Google Fiber to pay Louisville $3.84M to restore roads following departure

Ashley Trommler, a Hite alum, shows off her design for the Google Fiber installer vans.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Google Fiber will pay $3.84 million to Louisville Metro Government (LMG) to restore roads and other public rights-of-way affected by its departing service in Louisville.

Louisville Metro Government and Google Fiber agreed to these payments to fulfill the company’s obligations under its franchise agreement and local regulations, which require restoration of rights-of-way should a service provider end service in Louisville. Citing technical challenges, Google Fiber announced its exit from Louisville in February.

The payments will be made over 20 months and will cover the costs for:

  • Removing fiber cables and sealant from roads.
  • Milling and paving activities where needed.
  • Removal of above-ground infrastructure.

The agreement addresses network installations in Portland, Newburg and the Highlands, where Google Fiber offered services. Where necessary, construction will begin as part of the Public Works paving season currently underway.

In addition, Google Fiber is making a $150,000 cash donation to the Community Foundation of Louisville’s Digital Inclusion Fund to support LMG’s digital inclusion efforts, which include refurbishing used computers for low-income individuals and the enrollment of public housing residents in low-cost internet access through other companies providing service in Louisville. The company is also planning to make a donation of 275 refurbished computers to the Louisville Metro Housing Authority.

“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,” said Grace Simrall, LMG’s chief of Civic Innovation & Technology. “The city will diligently repair these roads and public spaces over the 20-month period.”

Simrall added, “It’s clear that Google Fiber’s presence in Louisville led other providers to step up and increase investment in Louisville, and that was good news for consumers everywhere. Moreover, we appreciate Google Fiber’s donation to our digital inclusion work, because improving equity in access to technology and digital skills is essential for Louisville’s economy today and tomorrow.”

Google Fiber is ceasing service in Louisville at 11:59 p.m. today (Monday, April 15). The company first shared this information with customers and LMG in February. Since then, Google Fiber has provided two months of free service to allow customers time to arrange an alternate internet service provider.

“This plan provides for the long-term protection of the city’s infrastructure and empowers LMG to prioritize and execute all aspects of the required work based on the needs of the community,” said Mark Strama, general manager for Google Fiber. “We are also happy to be able to support digital inclusion efforts in Louisville to increase internet access and digital literacy across the city.”

“Discontinuing service in Louisville was a very difficult business decision for Google Fiber, and we will forever be grateful to Mayor Fischer and his team for their commitment to the residents of Louisville and their dedication to driving internet connectivity and digital inclusion across the city,” Strama said.

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