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In honor of Black History Month, Google Fiber is celebrating the work of our Black at Google Fiber Employee Resource Group. Since its chapter launch in 2017, the group has focused on a number of areas ranging from digital inclusion to STEM education to improving the representation of people of color at all levels within our business. While George Floyd’s killing galvanized a nation, Employee Resource Groups like Black at Google Fiber are channeling that energy into a movement for change within the workplace and beyond.

We sat down with the two Black at Fiber co-leads to learn more about what it takes to lead an Employee Resource Group’s journey for social justice, racial equity and self care during an incredibly challenging year.

What does this year’s Black History Month mean to you?

Black History is more than a month — it is a legacy. It is about the contributions and sacrifices made by those before us but it is also about recognizing that Black+ people are a part of creating the narrative that will mark our place in history. When we planned past Black History Month activities we focused on bringing in people from which we all could learn. This year we centered on bringing within ourselves a stronger sense of purpose. We provided a platform to discuss the complexities of voting in the United States and the importance of civic participation. Our members also learned more focused and intentional wealth building strategies that included understanding cryptocurrency and how understanding blockchain can future proof finances.

Since last year’s Black History Month, how have you led your members through the tragic events happening in places like Louisville, KY, Minneapolis, MN, and others?

A few days after we closed our offices due to COVID-19 in March 2020, our focus was captured not just by the pandemic, but also the repeating tragedy of Black lives brutally taken by law enforcement in public view. Incident after tragic incident, many of us began to feel numb and certainly fatigued. Many of our Black colleagues felt the same and there was a clear need to create spaces that were psychologically safe for us to be in community with each other, mourn with each other, and affirm each other. And we needed the support of the larger Google Fiber organization to have real conversations about racism and ask questions on how it was impacting Black+ Google Fiber employees and our business.

As we have adjusted to doing all our meetings virtually, the availability of guest speakers increased since physical logistics were no longer a roadblock, which meant we heard from incredible speakers from across the country. Additionally, our Equity, Inclusion and Diversity lead coordinated training with thought leaders in the field of race relations that helped to foster conversations across our organization. These went well beyond our ERG to engage parts of our communities that were not talking about these issues previously. 

We also hosted our first Black at Fiber Virtual Summit. This two-day event aimed at better understanding how our community investments were driving real, tangible change, on both the racial and social justice fronts, in cities like Chicago (a Google Fiber Webpass city). And we dove into the topics of Black Fatigue, White Fragility, Allyship and the importance of building trust for greater transparency and progress on racial equity. As a group, this helped us to understand the power of our lived experiences and how those experiences manifest in our work and outside-of-work lives.  

Are there any lessons learned that you would like to relay to other leaders of Employee Resource Groups or the broader community?

First and foremost, take care of yourself. The conversations can be exhausting but are a necessary part of the journey. Listen to ERG members and keep their needs and feedback top of mind in all you do and plan. Our leadership position affords us the opportunity to amplify the voices of the people we represent. At Google Fiber, we know that we’re playing an important role in making sure we’re creating a safe space and ensuring that the conversations are happening. Our voice (as co-leads) could be viewed as protest in service to tough conversations. When you take on the role of leader of an ERG in your workplace, you can feel like you are making yourself more vulnerable. The general thought is that while risks of protesting at work are not as severe as getting arrested or being physically injured, there is a very real risk of limiting your career in some way. But the rewards are also very real. Your influence to drive positive change is needed now more than ever, and organizations are realizing that these efforts are key to driving long term success. So keep pushing for the change of Black+ and other underrepresented groups, and being the leaders your company needs now.

Posted by Black at Fiber Co-Chairs, Daynise Joseph, Government and Community Affairs Manager, Nashville, Huntsville and Atlanta and Terrence Brooks, Head of Sales, Nashville

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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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Hi everyone! My name is Kristi McNair and I’m new to Google Fiber’s communications team. I’m posting in honor of Veterans Day not only because I’m now a seasoned, two-week veteran of Fiber, but also because I’m an actual veteran of the U.S. Army.

Here’s a snapshot of the exact moment I knew I wanted to join the military:

To clarify: I’m the one on the right

I’m kidding of course. At that time, I’m pretty sure I was only drawn to the military for the super cool outfit I convinced my mom to buy me so I could look just like my older brother in his Marine Corps uniform. Later, growing up on a military base, I witnessed firsthand the admirable traits military service members exhibited — loyalty, respect, dedication to duty, ambition and willingness to help — and I knew I wanted to be a part of that community.

Four years as an Army human resources officer exposed me to a variety of experiences, most of which helped develop vital leadership, communication and problem solving skills for a future career. And I’ve learned that while military jargon doesn’t easily translate in the civilian world, the majority of the skills honed while serving, do.

Fellow Army vet Dan Barrow learned that his leadership experience in the infantry and Special Forces formed a solid foundation for him to transition into leading network deployment operations (aka building the network) for Google Fiber in San Antonio.

In 2014, Dan attended a career fair in Fort Hood, Texas, where he provided a recruiter with his resume that eventually made its way to Teresa Erb, Google Fiber Kansas City’s program management lead, and an Army veteran herself. Dan and Teresa met in person a month later during a veterans event hosted in our Fiber Space in Austin. Impressed with his background, she interviewed him the next day and the rest is history!

Dan and Teresa in Austin’s Fiber Space

Teresa, a graduate of West Point who spent three years on active duty and five years in the reserves as a logistics officer, highlights the special type of work ethic veterans bring to an organization.

“Veterans are used to hard work, have a strong sense of duty and responsibility, work well with everyone, and have an innate ability to just get things done,” Teresa says. “Grit is the word that comes to mind when I think of a military veteran.“

Similar to Dan, Darian Nastvogel found that much of what he learned from eight years as an Air Force civil engineering officer remained crucial as he transitioned into being a program manager for Fiber based in Kansas City.

“The leadership training I got as an officer helped me tremendously in being an effective communicator and problem solver,” he shares. “Whether it’s in a military environment or not, ensuring a person receives the intent of the message is key.”

Darian during his early Air Force days

Darian recently took over leading Google Fiber’s employee resource group FiberVets, which aims to provide fellowship and support to military veterans, service members and their families, while also advocating for the value of the veteran community within Fiber. The group, which currently has about 40 members, also performs outreach to local veteran communities in our Google Fiber cities.

“We’re continuing to build our identity and a sense of community,” Darian says. “The group allows us to connect with one another and discuss how to handle the transition and differences between military and civilian life.”

It was a privilege to serve in the military. I’m also grateful that my career path has now brought me to Google Fiber, joining my many veteran colleagues who bring the lessons they learned — determination, motivation, grit — to work every day on behalf of our customers and our communities.

To all who have served and continue to serve — thank you.

Posted by Kristi McNair, Internal Communications Manager

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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:

- What’s up with the crazy pants?
- Why are they screaming so much?
- What does the sweeping do?

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.

~~~ Martha Ivester and Diana Wu
author.title: Nashville City Manager and Project Manager

category: meet_the_fiber_team
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It’s the biggest weekend of the year. Two teams, both alike in dignity, come together to decide absolute dominance of the species. It’s Animal Planet’s annual Puppy Bowl!

Google Fiber loves our furry friends, and this weekend we’re celebrating all things canine at several of our Fiber Spaces across the country. Join us for activities for humans and puppies alike, including local pet adoption, stuffed animal rescue, pet photos, and plenty of yummy treats for our four-legged and two-legged friends.


Check out the list below for local information, and come out and see us. We’ll be the ones with the waggily tails!
P.S. In case you are wondering, we’ll be rooting for Team Fluff and cheering on our friend Miley from Salt Lake City’s Community Animal Welfare Society.

Posted by Kami and Friday on behalf of the Google Fiber Dogs

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Halloween has always been special at Google -- from our early days, Googleween celebrations were the stuff of legend. At Google Fiber, we continue that tradition -- and help to bring the spirit of the holiday to our Fiber cities, as well. From office decorating to trunk or treating in our communities, Google Fiber teams scared up some surprises and celebrated together this Halloween.

Check out some photos from our Halloween activities around the country (and be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for another proud Google tradition - Dooglers!).

Team KC brings the hot dogs, flying squirrels, and more!

Salt Lake City embraces their inner Harry Potter.
Team Charlotte brings the bacon, unicorns, and more!

Team Nashville and families - Taylor Swift, Malificent, and the Brawny man -- oh my!
Raleigh Durham mixes it up!

Rockford Peaches in Charlotte

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Like most of America, Google Fiber was totally fascinated by today’s total solar eclipse.

From coast to coast, we saw our offices and Fiber Spaces do something special to mark the moon’s path across the sun, whether heading outdoors to take it all in or sharing NASA’s live feed with our customers over Fiber’s superfast network in our Fiber spaces.

Two our Fiber Cities were in the “Path of Totality” -- in Nashville (100%), we marked the moment on the roof of our office -- with approved glasses and moon pies and, of course, Music City’s own eclipse playlist. Kansas City (100%) stayed on the ground floor, heading en masse to the City Market Total Eclipse Party together to check out the show.


We didn’t let a smaller percentage of eclipse keep us from enjoying the unusual site, either. In Charlotte (98%), we hosted a party with all the appropriate accoutrement.

FullSizeRender (2).jpg

And in Durham (92.6%), we also took to the roof with their glasses to see what we could see.

No matter where we watched, it was a pretty great show. Thanks, moon! Thanks, sun!

Until next time. . . in 2024!

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Three years ago, I laid out a vision for how customer service would be different with Google Fiber. We wanted people to expect friendly representatives, quick answers, and experiences that show they’re valued. We’ve worked hard to rise to this challenge—visitors at our service centers are helped in under one minute on average, while call center hold times are just 33 seconds on average. As Google Fiber grows, our mission is to keep our customer service standards high across all of our Fiber cities.

Today, we’re introducing the Google Fiber Academy, a brand new training facility based in Metro Atlanta. Google Fiber vendors will send in-home installers from around the country to the Academy to take courses including how to provide high quality customer service, the best techniques for installing Google Fiber, and the most helpful ways to demo our product for customers.


Google Fiber’s customer service is based on one simple principle—treat people with respect. That means showing up on time for appointments, which installers working with Google Fiber do 96% of the time. It means taking care of people’s homes, like planting new grass seed after digging, when needed. And it means never treating people like a number. Take, for example, the contractor who found a customer’s lost puppies and watched them until the owner returned.

Google Fiber is shaping people’s expectations—they’re demanding faster Internet at more affordable prices. My hope is to have this same impact on customer service. We’ve had the opportunity to build our customer service experience from the ground up. Now, the Fiber Academy will enable us to exceed your expectations as we grow.

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If you’ve been meaning to get to the Fiber Space but haven’t had a chance yet, keep an eye on your local streets — we might be bringing our brand new Mobile Google Fiber Space to your neighborhood.

The Mobile Google Fiber Space will be traveling throughout Kansas City, equipped to answer your questions about what Fiber is and how you can get it. Come relax in our portable living room and:

See the kinds of Fiber devices you’d get in your home:

Learn more about our HD TV offering:

And chat with our local Fiber experts who can answer your questions about Fiber and help you sign up for service:

You can follow the Mobile Google Fiber Space’s travels via our events calendar or on our social media channels: Google+, Facebook and Twitter (#fiberontheroad). Catch us at our next stop tomorrow, Thursday, July 25th from 4:00pm - 7:00pm CST at Matney Park.

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As Director of Service Delivery for Google Fiber (a.k.a Customer Service), I’ve been thinking a lot about you, Kansas City. I joined the Fiber team last September after almost 10 years in sales & operations at Google because I wanted to treat you better. Sure, I was excited to improve support in a historically service-challenged industry. But most of all I was excited to transform your day, especially when something needs fixing. From sign-up through payment and installation, customer support can be better. Much better.
I bet I know what bothers you because it bugs me too. I don’t want to wait on hold. I don’t want to talk to a phone system. I want to talk to one human who knows the answer and can solve my problem quickly. I also want good chat and email options for the times when I can’t talk. When you come to my house, I want you to respect my time and property. And please give me an option of somewhere local where I can talk to you face-to-face. Respect me, and I’ll reward you with my business for years to come.
Day by day, we’ve been making this possible. I hired a great team—a close-knit combination of Google Fiber team members spread across Mountain View, Austin and Kansas City. These are all people who have something to prove; we want to solve problems and change your mind about customer support. We’re training our whole team on friendly processes and smart tools, so that any one of us can handle almost any call. We’re also focused on getting your installation right by showing up when we say we will and doing the job right the first time. We want to surprise you (in a good way).
Right now we’re focused on answering your rally questions, particularly for those of you in fiberhoods whose addresses are not yet recognized by our system. We know resolution there has been slow, and we’re speeding that up. Keep the feedback coming, and we’ll keep learning and improving.
I won’t lie—customer service is hard to do at scale and harder to do with a new product. But hard isn’t impossible, and really, it’s our job. No excuses here. Call us, email or chat; we can’t wait to hear from you.


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As 2011 draws to a close, we want to thank Google Fiber enthusiasts for such a great year. We hope you have a very happy holiday season, and we wish you the best for 2012!

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