters. 

Posted by Joi Imobhio, Political Director, Workers Center for Racial Justice




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category: community_impact

author: Joi Imobhio

title: Political Director, Workers Center for Racial Justice