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Our small business series continues with Santiago Salazar of Austin’s Flor Keeps on how quality internet has literally helped his family business grow. For more of the Flor Keeps story, you can also check out the Google Fiber YouTube channel

How It Started

Flor Keeps is a floral company located in Austin, Texas, specializing in real flowers that last over one year. None of our flowers require any water, & should only be kept indoors!


Inspired by my father’s flower business over the last 10 years, I believed it was time to shift the mold of what flowers could look like, come from, and how long they can actually last. We quickly came to recognize that this city embodied qualities that are rare to find anywhere else. Austin radiates a sense of creativity, encourages risk-takers to be themselves, & poses an emphasis on always giving back to the community. The food, the scenery _ and most importantly — the people have elevated what it means to love what you do & where you live. 

The goal for Flor Keeps is to bring the Austin community together & reinvent our wildest visions, ideas, & passions. If there’s anything about this city, it’s that we dare to be different. We push the boundaries of the ordinary & we fall together, knowing we successfully gave it everything.

How We Succeed

Flor Keeps currently operates in three avenues: Retail, Mass Market, and E-Commerce.

We owe all of our success in those outlets to the internet. Without it, we would primarily depend on only “word of mouth” to share the story of our products! Since the beginning of Flor Keeps, we have been able to reach our customers in the Austin-area through Google searches, online delivery platforms, or simply through our social media posts. Whether it’s attending to walk-in customers, responding quickly to online orders, or fulfilling orders to our partner supermarkets, we streamline our business through the use of our Google Fiber high-speed internet – 


The Good Stuff

At Flor Keeps, we donate a portion of our proceeds to an Austin-based non-profit organization called WellAware. WellAware implements lasting clean water systems to drive development and empower communities in East Africa.

We wanted to contribute to a cause that not only helps people in need, but also makes sense for our brand to collaborate with. Our flowers at Flor Keeps don’t require water, but people do. The techniques we use to extend the lifetime of our product go hand in hand with water conservation. Therefore, we are able to create an initiative to help those that really do need this resource!

So take a moment to use your internet to come visit us (and maybe find the perfect gift this holiday season)!

Posted by Santiago Salazar, Founder, Flor Keeps

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Today, we're featuring a guest blog post from Tom Esselman, Director of one of our amazing Kansas City community partners, PCs for People. Google Fiber works with this organization in several of our cities and have recently launched a new project in KC to help get more people online.


PCs for People Kansas City works to make digital equity a reality by getting low-cost quality computers, internet and digital literacy training into the homes of individuals, families and nonprofits with low income. Google Fiber works with this dedicated organization to help more Kansas Citians access quality internet in their homes.

One of the biggest things the pandemic made even more imperative is that access to the internet and functioning devices is critical to success. Without digital access, it’s nearly impossible for people to work remotely, apply for jobs or virtually meet a healthcare provider. For children, lack of internet and device access means they could be left behind in school.

Dating back to 2008, and to play a small part in helping close the digital divide across the country, we created PCs for People, which focuses on providing equitable access to functioning devices. We do this through refurbishing previously used (typically only two to three years old) computers and devices donated by large organizations and individuals. Then, these refurbished devices are sold at deeply discounted prices to individuals who otherwise would not have access to this technology.


Of course, we knew that having a device only gets you so far if you don’t have access to fast, reliable internet — an issue facing more than 163 million individuals across the U.S., according to Pew Charitable Trusts. In Kansas City, we were thrilled to work with Google Fiber to provide Kansas Citians with access to reliable internet. 

Most recently, our collaboration with Google Fiber has facilitated bringing fiber internet to four affordable housing communities in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo. Through this project, residents get access to high-speed fiber internet for $15 per month. Now, three of these communities - Pemberton Park, Linwood Gardens and Posada Del Sol - are fully online, and we’ve already seen incredible results for those residents.

“I got my first computer from PCs for People,” said Rose Stigger, Pemberton Park for GrandFamilies manager and resident. “I was the first resident at Pemberton Park, brought up my granddaughters here, and now as I raise my great-grandson here I was the first resident to receive this high speed internet.”

As we continue to expand access to more communities, we’ve learned that building trust with residents is critical to ensuring people make use of this access. In addition to providing quality devices and reliable internet, PCs for People offers digital literacy training to ensure folks make the most of this technology. These services will save residents money, allowing them to allocate those funds to other important needs.

“Up until a few months ago, I didn’t have internet at home,” said Rose. “This internet not only helps my grandson with projects that will surely come up for school but also makes my life easier, too.”

Posted by Tom Esselman, Director, PCs for People Kansas City


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Next up, Lakewood, Colorado! 

It’s official. Google Fiber is coming to Lakewood, Colorado. It's not our first foray in the Rocky Mountain state, in fact we've served customers with Google Fiber Webpass in the Denver area since 2017, but it is our first service in Lakewood through our first fiber-to-the-home network in the state. 


Residents in Lakewood have been asking for more competition and options for internet service. We are grateful to the City for working with us on a non-exclusive right-of-way use agreement that enables us to deploy the network efficiently.  

Right now, we’re getting to work on detailed engineering designs, with construction beginning in 2023.  Google Fiber is fast, but network construction is … well, we’ll go as fast as we can, while prioritizing safety and minimizing disruption to traffic and to neighborhoods. Local residents who want more information on service availability or the construction process can sign up for updates.

Lakewood, Colorado, here we come!

Posted by Sasha Petrovic, Southwest Region General Manager

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October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month! While our customers’ security online is a top priority for us all year long, this is a great opportunity to make sure they understand how to protect themselves and their accounts as much as possible.

Here’s the best way to secure your Google Fiber account and how to confirm that it is a real Google Fiber representative you are talking to over chat or on the phone.

Secure from the start

When you first sign up for service with Google Fiber, you will be asked to set up a PIN code. This PIN is the primary means for authenticating your account when you call in to support. Authentication is required for almost any change of service, change in account, or to discuss any details of a past or current bill. You can change this PIN code at your convenience through the online support portal.

If you call into the Google Fiber support center, the customer service representative will ask you to provide your PIN code before they can answer certain questions or make almost any changes to your account.

Being confident in your Google Fiber interactions

There’s a lot out there about scams being run by people who want to compromise your accounts. Here’s how to know that you are talking to Google Fiber and not an imposter:

  • No Google Fiber employee or representative will ever ask you for your credit card number. In order to protect your information, all credit card and billing information is managed by the customer through the Google Fiber online “manage my account” options within their account.

  • Google Fiber support representatives may ask you to confirm your PIN code (see the paragraphs above).

  • You will never be asked for your social security number, bank account number or any other financial information. All billing is done via credit card.

  • You will never be asked to pay for anything with cash, check or any other non-credit card methods.

Your PIN is the key to making sure your account is secure. And now that you know what to look for, we hope you’ll feel even safer online. 

(And in case you missed it last year, please check out our post on making your home WiFi network more secure, yet another way to add an extra layer of safety to your online life.)

Posted by Chris Roosenraad, Head of Security

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You may have noticed that we’re very focused on speed around here. From our beginning with 1 Gig to being one of the first ISPs with a widely accessible multi-gig product with 2 Gig two years ago, Google Fiber has always been pushing what “fast” means when it comes to internet service.

And we’re ready to do it again, because, let’s face it, fast is relative to what you need and want to do online. There will always be more to do. More files to upload and download, more games to play, more transactions to make, more movies to stream, more media to create — just … more of everything.

That’s why Google Fiber will launch 5 Gig and 8 Gig beginning in early 2023. Both products will offer symmetrical upload and download speeds (up to 5 Gig or 8 Gig respectively*) with a Wi-Fi 6 router (or you can use your own), up to two mesh extenders and professional installation, all priced for everyday use — $125/month for 5 Gig and $150/month for 8 Gig.


We believe that customers should also have access to these fast speeds and increased bandwidth at accessible prices without contracts, data caps or installation fees, and we’re committed to making that happen.

Who needs 5 Gig and 8 Gig?

At Google Fiber, we want to make sure our customers are ready for whatever the internet throws their way. While 2 Gig answered the call for many gamers and power streamers,  5 Gig and 8 Gig are designed for even heavier internet users — creative professionals, people working in the cloud or with large data, households with large shared internet demands. People who create and utilize large files need the ability to transfer them efficiently. For those who work on the cloud or in real time, like with financial transactions, it’s helpful to know there’s less lag between pushing send and making something happen. 5 Gig and 8 Gig can help these customers take on whatever they need online and be ready for whatever is coming next. 

Google Fiber’s new 5 Gig and 8 Gig plans will answer this call. 5 Gig will make it easier to upload and download simultaneously, no matter the file size. And 8 Gig will make sure that everything you are doing online is happening in near real time (without jitter and with low latency).

While we can’t predict the future, we believe that video quality never seen before, virtual experiences that seem real to the touch, gaming as fast as you can play, (and who knows what else?) are right around the corner. This vision starts with our commitment to delivering great internet. With the help of content partners and device manufacturers, we're excited to usher in the next generation internet experience for Google Fiber customers. can I get it?

If you are a current Google Fiber customer, especially in Utah, Kansas City or West Des Moines, you could be trying out these new products as early as next month. Sign up for an opportunity to be among the first to test 5 Gig and 8 Gig in your city. We’ll follow up with eligible customers to learn a little bit more about how you plan to put all that speed to use. 

Google Fiber brought you 1 Gig in 2010, 2 Gig in 2020, and 5 and 8 Gig in 2022 (and we’re already testing 20,000 megabits in the field) … the future is fast, and it’s about to get faster.

Posted by Amalia O’Sullivan, Director of Product Management

*Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual internet and Wi-Fi speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
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Once upon a time, you could only access the internet by plugging into it; and back in the day you even had to dial in before you could log on! Wi-Fi technology has only been around since 1997. Now it’s hard to imagine a world without Wi-Fi networks around us almost everywhere. But how does it work and more importantly, how can you get the most out of your home Wi-Fi network? We get these questions a lot, but the answers can help no matter where you get internet.

Understanding bandwidth

Bandwidth is key to making the most of your internet, and it refers to the amount of content your internet can handle. Let’s use actual traffic to make this a little clearer—A three lane highway can only accommodate so many cars and trucks before it backs up and creates a traffic jam. And every car is different. There are zippy cars, slow cars, and semi trucks. Each takes up a different amount of room and drives at a different speed — but the three lane highway can’t just magically turn into a four lane highway to accommodate an overload of cars and trucks when things get too slow-moving on the three lane highway. 

Similarly, you can think of your Wi-Fi network as a highway. It has a set amount of lanes (bandwidth [measured in megabits or gigabits of upload or download speeds, depending on your plan]) and can only support a certain amount of traffic (your devices) without slowing down just like that highway traffic jam. Certain devices, like a 4K streaming TV, take up a lot of room (bandwidth) on  Wi-Fi, because it requires a lot of power to be able to download 4K video on demand (which is why you might want to hardwire devices like this). Other devices, like your Wi-Fi enabled lightbulb, don’t take up as much space on your internet connection because they don’t need much bandwidth.


It’s important to remember that your 1 Gig plan, 2 Gig plan, or whatever plan you have from a provider doesn’t mean each device gets the full bandwidth of your Wi-Fi connection — they all share it. So if you’ve got 41 devices running in your household like I do, you’re probably using a lot of internet. But there are things you can do to get more out of your Wi-Fi network: 

  1. Get multiple access points.

If you only have a solitary router trying to create a Wi-Fi network to cover a spacious home or apartment (or one with thick or brick walls), you’re likely to experience more interruptions over your Wi-Fi network. Setting up a mesh network that fits the size and needs of your home can speed up the internet across your home. Which is why our 1 Gig and 2 Gig plans include mesh networking capability.

For me, I wanted to be able to catch up on the news while getting ready in the morning…which meant ensuring my home network covered my bathroom seamlessly. Figure out where you need (or just want) your internet (you can get information about how your routers and extenders are working by calling our service agents or, if you are 2 Gig customer, through the Google Fiber app), and adjust your Wi-Fi network to make room for the things that are important to you. This is also something our installers help our customers do when they are doing installations.

  1. Frequencies matter

There are two different radio frequencies used by Wi-Fi. One is the 2.4 Ghz spectrum and the other is the 5.0 Ghz spectrum. Both frequencies have been in use for many years and offer a few pros and cons to keep in mind. 

The 2.4 Ghz band (the older of the two) tends to propagate to more areas, meaning it offers wider coverage than the 5.0 Ghz band. That said, while it may go further, it does so with considerably less bandwidth than 5.0 Ghz. This means 2.4 Ghz is great for devices that don’t require a lot of bandwidth, like a smart light, but less than ideal for bandwidth-intense devices like a smart TV. In fact, a modern smart TV will likely see some buffering if connected to a 2.4 Ghz network. 

5.0 Ghz is really just the inverse of 2.4 Ghz. It offers less range, but packs enough bandwidth to power most of today’s Wi-Fi devices like your laptop or smartphone. 

The good news is that most routers and devices will try to auto-connect to the appropriate frequency. That said, if you’re on the outer edges of your Wi-Fi coverage area, you may notice your device can only connect to the slower 2.4 Ghz frequency as you’re out of range of the 5.0 Ghz. 

While 2.4 Ghz and 5.0 Ghz are the primary spectrums for Wi-Fi today, a third is beginning to hit the market as well. The latest Wi-Fi 6E enables use of the 6.0 Ghz frequency. That is unlocking even faster Wi-Fi speeds on compatible devices. 


  1. Take a load off

Hardwiring is always going to give you faster internet speeds (back to that 4K TV) — it’ll also take demanding devices off your Wi-Fi and in turn, will make room for your other devices. So hardwire your gaming console or ancient printer if you can. It’ll give your partner more room to have that seamless video call, and they’ll thank you for that.

Posted by Nick Saporito, Head of Commercial Strategy

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The internet has been around for quite a while now, but, like any technology, it continues to grow and evolve. In recent years, the industry has seen huge strides in both internet speed and reliability. These innovations are necessary to support the increasing complexity of online technology, including new ways of delivering the internet like fiber optics, satellite, wireless, and others.

Google Fiber’s fiber optic network allows us to stay on the cutting edge of internet technology and advancements — it’s the reason why we’re so able to quickly upgrade our networks and provide faster and more reliable service. How does it allow us to be so nimble? 

What is fiber optic internet?

In the last post of our Fast Forward series, Tom talked about how traditional cable internet was built on copper wires which was originally intended to transmit television broadcasts, whereas fiber optic internet is a series of ultra-thin glass tubes that transmits data at the speed of light. 

Part of what makes fiber optic internet unique is its ability to be quickly upgraded in order to accommodate for new technological advancements and the needs of evolving tech in everyday households. When we need to upgrade our network to accommodate increased speed, we don’t have to change the fiber lines in the ground. 

So what needs to be upgraded to make the internet faster?

While we don’t have to change out the fiber optics every time an advancement in speed is made, we do have to swap out the technology in our huts that deliver the “last mile” (i.e. the distance that connects your home or business to the central infrastructure of the internet). We house our equipment in huts and cabinets throughout each metro area. This includes tech like our Passive Optical Networks (PONs).

PONs use fiber optic lines to provide Ethernet connectivity from a main data source to endpoints, like your home network. At Google Fiber, we currently use what is referred to as a GPON in most of our huts. The GPON allows us to offer up to two gigabits download speed and up to one gigabit upload speed to our customers (the “G” in “GPON” stands for “gigabit”). When we started building our network, this was new technology.

But technology rarely stays the “latest” for long. The internet is ready to take its next step, and with that progress comes XGS-PON (x = roman numeral 10, g = gPON, s = symmetrical). Each XGS-PON can provide 64 households with up to 10 gigabit upload and download speeds (yep, symmetrical!). That means in order for us to upgrade our network speeds, we don’t have to go underground or completely rearrange our network, but we do have to switch out our GPON gear for XGS-PON in every hut (like we did in the picture below to start testing this in Kansas City).

What we’re doing now

As you can see, we’re already working behind the scenes to build a network that can stay ahead of demand, both as our speed offerings and as demand for internet bandwidth and speed increases because of new technology, more users and new devices come online. We’re constantly monitoring and planning many months ahead to predict and adapt to the changes in demand on our networks. 

When a lot of people were working, going to school, and doing everything else over the internet from home during the height of the pandemic, internet services needed to adjust. Because we actively monitor our networks for these types of changes (rather than only reacting when things go bad), we actively adjusted our network to meet the new demand of users before you even knew you needed it (read more about that here).

And we’re continuing that proactive approach, even as the world gets “back to the new normal.” Our newest cities are being built with the ability to accommodate the ever increasing speed demands, and we’re updating our networks in all our cities to be able to accelerate as technology continues to evolve. We’re proud to build our networks with the future in mind and a team dedicated to improving our customers’ experience every day.

Posted by Scott Li, Network Engineering Manager,  and Jennifer Poscic, Network Acquisition & Service Delivery Manager


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Many view the internet as a nebulous cloud.  For the most part, it's invisible yet it enables us to do things that even just ten years ago we never would have dreamed of doing  (like VR in your own home, for example). At Google Fiber, we think the internet is pretty magical too — but we also know all the intricacies that it takes to make that magic happen. Though it’s often said a magician should never reveal their secrets, this is one (or a few) we’re happy to share.

Not all internet is created equal

There’s more than one way to get internet in your home or business — and not all internet is created the same. Traditional cable internet was built on copper wires that, by initial intent, was designed to bring you television. From the start Google Fiber was designed to bring you Internet - fiber optic Internet. Fiber internet is a series of ultra-thin glass tubes that transmit data at the speed of light. One of the benefits of fiber is that the material withstands the challenges of time, distance and natural elements, and it can be upgraded (higher speeds) quickly by changing the optical equipment at the end points.  In addition, Fiber is not as reliant on commercial power to keep signals moving through the plant nor as susceptible to commercial power outages taking down whole parts of the plant.

But not all fiber internet is built the same. What makes Google Fiber different from other fiber internet providers lies not in the types of fiber we use, but in the way we design our core network and the operational disciplines we use that focus on the Customer Experience.

First, we design a core backbone architecture (think city to city) that has multiple layers of redundancy to provide a high level of network reliability.  Keep reading for more details on how this works.

Understanding network redundancy

Reliability is a major consideration in what Google Fiber customers look for in their internet.  Google Fiber’s network offers 99.9%* reliable connection, which is in large part due to the way our backbone network is built and managed.  Our core backbone network is designed with multiple layers of resiliency.  This makes it a lot more likely that you’ll stay online, even if there is a failure or event in the backbone of the network. Making sure you stay connected is at the core of what we do.

Content delivery -  peer-to-peer and localized caching

Another way that we ensure our Customers get the speed and content they need is by large scale peering and localized caching within our network.  We peer directly with largest media and content providers (in fact, we’ll peer with anyone who is willing to peer with us, and we don’t use peering for revenue generation); this allows us to obtain and deliver content very quickly.  Minimizing latency is just as important as network reliability in our book.  In addition, our localized caching (storage) allows us to store popular content close to your home, so when you request a show or movie, you’re able to watch it in the highest quality without buffering or delays. 

Finally (and perhaps most important) are our Operational disciplines

At Google Fiber, we place the utmost importance on Customer Experience.  Changes, upgrades or expansion of the network are done with the Customer Experience at the forefront of our decision making process.  All proposed changes are pre validated in our labs.  Once those changes / improvements are readied for production, strict protocols are followed to ensure we protect the reliability of the network and most importantly, the Customer Experience.  We have a highly disciplined change management process and we continually measure, study and improve to drive higher reliability.

So no, the internet is not actually magic. In reality, it’s a bunch of people working together behind the scenes to create the technology combined with the operational disciplines needed to maintain the top performance and reliability. But at the end of the day, if your internet is working the way it should, it should feel magical. 

Posted by Thomas Feilmeier, Director of Network Engineering & Operations

*Google Fiber’s 99.9% reliable connectivity means our network stays online 99.9% of the time, even when accounting for power outages, line issues, and maintenance. Plus, if you have backup power for your equipment, you may be able to access our network even when you are in the dark.
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Last month, our CEO Dinni Jain shared Google Fiber’s expansion plans, and asked you to stay tuned for more news about where Google Fiber is heading next. Wait no longer. Today, we’re happy to share that Google Fiber is working to build a fiber-to-the-home network in Omaha, Nebraska.


The first step is getting a license agreement, which allows us access to build in the city’s right of way, approved by the Omaha City Council. We expect that process to kick off at the Tuesday, October 4, Council meeting. Once the license agreement is approved, we’ll get right to work, with construction starting in early 2023.

With two Google data centers already in the Omaha metro area and another one under construction, Google has been a part of the community for a while. At Google Fiber, we look forward to deepening connections with Omaha’s residents and businesses by providing fast, reliable internet service. Omaha residents can sign up for more information on our website.

Posted by Rachel Merlo, Head of Government and Community Affairs, Central Region

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Last month, we shared some news about the places that Google Fiber is focused on building in next. We talked about where — but not how — we plan to build fiber-to-the-home networks for the next generation of internet users.

Google Fiber’s differentiating factor has long been our vision that the internet should be measured in gigs, not megs. We’ve always believed that the internet would depend on faster and faster speeds, and symmetrically fast speeds at that. And at a price of just $70/month — which has never gone up in over a dozen years — meant that we were serious about getting that speed into people’s homes.

We used to get asked, “who needs a gig?” Today it's no longer a question. Every major provider in the U.S. seems to have now gotten the gigabit memo, and it’s only going up from there — some providers are already offering 2, 5, 8, even 10 gig products.

We began raising that bar even further in 2021 with the launch of a 2 Gig product (2 gig down; 1 gig up) at just $100 a month, but we knew that was just the next step in this journey of making multi-gig speeds widely available and accessible. In the coming months, we’ll have announcements to dramatically expand our multi-gigabit tiers. These will be critical milestones on our journey to 100 Gig symmetrical internet.

We’re already closer than you might think. This month, we took our testing out of the lab and into the home, starting with our first trusted tester, Nick Saporito, the Head of Commercial Strategy for GFiber. Look closely at that speed test below from Nick’s house in Kansas City — yes, that’s 20.2 gig download you’re seeing!

20 Gig speed test in the field - 20.2 Gig download speed (RxRate)

But just being fast (even the fastest) is not enough. It’s about all the aspects of providing multi-gig service to customers: pricing; value; simplicity and reliability of the product. That’s the highly curated customer experience that we’ve been working toward for years.

We believe that many, if not most, communities across America will ultimately have at least two, if not three, fiber providers and an incumbent coax provider. We see it in communities we plan to build in, and expect investment in the industry to continue.

This means that a fiber network alone will no longer be the differentiating factor it once was for internet providers. The unique selling points will be how that network is built to deliver symmetrical multi-gig speed at accessible pricing — all with a focus on enabling service that takes advantage of that speed not just to the home but in the home, as well.

And one that comes with an obsessive focus on providing the best customer experience possible at all points along the way.

Over the next few weeks, the Google Fiber blog will explore how we’re building our networks to enable our ultimate vision of the future of speed, from network infrastructure to content delivery to how to maximize speed inside your home.

The next big step in the speed space race is just around the corner, and Google Fiber is preparing to help you make the jump to hyperdrive.

Posted by Dinni Jain, CEO

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