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Santa Clara Chosen for Google Gigabit Community Feasibility Study; Fiber Service Would Make Local Internet 100 Times Faster

The City of Santa Clara is one of six California cities chosen by Google to explore the possibility of bringing citywide ultra high-speed Google Fiber access to its residents. The service would make Internet connections up to 100 times faster than the basic broadband used by most online users.

Ultra high-speed connections make a video call with a loved one, a business conference with a client, watching a movie or playing an online game instantaneous, with little or no buffering or video delay.

“This is an exciting extension of the Silicon Valley Power fiber network our city has been developing for the last 15 years,” said Santa Clara Mayor Jamie L. Matthews. Silicon Valley Power (SVP), the city’s municipal electric utility, already provides a state-of-the-art fiber optic network to businesses, city facilities and schools under the SVP Fiber Enterprise.

“With a company like Google exploring the options with us, we are optimistic that our built-in fiber capabilities and our experienced SVP Fiber Enterprise professionals will make the transition to a Google Gigabit community a reality for Santa Clara,” said Santa Clara City Manager Julio J. Fuentes.

Fiber-enabled “Gigabit” Internet connections feature speeds of up to 1,000 Megabits of data per second, about 100 times the average basic speed of 9.8 Megabits per second common for existing high-speed service. The higher speed allows no-wait Internet interaction for users, a convenience as well as an economic boost for a city.

“Communities with abundant high-speed Internet grow stronger because there’s greater potential to create jobs, drive economic growth, and help students and families get access to essential resources,” said Kevin Lo, General Manager for Google Fiber.

Google has worked with several cities in Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Utah to provide them with gigabit access speeds.

“In surveys, our customers have consistently expressed interest in premium Internet service and convenient online access,” said Larry Owens, SVP Manager of Customer Services. “Last year we were among the first cities in the nation to provide free citywide outdoor Wi-Fi access through our advanced metering technology, SVP MeterConnect. We will now do all we can to leverage our state-of-the-art SVP Fiber Enterprise network with Google’s expertise to move Santa Clara further to the forefront of municipal Internet connectivity.”

About Silicon Valley Power

Silicon Valley Power is the trademark adopted for use by the not-for-profit electric municipal utility of Santa Clara, CA serving residents and businesses for over 100 years. SVP provides power to more than 50,000 customers, including Applied Materials, Intel, Owens Corning, Agilent, Nvidia and Oracle, at rates 15 to 45 percent below neighboring communities.

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